Skip to content

Coronavirus in Leicester

Get the latest information and advice
In this section

Funding for charities and social enterprises

A list of funding for charities and social enterprises.

In April 2020 the government announced a £750 million package of funding to support the work of charities during the coronavirus outbreak, this included:

  • £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support local organisations including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.


£360 million directly allocated by Government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. These will include:

  • £200m hospices to help increase capacity
  • St John Ambulance to support the NHS, for Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice and for charities supporting vulnerable children.
  • Vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during the crisis 

The government departments will be identifying priority recipients with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks. We will update this page as details emerge.

In addition, the government has announced several smaller pots of funding for charities working in the following areas. This includes:

  • £2m for victims’ charities that provide domestic abuse helplines and online support, to help with potential increase in demand
  • £20m to international development charities and a further £50m for the Red Cross for their work in difficult to reach areas such as those suffering from armed conflict
  • £5m for leading mental health charities and support services.

    (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19)
    (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/future-fund)
    (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-emergency-funding-for-local-government)

Access is a wholesaler of grant subsidy into social investment funds and other initiatives. Therefore we do not make funding available to charities and social enterprises directly. If you are a charity or social enterprise looking for support or to find out more about social investment please visit Good Finance.

Arts Council England (ACE) has made £160m of emergency funding available to organisations and individuals working across the cultural sector are protected during the COVID-19 crisis. It has also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of funding.
New funding opportunity - Developing Your Creative Practice - Supporting individuals who are cultural and creative practitioners.

Applications Deadline: Midday 5 November 2020
For more details on open funds visit the Arts Council funding support page.

The newly launched Barclays Foundation will initially provide a COVID-19 Community Aid Package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis.

Big Society Capital is planning to launch a resilience and recovery loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details are still to be announced.

The Growth Hub is a single place to access business support across Leicester and Leicestershire. Offering free and impartial advice to help all local businesses, with a particular focus on those who are looking to grow and increase productivity. Signposts to links to various financial support offers.

Find out about financial support that is available during the coronavirus crisis, including local grants, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme, sick pay for employees and other funding you may be eligible for.

Individually tailored grants of up to £2,000 for children and young people who have experienced a recent crisis or significant change in life. We can fund items and activities to help improve social and emotional wellbeing and increase capacity to engage in education and learning
Grants targeted at improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their capacity to engage in education and learning. There is a particular focus on:

  • maintaining educational activity and stimulus within the home environment
  • establishing and/or maintaining internet access and communications household essentials. 
Get more information on Buttle UK's fund.

The Cadent Foundation recently launched and is funded by the UK’s biggest gas network Cadent. UK charities or groups with charitable purposes can submit applications for grants of up to £100,000.

First funding round is closed.

Visit the Cadent Foundation website for details about future funding opportunities.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a £5m 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.

You can apply for unrestricted funding for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas.

Applications for the initial round of funding are currently paused.

Supporting Communities During the COVID-19 crisis

Organisations with incomes of up to £1 million can still apply for small grants through our normal open grants programmes (but please note we are not accepting applications for larger capital projects).

The closure of the CECP does not signal an end to the Covid-19 funding response. They continue to fund Covid-19 related initiatives strategically. Get more details on their website

Some of the money raised through Sport Relief 2020 will go to organisations on the frontline. Support for grantees through adapting activities, reviewing timeframes, or re-budgeting remaining funds.

In March 2020 a new fund was set up to allow local councillors to support Leicester community groups that are helping vulnerable people in their wards.
Details of the fund can be found on our press release

Requests for access to the funds can be made through ward councillors.

Locality is a national membership network for community organisations.

Locality state they support community organisations to be strong and successful so communities thrive.
Link to some of the funding being made available for charities during the COVID-19 pandemic,

EFF are currently changing their approach. In addition to funding organisations with larger, longer grants, they will take a more active role. Working in collaboration with others, we will use all our tools to unlock change - not just grants and investments - but our influence, endowment, and our ability to broker alliances and remove barriers.

See guidance for organisations looking for a grant or social investment and to find out more about Esmee on the following link:

Find out more at Fairbairn Foundation funding.

Coronavirus resilience Fund appeal to help champion local communities and projects in West Midlands & Warwickshire.

The John Lewis Partnership has launched a £1m Community Support Fund. Individual Waitrose shops will decide how to use their share to support their local community.

One-off grants up to £3,000, with a fast track application process. Available to UK registered charities supporting:

  • currently supporting vulnerable people;
  • working in geographical areas of high deprivation (within the UK); and have an annual income under £200,000

Capped Applications

From September 2020 to June 2021 there will be 14 rounds for applications to be submitted. The number of applications is capped to ensure time spent applying is proportionate to a chance of funding. Submissions will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get more information about the Leathersellers' Company fund.

Together with Postcode Community Trust, a grant giving charity funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery, Localgiving is delighted to offer charitable organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of £500.

The fund will be awarding over 900 grants to community projects across Great Britain. Successful projects will support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants.

Applications will receive a decision on their application and, if successful, the funding within two months of submitting a complete application. The deadline for applications will be 31st October 2020.

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that have been impacted by Coronavirus. The trust is planning to distribute grants through a network of local community foundations. Organisations in need of funding will need to apply directly to a community foundation, not to the NET.

To find your local community foundation please visit the Community Foundations website. 


Starting with a contribution of at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust (NET), the government will also match public donations to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April.

This support builds on other measures announced by the government: the coronavirus job retention scheme, coronavirus business interruption loan scheme, and the deferment of VAT bills and business rates discounts for some types of charity.

National Lottery Awards for All England

Grants of £300 to £10,000 with priority given to organisations:

  • supporting people who are at high risk from covid-19
  • supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of covid-19
  • with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of covid-19 
Awards for All England fund.

We have received a high number of applications for the fund and are therefore closed for new applications at this time. If you would like to register interest on behalf of your organisation for future phases of the fund, please submit your information on the link below.

Power to Chanage have launched the second stage of their emergency support, the Community Business Renewal Initiative, a package of support for community businesses, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The support package includes the £3million Community Business Renewal Fund, providing unrestricted grants of between £10,000 and £20,000. Working with their partners, they will also be opening two match-funding programmes to support community businesses with fundraising, as well as tailored support to help communities to protect community-owned assets.

The Renewal Fund will be open for applications on 3 November 2020.

Power to Change funding and support.

Sport England have modified their funding streams to help people safely return to play and are targeting the places they'll have the biggest impact.

In addition to their regular funding streams, which have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, They've opened a £16.5m Return to Play Fund.

There are three parts to this new fund - Small Grants and the Community Asset Fund, which have been adapted from pre-coronavirus funds, and Active Together crowdfunding, which has been extended - with all three now focusing on a safe return to play and narrowing the inequalities gap in sport and physical activity.

Support Adoption for Pets support charities and not-for-profit organisations whose main activity is either:

  • the rescue and rehoming of UK pets or
  • the provision of temporary support to ensure pets can remain with their owners
Support Adoption For Pets funds projects which have a direct impact on animal welfare and fund up to £10,000.

Get more information on the Support Adoption for Pets fund.

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme, which funds thousands of community projects every year.

The projects must meet the criteria of bringing benefits to the community. During October, November and December 2020 the grant scheme will provide grants of up to £1000 to support projects focused on local children and young people.

Tesco Bags of Help website

The Architectural Heritage Fund has a useful guide available to support charities and social enterprises during COVID-19.

Support for charities working to produce significant impact in youth opportunities, general welfare, conservation, preservation in Africa or peace and humanitarian support. When considering applications, the charity is keen to know whether applicants have already explored all options for financial support, including the government schemes and emergency funds before seeking funding from the Trust.

Further details are available on the website.

The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund will enable social lenders, including Charity Bank, to provide emergency loans to affected charities and social enterprises. No personal guarantees and no fees or interest for 12 months.

This is part of a £100m package of support announced by Big Society Capital loans and investment. It includes small, emergency loans with no fee and no interest for 12 months. Applications are expected to open in the second half of April.

Those interested are encouraged to email loanenquiries@charitybank.org or to complete the standard loan form on our website.

Get more information on this programme.

Grants up to £5000 for supporting:

  • education and young people
  • health
  • communities
  • environment and conservation
  • heritage
  • arts and culture
  • international development
  • the armed forces
Get more information on the Schroder Trust's fund. 

Grants of up to £1,500 for eligible small charities. Requests are considered for contributions to core funding or for specific projects. There are no reporting requirements.

Get more information on the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust's fund.

Support for teachers, teaching assistants, nursery workers, caretakers and lunch supervisors who have worked within the education sector for at least five years. Grant can be used to help with bills, household costs, travel or other essentials.

Get more information on the Teaching Staff Trust's fund.

The Foundation’s rolling grants programme is now live. The new fund will be distributed to organisations across England that have a promising track record of supporting young people (aged 14-24) who face barriers to accessing employment. The Foundation is also calling for government to unlock an emergency support package for charities and social enterprises working with children and young people.

Youth Futures Foundation funding

The Sports Organisation Support Covid-19 fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those sports clubs, organisations and businesses most in need and require an injection of cash to help them emerge from short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus.

The funds available will be directed to those most in need. LRS is eager to help organisations where possible to sustain themselves and be ready for business as usual when the lockdown period ends.

It is specifically targeted at organisations in the sport and physical activity sector who have a role in enabling and supporting the communities of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland to get and stay active. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £3,000.

More information about this fund.

Coronavirus Emergency Support Fund appeal to help charitable and constituted groups who are supporting those who live and work locally and who are struggling as a result of the pandemic. 

Find out more information: Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation

CrowdFund Leicester is the City Mayor’s crowdfunding initiative to connect people, communities and businesses to turn their ideas into reality. It provides an online platform to share your ideas with the public who can pledge their support. Projects can also pitch to the City Mayor’s Community Engagement Fund, Ward Community Funding and Business Funds as part of their crowdfunding campaign.

Spacehive, the crowdfunding platform that hosts CrowdFund Leicester, are waiving fees and relaxing eligibility criteria for projects created during the coronavirus lockdown.

CrowdFund Leicester.