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COVID-19 Response Fund: South Yorkshire Community Foundation launches new fund

The fund​ aims to support community organisations ​that are working to ease the immediate difficulties communities are facing and ​to support their recovery in ​the coming weeks and months.

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South Yorkshire Community Foundation and community foundations across the country are working with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) to make sure resources reach the community groups and charities which are already doing incredible work to save lives and relieve hardship in the present situation. If you'd like to contribute to this fund, please visit the National Emergencies Trust website.

All donations raised through the Community Foundation​'s COVID-19 Response ​Fund ​along with funds made available for distribution in South Yorkshire ​through the National Emergencies Trust​'s appeal will support community and voluntary organisations that are assisting some of South Yorkshire​'s most vulnerable people.

The fund​'s aims and priorities are to support community organisations ​that are working to ease the immediate difficulties communities are facing and ​to support their recovery in ​the coming weeks and months. This includes charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises.

Priority will be given to voluntary organisations providing support to the most vulnerable and isolated including:

  • Older people.
  • People with disabilities.
  • People with mental health needs.
  • People on low ​income.
  • Families with young children.

Fund Criteria

Grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded to support the following:

  • Enabling the delivery of services to vulnerable people - including but not limited to food banks, befriending schemes and other crucial community services and activities to support vulnerable people at this time.
  • Providing information, advice, counselling and other support and community services to help people cope with isolation and the emotional stress caused in the short and medium term.
  • Coordination of the community response to COVID-19.
  • Supporting essential running costs to enable community organisations to continue to deliver vital services.
  • Enabling community organisations ​to deliver differently - for example equipment to enable remote working or telephone helplines rather than face-to-face support, and moving to one-to-one outreach rather than group activities.
  • Retrospective payments may be made to cover costs incurred in urgent response to the crisis (although we cannot guarantee in advance that your organisation will receive funding - any costs incurred before a grant has been awarded are at your own risk).

Who can apply

Not for profit organisations can apply so long as they:

  • Have a governing document (e.g. a constitution or memorandum of association).
  • Have a board or management committee of at least three unrelated people.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the group requiring at least two unrelated signatories.
  • Have beneficiaries who live in South Yorkshire and are locally led and run. This includes locally constituted and managed branches of national or large charities.

This could include charities (including Charitable Incorporated Organisations), social enterprises (including Community Interest Companies and Community Benefit Societies so long as they are not for profit) and community groups. It could also include parish and town councils, so long as the funded activity is not deemed part of their statutory duties.

Mutual Aid Groups and other unconstituted organisations

We know that many new organisations and informal groups have been formed specifically to respond to the current crisis, and that many of them are doing vital work in local neighbourhoods. We are keen to support that work, but we cannot fund organisations which don't have a governing document (a constitution or set of rules for how the group is run) and a bank account in the name of the organisation.

We welcome applications from established organisations to cover the costs of coordinating the work of local Mutual Aid Groups, or to purchase food and other items to be distributed through Mutual Aid Groups.

If you are part of a Mutual Aid Group which doesn't have its own governing document and bank account, please consider encouraging a local Community Hub or other established organisation to apply for funding to support your work.

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We cannot fund:

  • For profit organisations.
  • Statutory organisations such as city and county councils, hospitals and schools.
  • Individuals.
  • Grants that are for the provision of bursaries or grants of money to individuals or families.


Given the challenging circumstances we are all working in, and how rapidly the situation is developing, we will try to keep reporting requirements simple and flexible. We do want to be able to tell good stories about the vital work community organisations are doing to keep people healthy and safe, so we will ask groups which receive a grant to share with us photos, videos and case studies if they are able to. We also want to know what difference these grants make, so at the end of the grant we will ask groups to tell us how they spent the money, what difference it made and what they learned during the process.

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is to complete the online form here.

If you cannot complete the online application form, please send an email to including a contact telephone number. We will call you back and ask you some questions over the phone so that we can complete the form on your behalf.

When to apply

You can apply now. We will try to process your application as quickly as possible. If your application is successful, we will try to make grant payments as quickly as possible. We are doing our best to develop our process in response to the ongoing crisis, so please be patient with us.

How to donate

It is thanks to the generosity of local donors and our coordination with the national appeal that we have been able to launch this fund quickly in response to the ongoing crisis around COVID-19. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please visit the National Emergencies Trust website.

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