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Somerset Community Foundation's response and support for coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020

Updated Thursday 21 May, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a major event and we recognise that many smaller, local charities and community groups will be worried about its impact on their work, their beneficiaries and the communities they live and work in.

  • What we're doing and how you can help

On Thursday 19 March we launched the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal.

The funds raised by this appeal will help form the Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, ensuring support swiftly reaches local charities and community organisations across the county of Somerset. Grants from the Fund will be made on a rolling basis. To read more about our appeal or to donate, click here.

A national appeal has also been launched and the National Emergencies Trust will distribute money through a number of charitable organisations, including community foundations. If you wish to support the national appeal, please visit their website:

We want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to continue supporting the local voluntary sector at this time. We are looking at the ways we, and our partners, can support VCSE (voluntary, charity, and social enterprise) organisations and our communities during the outbreak, both now and also in the future, as our communities start to recover.

  • Funding for charities and community organisations seeking funding in light of coronavirus

We are currently supporting work that directly responds to the needs that have arisen because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The fund is now open to all charities and community organisations providing support to the most vulnerable in Somerset. We aim to give you a quick decision and send funding within a week to ten days of receiving the application. 

Apply for funding on our website here.

The Fund will provide funding for:

  • Organisations that support the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to ensure that their health and wellbeing is maintained
  • Organisations in support of activities that relieve pressure on local statutory services, particularly emergency or health and social care provision, or compliment their response
  • Groups and activities that support vulnerable people self-isolating (the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions etc)
  • Support for foodbanks and organisations working to combat hardship caused by the pandemic including child hunger
  • Community response coordination
  • Organisations or informal groups that have been specifically established to respond to the crisis
  • Volunteer costs for new and existing organisations responding to the effect of the crisis
  • 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
Secondarily, and if funds allow:
  • Support for organisations that provide support for vulnerable groups to counter the loss of  income and fundraising which can be directly linked to the pandemic

Longer term, we aim to aid charities with recovery from the financial impacts of coronavirus to help them continue their work in the future. We will promote all funding opportunities through e-bulletins, social media and local press. If you would like to receive SCF’s e-newsletter and be kept up to date with funding opportunities, please subscribe by filling in the form on the home page of our website, here.

A full list of grants made from the Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund can be found here.

You may also be able to apply for funding and support from other funders and organisations. You can find some links to other sources of information and advice further down this page, and you can also find helpful information on the Spark Somerset website here.

  • How to get in touch

If you need to get in touch, our revised contact details can be found here. Like you, our normal service and capacity has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, so please bear with us. We would appreciate it if you could refrain from calling us wherever possible

  • Grant applications

If you've recently received a grant

We know many of you are supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Somerset and will yourselves be under extra pressure and uncertainty. We will be as flexible as we can be, for example:

  • if you need to adapt the work we have funded to meet short-term needs
  • if you think you’re going to need extra time to deliver funded projects, or 
  • you need more time to report to us.

Please let us know if you wish to vary the terms of your grant by emailing either your main contact at SCF or using

If you've recently applied for a grant

For organisations that have submitted an application and are waiting for a decision please be patient with us as we work with our funders to decide the best way forward. We would like to thank the organisations that have already been in touch to tell us they wish to withdraw their application for the time being.

If you're planning to apply for a grant

The HPC Community Fund remains open for applications - for more information click here.

All our other grants for groups programmes are currently closed to enable us to divert resources to our coronavirus response.

If you are currently putting an application together for one of our programmes, you can continue to do so, but bear in mind that the current coronavirus outbreak may affect your planned work and the application will not be considered at this time. Once submitted, the application will remain on our system and will be considered once the funding programmes re-open.

We aim to keep you updated with any changes as they arise both on this page of our website and our social media channels (Facebook and twitter).

  • Sources of information and advice

CAF (Charities Aid Foundation)

  • CAF have launched their Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Find out more here.
Citizens Advice South Somerset
  • Citizens Advice South Somerset have created some helpful videos about Employment and Benefits which should help you to understand your rights, your options and your choices, here.

The Charity Commission

  • Guidance to help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here.
Charity Excellence Framework
  • Charity Excellence Framework has compiled a list of more than 250 funders who are providing funding in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Civil Society

  • Check here for the latest from the Civil Society

Community Council for Somerset

  • For information from Community Council for Somerset on stay at home guidance, advice for village halls and community groups, protecting the isolated and vulnerable, and community transport, click here.
The Co-op
  • For those with a local Co-op store in their communities you can stay up-to-date with the latest via their website, here.

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK

  • Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK has started to compile a list of local groups set up on social media sites such as Facebook or WhatsApp in an effort to share learning, resources and support. To find out what groups may be in your area, or to register a group, click here.
Grin (Grants Resources Information News)
  • Grin have collated a list of Community Foundations and other grant providers that have launched funding programmes to assist local agencies in responding to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find that here.
  • If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the coronavirus situation, please call Mindline on 01823 276892.


  • There is excellent advice from NCVO for voluntary sector organisations which we encourage you to look at.
Public Health England
  • For all the very latest advice from Public Health England, click here.

Spark Somerset

  • Spark Somerset have launched Corona Helpers, a free online platform where organisations and groups can let others know what they are doing and how they can get involved. People can also register here to ask for assistance. 
  • If you've recently set up a support group or are thinking of doing so, then there are some things you'll need to consider. For DBS information (especially if you would like to help with shopping or collecting prescriptions and money could be changing hands), useful resources and best practice guidance from Spark Somerset, click here.
The Government
  • For the latest government advice from Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England, including: advice on how to protect yourself and others, employment and travel, and advice for businesses and other organisations, and healthcare workers and carers, click here.
Trading Standards
  • There is some useful information from the Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards, here.

We hope this page has been useful but do feedback any comments or questions by emailing

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