Grants of up to £10,000 to help local charities and community organisations assist our county’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
This is an unpredictable time. Please be aware the amount of money available, the pattern and level of demand, and the needs within our county will change. It is very likely that our funding criteria and priorities will also change. This may happen at short notice.
Please also be aware that our normal service has been reduced. If you do have any queries please get in touch with us, but be aware that it may take longer than normal to receive a response. We can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or, if that isn’t possible, 01749 344949.
The coronavirus outbreak is affecting everyone in Somerset. People are struggling, but they are also finding ways to support others.
Our local charities and community organisations have a crucial role to play in responding to the crisis.
This Fund will support their response during the coming months.
What do we want to fund?
We are currently supporting work that directly responds to the needs that have arisen because of the coronavirus outbreak. You can see a map and list of grants we have awarded here.
- supporting the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to ensure their health and wellbeing is maintained
- supporting activities that relieve pressure on local statutory services, particularly emergency or health and social care provision, or complement their response
- activities that support vulnerable people who are self-isolating (the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions, etc.)
- foodbanks and organisations working to combat hardship, including child hunger
- coordinating community responses
- volunteer costs for new and existing organisations responding to the effect of the crisis (note that compensation for a loss of income due to volunteering cannot be considered)
- additional costs of working remotely and adapting services delivered in the wider community
- additional support as required for emotional support, mental health and bereavement support
You may also be able to apply for funding and support from other funders and organisations. We have some information on our website here, and you can also find helpful information on the Spark Somerset website here.
Who can apply?
The Fund is open to local charities, community organisations, social enterprises and parish or town councils in Somerset.
Please note we do not cover North Somerset or Bath & North East Somerset. If you are based in those areas then please contact Quartet Community Foundation.
We expect applicants to have:
- a board of trustees or a management committee with at least three unrelated members
- a bank account in the group’s name with at least two signatories
- appropriate policies and insurances, including safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
If your group does not have these in place, then please contact us first before applying.
We will accept applications from new groups that have been set up specifically to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. If you have set up a new group, then you must have:
- safeguarding measures to protect your volunteers and the people you are helping
- links to charities or government agencies so you can refer people who have needs you cannot meet
- the endorsement of a local parish or town councillor or clerk and/or a local established community organisation
- an organisation willing to act as an accountable body on your behalf or an independent bank account with a minimum of two unrelated signatories
We will normally cap initial grants to new groups that have been set up to respond to the coronavirus outbreak at £1,000.
Who can’t apply?
We cannot support individuals directly. We also cannot award grants to organisations so that they can in turn make financial contributions to individuals or another organisation.
We will not support:
- activities that are a statutory duty
- activities that have already taken place
- sponsorship or fundraising events
- groups that have more than 12 months running costs in unrestricted reserves
- promotion of religion (although secular ‘open-access’ programmes led by faith-based groups can be considered)
Our priority is to support local organisations based in our county. We may consider requests from larger organisations, but please contact us first before applying.
How much is available?
We are actively raising money for the Somerset Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund through the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal. As more money becomes available more grants will be made.
You can apply for anything between £250 and £10,000.
We expect the average grant to be around £2,500.
If you apply for more than £5,000 we may contact you to discuss your application in more detail. That conversation may be recorded and form part of our formal assessment.
We may award a small number of grants for more than £10,000. This will only happen for work taking place over a large area or reaching significant numbers of vulnerable people.
How long are grants for?
Grants are currently being awarded so local charities and community organisations can respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
We anticipate that the needs within our communities will change rapidly. Therefore, we expect our grants to be spent within three months. You will be able to apply for more as circumstances change.
We hope that we will also be able to support local charities and community organisations to recover, following the coronavirus outbreak. However, we cannot consider such requests at this time while we focus on our immediate response.
How do I make an application?
Applications must be made via an online application form, which can be accessed using the link below.
The form allows you to save draft versions of your application and return to it later (via an email link sent to your inbox).
The form requires you to complete a short series of questions about your group and your work. You will be asked to provide:
- the contact details of someone who can endorse your work if you are a new group
- a simple budget.
- a list of your trustees or management committee members, including their addresses
- a recent bank statement
- your safeguarding policy
If you are unable to provide any of these documents at this time, then please contact us.
Applications will be considered once a week and, if you are successful, we expect to pay grants within three days.
We expect to make awards around the whole of Somerset. This means we will also consider the location of all the organisations that have applied to us so we can avoid duplication.
We therefore strongly advise you to talk to other groups that are local to you who might apply and think about how you can coordinate your work.
Finally, your application may be for an important project in your local community, but we may simply not have enough money available to award you a grant. If your application is turned down, we will tell you why it was unsuccessful, but there is no right of appeal.