Small charities invited to apply for a share of coronavirus funds

Small charities and community groups are being encouraged to apply for a share of almost £750,000 from the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal. 

The NET launched its coronavirus appeal in March 2020 to raise money for charities affected by the pandemic. It has raised £99.5m. 

About £747,000 of that money is still available for grassroots organisations through the Local Action Fund, a match-funding partnership with Crowdfunder UK, the NET said in a statement released today alongside its annual report.  

Eligible projects can set up a fundraising campaign on Crowdfunder UK, and the NET will match donations they receive up to £10,000. 

Since the Local Action Fund was launched in September, more than 100 projects across the UK have signed up. In a statement, the NET urged groups that have not yet benefitted from the Coronavirus Appeal to take part in the scheme. 

Mhairi Sharp, chief executive of the NET, said: The Local Action Fund was launched to help small local projects to get back on their feet after the challenges of the pandemic, and remains as relevant as ever following the latest measures announced in December. 

“We've decided to keep the fund open so that those in need of a financial boost, either for new projects or to cover core costs, don't miss out at this difficult time.”

The NET’s annual report, released today, reveals that in the year to 31 March 2021, the Coronavirus appeal raised £88m, allowing the charity to make more than 13,000 grants to meet urgent needs across the country. 

Sharp said: The National Emergencies Trust was conceived by the Charity Commission to bring the charity sector together during disasters so we can all do our best for those affected. The Coronavirus Appeal has proved this concept works.

She said small grassroots organisations and national charities had been able to deliver and launch valuable services during the pandemic, which, she said, showed “what's possible when our sector pulls together”. 

The annual report features a new logo for the NET, featuring four emergency chevrons to represent each nation of the UK and a more prominent placement of the charity’s name than the previous version. The charity said it hoped this would help to support its brand-building efforts. 

The report also highlights the work the charity has done to ensure those with lived experience have a greater voice in decision-making, such as the launch of its Survivors Advisory Forum and its Equity Scrutiny Group. 

Lord Dannatt, chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said: The Coronavirus Appeal's inspiring stories of lockdown fundraisers, pop-up grassroots projects, new national charity services and innovative corporate partnerships show the truly collaborative effort the appeal came to be.”

He said the very nature of the charity’s role as an emergency response charity meant every new disaster would bring a different set of challenges, and that survivors would have different needs and require the charity to work and think in different ways.

But he said: “I am confident that the National Emergencies Trust has laid strong foundations through the Coronavirus Appeal, and now have the right partners and people around us to be ready to make a difference to people's lives, wherever and whenever we are next needed.

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