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Groups receiving council funding

We recognise that the covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on voluntary and community sector groups, and want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time.

Merton Council, along with a wider group of funders, has signed up to a London Funders joint statement pledging to offer support to civil society groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Please speak to your commissioner if you are looking at diverting current grant funding to covid-19 work or you wish them to consider an additional request for funding.

Community Response Hub

Merton Voluntary Service Council (Merton Connected) has been working with the voluntary sector in the borough to mobilise a volunteer taskforce to help isolated households and those at risk from covid-19. 

The single point of contact for volunteer support is up and running in Merton. The details to share are at https://www.mertonconnected.co.uk/ and are:

If someone needs help

If a person requires help, you can ask them to email help@mvsc.co.uk or call 020 8685 2272

If someone wants to volunteer

If you know anyone who wants to volunteer, please ask them to contact the volunteer taskforce at volunteer@mvsc.co.uk.

Funding sources

Below are listed some funding opportunities currently available in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. Please see the Merton Connected website for more funding information.

Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund

Merton Giving has launched the Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund to help support local registered charities, community interest companies and constituted community organisations that are either delivering COVID-19 frontline services or whose ability to operate have been severely impacted by the measures put in place to stem the pandemic.

This grant fund is intended to provide urgent financial support, to assist:

  • Costs incurred by an impact on service delivery due to increased demand (i.e. more immediately incurred costs), AND/OR
  • The affects that Coronavirus is having on your organisations financial sustainability over a period of 6 months following the date of your application

London Community Response Fund

London Funders is the network for charitable funders in the Capital.  They are coordinating applications to the London Community Response Fund, to support voluntary and community sector groups affected by covid-19.  The first wave of the fund is now open.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Coronavirus Emergency Fund

This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

The Mayor of London has launched a £2.3m Culture at Risk Business Support Fund to support London's creative and cultural industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus. Support will be given to grassroots music venues, LGBTQ+ venues, artist workspaces and independent cinemas across the capital.

Waitrose Community Support Fund

A £1m support fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities, and a support fund to aid staff facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic. Further information to be released in due course. For more information and how to apply visit your local Waitrose store.  

Up to £500 available to professional working musicians to alleviate the immediate financial pressures incurred as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Neighbourly Community Fund

Up to £400 is available for pre-existing members of Neighbourly whose work involves supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill-health as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Champions for Children Matchfunding

The Childhood Trust is launching its Champions for Children match-funding campaign this June. This will raise unrestricted funds for charities working with children who have been affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic Campaign week is 23 -30 June and funds will be disbursed shortly thereafter.

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

This fund is to help community sport and physical activity organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The Telegraph Covid-19 Emergency Appeal

The appeal has launched in partnership with the charity Turn2Us, which distributes millions of pounds each year in direct grants to those in serious financial difficulties, and provides practical information and support online.

The Sunday Times Covid-19 Emergency Appeal

The appeal is an extension of its Christmas campaign and looks to support schools through the Covid-19 crisis via its partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – Coronavirus Guidance

NCVO has produced resources and guidance aimed at charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic.

National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) – Heritage Emergency Fund

NHLF has launched a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Fund will be available over the next three-six months as short-term funding to stabilise operations and manage unforeseen risks. Grants of between £3,000-£50,000 will be available.

The National Lottery Community Fund

All the funding decisions National Lottery Community Fund will make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. In addition, they will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as they can, so that they can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money.

The British Film Institute (BFI) - Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund

The British Film Institute (BFI) has joined forces with the Film and TV Charity to create a new fund to help support the creative community, which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund has been established with a £1 million donation from Netflix. It will provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers (individuals) who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.
The Fund will be open to those working in production, distribution and exhibition.

Alpkit Foundation

Alpkit Foundation is a charity that helps people Go Nice Places Do Good Things and recent global events call for a shift in focus.
They will help those most urgently in need and welcome applications from grass roots projects for cash awards of up to £500 that respond to the Coronavirus crisis.

John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, has announced new measures to help its shops meet the needs of customers with a particular focus on the elderly and the vulnerable.
These include a £1million Community Support Fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities.

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust - Early Years' Preventative Work

Grants are available for registered charities to support work that will improve the life chances of some of the most disadvantaged children (aged 0-3 years) by investing in early intervention and preventative work.
One-off, unrestricted grants of up to £5,000 are available.


Advice, information, guidance and support

NCVO Funding central site

This site is free for non-members during the current unprecedented times.

Charity Commission Guidance

Charity Commission coronavirus guidance for the charity sector.

Charities that are due to submit an Annual Return imminently, but feel unable to do so, can call the Commission to request a filing extension.

Charity Finance Group

Many organisations are likely to take a hit on income from fundraising or trading - fundraising events may be cancelled, and charity shops or venues may be closed.     Charity Finance Group has advice on measures that charities should be taking to deal with this eventuality – including on issues around whether insurance covers some of the costs involved.       

Good Finance - COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises

Good Finance's mission is to help charities and social enterprises navigate the world of social investment. This site contains information, resources and tools designed to support charities and social enterprises navigating COVID-19.

Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK will be regularly updating their website with the latest news and resources to help the sector collectively get through the coming weeks.
Their briefing Support for Social Enterprises is a recently updated guide to the support and resources available to help the social enterprise community at this time from accessing loans through the COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme to business rates relief. The briefing now contains information on the Job Retention Scheme, three-month VAT deferrals and the news that contracts in public sector should be guaranteed till 30th June 2020.

Culture at Risk

If you are an organisation working in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, please visit the Mayor of London's Culture at Risk page to register your details for support, guidance and resources.