London Covid-19 Response: Bulletin 7

From the Funding, Community and Voluntary Sector cell of the London Covid-19 Strategic Coordinating Group. This weeks bulletin includes guidance on the latest lockdown changes, latest funding news and links to the upcoming Third sector fundraising conference.

Lockdown-Related Changes and Guidance

  • Questions and answers on what you can and can’t do, including guidance around vulnerable groups, workers’ rights and childcare can be found here.
  • Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes shops, offices and contact centres, some of which may be relevant to charities, community and voluntary sector organisations.
  • The National Day Nurseries Association have put together FAQs which take into account the planned re-opening of nurseries from June 1st (subject to a review of the scientific evidence on May 28th) and what needs to be considered by early years providers. The Government has issued advice for education and child care settings for pre-school children in early years settings. It advises that the staff to child ratios within Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) continue to apply, and recommends using these to group children.
  • There is guidance for those operating urban centres and green spaces here and guidance on using green spaces here.
  • The Government’s Job Retention Scheme, which provides support for furloughed workers, has been extended until 31st October, see details here.


London’s boroughs are joining forces to distribute food to the capital’s most vulnerable residents through local food hubs. All 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation are working together to protect the most at-risk during the Covid-19 Outbreak. Each hub is stocked with food received from the London Food Alliance (comprising The Felix Project, FareShare and City Harvest), who work with teams of volunteers to receive, package and deliver the food parcels. Here’s how ITV covered the Hackney food hub.

DEFRA have announced £16 million in funding to support charities providing meals for those in need. This includes refuges, homeless shelters and rehabilitation services, with the programme being led by the charities WRAP, FareShare and other food distributors.


Team London and London Plus are offering small grants of £500-£1000 to support your extra coronavirus (COVID-19) volunteering expenses.  This is open to Volunteer Centres, CVSs and other community and voluntary sector organisations. The application deadline is the 22nd May.

The National Survivor User Network has launched a new fund to support organisations providing mental health services during the pandemic. The NSUN grants are available to User Led Organisations across England who need additional funds to deliver their support and activities during Covid-19. You may be a peer support group, a mutual aid group, a community group, a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO), or a ULO (this is not an exhaustive list) and may or may not be constituted.

The Ofgem Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme (Energy Redress Scheme) has opened its latest funding round for applications from charities that support vulnerable energy consumers. Ofgem is making £13 million available through the scheme, which has four different funding streams including a new Crisis Fund, introduced to help address the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable households.

The £25m Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It has been established to make the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.

London Community Response Fund’s ‘delivering differently’ grants are pausing from May 19th, but crisis response grants will be ongoing. If you’re looking to apply for a ‘delivering differently’ grant please ensure you complete this by 5pm on Tuesday 19th May.  As lockdown is eased, the community of funders involved in the Response are looking to ensure that funding adapts to the high demand that London’s civil society will continue to experience, and will be working to launch new funding rounds from early June.

Victim Support

Victim Support is offering an online live chat providing confidential support for those who could be self-isolating with their abusers, whether they are partners or family members. They are asking for help in promoting this service by directing people affected by crime to the VS website or by sharing their short animation on social media. They also provide a secure online platform called My Support Space containing interactive guides, tips and videos on topics such as difficult emotions, coping strategies, trauma and sleep.

Fundraising conference

Third Sector has announced that has come on board as a headline sponsor for their fundraising conference, on 20-21 May. As a result they are now able to offer an additional 1,500 free places at the conference for staff at registered charities. They urge people to book early.