London Plus April 2020 Newsletter

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a marked impact on civil society in London. At London Plus we are working hard to support the sector through this.

There have been two main parts to our efforts to date. First, we designed and ran the first pan-London survey of how the crisis was affecting the sector in London. This helped people – funders, policy-makers and civil society itself – understand and appreciate the strains and impact on organisations’ capacity to operate. We repeated the towards the end of March, highlighting the growing strains. Read the results from survey 1 & 2 below:

Survey 1: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon London’s Civil Society
Survey 2: COVID-19: The changing picture
Your feedback: COVID-19: Voices from the Sector

London Plus has also become part of the structure across London coordinating the capital’s response to the crisis. This forms the second part of our efforts. The GLA, London Councils, London Funders, the Red Cross, and others are also part of this.

Through this structure we are able to feed in intelligence about local developments, such as knowledge about local food bank supplies and information about how the volunteers centres are dealing with the surge in volunteers, and their huge effort in getting the local response right so that vulnerable groups get the support they need. A huge thank you to all of our networks and partners who have been helpful in providing this intelligence.

As a small part of these efforts, we were included in a quote in a press release from the Mayor. The GLA have also produced a video about the #LondonTogether campaign.

Below we have shared news, resources and guidance to help your organisation during the uncertain time. 


London Plus using voice and influence to promote funding opporutnities

79% of the respondents in our surveys were worried about funding- but we’ve got you covered. Check out the resources below.

London Community Response Funding

The second wave of this emergency funding has been announced. The two streams are:

  • Crisis response – Grants of up to £10,000 to enable you to meet the immediate needs of communities, from food and essentials, to equipment and additional short-term staff costs;
  • Delivering differently – grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to enable you to change the way you deliver your work to ensure it continues to meet the needs of your communities, from switching to digital channels to redeploying staff to boost your capacity at a time of increased demand. One of the themes in this grant is civil society support (infrastructure organisations).

Government funding package

The government revealed their funding package for charities, of which £370 million will be available for small charities delivering essential frontline COVID-19 related services for vulnerable people through the Community fund. Acevo have written notes about this funding based on a call with sector leaders and DCMS officials. NCVO have also written a blog about the fund. We will update you again once the application has been released.

Youth Futures Foundation

Have launched their grants programme for development and impact grants for organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. This is non-emergency funding.

The following websites have regularly updated lists of emergency funding available to the sector: 

Events & Training

London Plus Events

Whilst there have been widespread cancellations of in-person events, some of our partners have been working tirelessly to move their training online.

Coronavirus and your charity’s finances – update
(TODAY) Thursday 16th April, 13.00 to 14.00
The Charity Finance Group are hosting this webinar to address your questions on how your organisation can try to best mitigate the significant impact that the coronavirus will have had, and will continue to have on your charity’s finances.

Superhighways Training
Office 365 – not just email & file storage – but an amazing tool box of useful apps!
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 from 14:00 to 15:30
Introduction to Microsoft Teams 
Monday 20 & 27 & Friday 17 & 24 April

Coalition for Efficiency 
Thursday 23 April 09.00-10.30
Training session about conducting semi-structured interviews

COVID-19 Resources


  • A group of volunteer PR practitioners have launched an initiative to provide free communications support to charities and public sector organisations that are struggling against the background of coronavirus, lockdown and staff on furlough.
  • Catalyst are working to actively support the sector with digital skills throughout the pandemic. You can view their list of support resources here.
  • Superhighways have released a series of blogs to help you get to grips with technology to help you communicate better whilst working from home.
  • Lightful have collated a really useful list of free resources for charities during the Coronavirus – this is mainly comms/digital related support.  The have also created a spreadsheet of upcoming webinars which you can access here.



  • The Youth Work Support website has been developed to provide a single point of access for information for youth workers and those working with young people.
  • The NSPCC Learnings recent newsletter is full of resources to support children during COVID19.


Time to Spare have recently launched an initiative called Furlough Go, which has been set up to enable charities and community groups to connect with and involve these skilled and experienced furloughed staff as volunteers. Find out more about Furlough Go and how you can get involved.

Other Resources
London Plus have collated a longer list of resources available for the sector on our website.


An overhead image of tomatoes and greens

Coronavirus Food Alert

Sustain alliance have complied resources, blogs and guides about securing food for vulnerable people, supporting the local response and defending our food supply.

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

This grant is for surplus food redistributors to overcome the challenges that they are currently facing in obtaining surplus food from food businesses.

COVID19 and the provision of Free School Meals (FSM)

London Plus have collated a list of resources around FSM and COVID-19.

Where can I donate?

The team at London Plus have been working hard with colleagues and our partners to alleviate hunger caused by COVID-19. When we heard about the extraordinary efforts of as part of this work, we were compelled to donate. As a team, we have donated £50 to The London Food Alliance, which works out at around 600 meals provided to hungry Londoners. Below, is a small list of websites you can go to, if you wish to donate too:

Caring for yourself during COVID-19

It’s important to look after yourself during this challenging time. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite resources for anybody to use:

Coronavirus support resources from Mind 

#LondonTogether for positive stories

Using Zoom to host a pub quiz, play guess who and more! 

Free Online Yoga Classes  unwind with free yoga classes online

#JackMonroesLockdownLarder for rustle up recipes 


Official NHS guidance on COVID-19 

The Samaritans on 116 123.

And from the team at London Plus, take care and stay safe!