Somerset Coronavirus Appeal

Somerset Community Foundation has set up the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal to raise funds for local charitable groups that are supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and, looking ahead, to ensure that when the time is right we can help our communities recover well.

The funds raised will help us build the Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund which will support local charities and community organisations across the county of Somerset in two stages: response and recovery.

In the response phase, we will get extra money to boost efforts to provide essential support to older people and other vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak. In the recovery phase, we will fund a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected, helping them to recover while also helping our communities get back on their feet once the outbreak eases.

We are working closely with partners in the voluntary sector, NHS and local authorities and contacting frontline organisations to see what is needed. We have been funding the local voluntary sector for 18 years and we know a lot of these organisations very well. Never have our communities needed them more and we will swiftly support their efforts.

We are aware that many people and businesses will be struggling financially. However, if you are able and would like to donate to the Fund, please click here.

The Fund will also provide a focus for charitable trusts, companies and other organisations wishing to work with us to coordinate the support to our communities.

This fund is dedicated to the county of Somerset. A national appeal has also 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 click here.

Looking for funding?

Our Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund is now open to all local charities and community organisations in Somerset.

Find out more and apply on our website here.

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

For media queries about the Fund, please contact Justin Sargent justin.sargent@somersetcf.org.uk 07766 743495 or Sue Wheeler sue.wheeler@somersetcf.org.uk

 Frequently asked questions

Who will we fund?

Our aim is to focus funding on local charities and community organisations that meet our normal criteria for funding and to provide funding for work that is directly responding to needs that have arisen because of the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Fund will provide funding for:

Secondarily, and if funds allow:

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 fund can be found here.

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.

Which areas will the Fund cover?

The Fund will support charities and community organisations in the county of Somerset, including the districts of Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and Somerset West and Taunton. If you are working in North Somerset or Bath and North East Somerset, please contact our neighbours, Quartet Community Foundation.

Where is the funding coming from?

The Somerset Coronavirus Appeal will help us build a dedicated Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund for Somerset.

Donations will come from local charitable trusts, businesses, local authorities and, of course, the general public. We are also working with our existing fundholders to move funds we already hold into the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, and will be utilising a portion of our Surviving Winter appeal funds specifically to support older people in Somerset as part of our response.

In addition, subject to confirming details, SCF expects that funds raised through the national appeal, run by The National Emergencies Trust in partnership with the British Red Cross, will be combined with the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal funds.

How can I make a donation?

Thank you for your generosity. The most efficient way to donate is to give online by clicking here. It’s easy, safe and secure, and saves us administration. It also enables us to easily and efficiently claim Gift Aid from individual donors who are taxpayers.

If you wish to donate by bank transfer, please contact us at info@somersetcf.org.uk for further details.

If you want to support communities elsewhere in the UK or internationally, there is the National Emergencies Trust or the World Health Organisation Covid-19 Response Fund.  You may wish to contact your local community foundation to see if there are similar funds in your area. You can see a full list of local community foundations across the UK here.

Can I fundraise for you?

We appreciate the generosity of people who’d like to fundraise for us and would love to see virtual fundraising events popping up to raise money.

We must stress that we do not want anyone to partake in any fundraising events or activities to raise funds which might go against Government advice on social distancing and self-isolation.

You can also do your bit to help us raise vital funds by sharing details of our appeal on social media and sending it to friends and family who might like to support.

Can I restrict my donation to a specific area or group?

Our aim is to support communities throughout Somerset, but in order to be as efficient as possible, we need donations to be as flexible as possible so we can pool them into one fund for effective distribution.

With that in mind, we ask that donations are not restricted to a particular area or group of people. We understand that some charitable trusts or public sector bodies may only be able to provide funding that is more restricted, and we may be able to accept significant donations that are restricted. If you would like to discuss making a restricted donation, please email info@somersetcf.org.uk and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

If there is a particular charity or community group you would like to support, we encourage you to donate to them directly.

Can I volunteer or donate goods or services?

We are not able to handle donations of goods or in-kind services. However, we encourage you to think about donating food to a local foodbank. You can find your nearest foodbank by searching online or visiting the Trussell Trust website, who run many local foodbanks.

You may also want to get involved by volunteering your time within your local community. You can register as a volunteer, or sign up to receive support in your local area through the Corona Helpers website here.

What is the NET appeal?

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities support individuals who are suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The public appeal has been launched in partnership with the British Red Cross who will be managing donations.

The NET will distribute money to a number of charitable organisations, primarily through community foundations, to ensure it reaches those who need it most.

Why were community foundations chosen as distribution partners?

Our network covers the whole of the UK and has an unparalleled reach into local communities. Each Community Foundation has an in-depth understanding of their local area, what the priority needs are and how best to address these issues, so they can ensure the funding goes where it is most needed and can make the most impact.

Community Foundations are well-placed to provide emergency relief because they understand the needs of their locality and are able to convene with relevant partners and mobilise quickly. Being well-established in their communities, Community Foundations hold a position of trust and draw on existing relationships with local donors.

How is Somerset Community Foundation covering the costs of running this fund?

Somerset Community Foundation is a local charity. Our own income is being significantly affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. To make sure we can run the appeal, work collaboratively with partners and our communities, and distribute grants from the fund effectively, we will retain a small amount of the funds donated to the appeal. We pledge to retain no more than 8% of new donations to the fund.

As far as possible, this will be retained from the Gift Aid we claim back from the Government on individual donations, so that as much of your donation as possible will go directly to local charities and community groups helping the most vulnerable in our communities.

We will do our very best to keep our costs as low as possible whilst providing a high-quality service to communities and ensuring donations are spent effectively. We will review our costs regularly as the outbreak, and our response, progresses.


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