Somerset Community Foundation receives High Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award on anniversary of the first emergency coronavirus response grants

March 23, 2021

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is delighted to have been awarded a High Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award, which cites their ‘outstanding work to the community in Somerset and for their acts of thoughtfulness and kindness during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.’

SCF launched the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal on 19th March 2020, just a few days before the first national lockdown was announced. The High Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award is made on the one-year anniversary of the first emergency Somerset Coronavirus Response grants, which were approved for payment less than a week after the appeal was launched last year. These first grants were made to food banks across the county, and in those first few weeks of lockdown SCF continued making emergency grants to frontline charities across our county, every day.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at SCF said: “We’re truly delighted to have received this Special Recognition Award from the High Sheriff of Somerset. Our grateful thanks go to our local charities on the frontline, who have worked tirelessly to ensure our vulnerable neighbours across Somerset have been cared for and supported through these most difficult of times.

“We’re also incredibly grateful to all the donors who have supported the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal so generously in the last year. Thanks to the £1.5m of flexible funding we’ve received from individuals, businesses, charitable trusts and public sector partners, and a year after we made our first grant, we’ve awarded almost £1.2m of grants to date, to over 370 charities, with more funding being awarded in the weeks and months to come to help local charities recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Mary-Clare Rodwell, High Sheriff of Somerset 2020-2021, said: “To recognise this particularly challenging and unusual year, I have made High Sheriff’s Special Recognition Awards for exceptional acts of compassion and outstanding contributions to the welfare of the community. SCF supports charities and voluntary organisations. Their swift and nimble actions in response to this pandemic showed a resolve and determination over and above what would be expected of them. With impromptu groups forming in towns and villages across the county, SCF provided them with the funds to address the different needs of their individual communities. Their work was, and is, vital to our communities, and I thank them.”

As life slowly returns to normal, national surveys warn that charities will face a funding crisis following 2020, and SCF is standing by to make sure essential charitable services are not lost. If your organisation is based in Somerset, has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and has an annual income under £250,000 you may be able to apply for a grant of up to £5,000. Applications must be made by Friday 23 April. Find out more here.


Somerset Community Foundation is a charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. They provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.

Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded more than £15 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.

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