Coronavirus Support

We have compiled a list of funding opportunities as well as organisations offering support and advice at this challenging time.

We will regularly update this list so please let us know of any other opportunities via

We have launched our own Coronavirus Response Grants programme to distribute funds raised through our own appeal and Wiltshire and Swindon’s share of the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal fund. Details on how to apply are available here

Funding opportunities - last updated 6 April 2021

Force for Change Programme

This programme will award grants of up to £10,000 for community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation. a wide range of projects under this programme. However, you must be able to show us that your project fits under one of these two main themes:

  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more engaged in their local area.
  • Providing opportunities for isolated members of the Armed Forces community to take part in activities that improve general wellbeing.

The application dates for 2021 are:

  • Round 1 – if you apply by midday on 12 April 2021, you’ll receive a decision by the end of June 2021.
  • Round 2 – if you apply by midday on 2 August 2021, you’ll receive a decision in late October 2021.
  • Round 3 – if you apply by midday on 19 November 2021, you’ll receive a decision in late February 2022.

    More information is available here

    Alec Dickson Trust

    To help young people to volunteer in response to COVID-19, the Alec Dickson Trust is offering grants of up to £500 to UK-based volunteering or community service projects, organised and run by people under 30 years, which directly or indirectly respond to COVID-19. The deadline for applications is midday on the 21 March 2021. More information is available here

    EFSA Community Training Grants Swindon and Wiltshire

    Community Training grants between £5,000 and £20,000 are available for projects supporting people who are unemployed or economically inactive, move closer towards employment. They fund a range of innovative projects which help prepare participants for work by providing opportunities to learn and upskill in anything from industry-specific training to developing soft-skills. Participants must be over 16 years or age and eligible to work in the UK. Applicants must be either third sector organisations or small organisations (less than 49 employees) and have an annual turnover of less than €10 million Euros, please see currency convertor. This is a rolling programme, but the deadline for applications to be considered in their next round of decision making is 9am, Monday 22 March 2021. Application submitted by 9am, 15 March 2021, will be given feedback on how the application could be strengthened, giving time to update and resubmit prior to the deadline. More information is available here.

    The Women Thrive Fund

    Delivered by Rosa and Smallwood Trust, the Women Thrive Fund is distributing grants of up to £40,000 to specialist women’s organisations across the UK working to enable women and girls to improve their mental health and wellbeing and/or improve their financial resilience. Organisations can apply for:

    • Grants of up to £15,000 with a turnover of £200,000
    • Grants of up to £40,000 with a turnover of £200,001 – £999,999

    They can also apply for an additional 25% of their grant request for work which will strengthen their organisation. The deadline for applications is 5:00pm on Thursday March 25. More information is available here

    Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust

    Grants of up to £1,000 are available to registered charities to support people who are homeless. Priority will be given to applications that help Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. The funding is available to registered charities with an income and expenditure of £1,000,000 and over. Applications are open from 1 - 30 April. Later rounds in 2021 will support work with refugees and asylum seekers. More information here

    Peter Cruddas Foundation

    The Peter Cruddas Foundation provides funding for projects that benefit disadvantaged and disengaged young people. Priority is given to programmes designed to help disadvantaged and disengaged young people in the age range of 16 to 30, to pursue pathways to Education, Training and Employment with the ultimate aim of helping them to become financially independent. There is no minimum or maximum amount and projects can be funded for more than one year. Deadline for applications 1 September 2021. More information is available here 

    National Lottery Community Fund

    The National Lottery Community Fund is continuing to support people and communities adversely impacted by Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 or over £10,000 are available to help organisations continue to deliver activity, whether responding to the immediate crisis or supporting recovery activity or and adapt, becoming more resilient in order to respond to new and future challenges. More information is available here

    National Lottery Community Fund Local Connections Fund

    The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities. Micro grants of between £300 and £2,500 are available to small local organisations with an annual income of £50,000 or less. Funding will be split into two rounds - the first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021. Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021. The second round will be launched in the summer of 2021. More information available here

    Volant Charitable Trust

    The Volant Charitable Trust is now accepting applications from registered charities, community interest companies, community organisations or social enterprises in the UK that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. To receive a decision by October 2021 applications must be submitted between 1st January and 31st July 2021. More information is available here

    Allchurches Trust

    In response to the coronavirus, the Allchurches Trust has launched the Hope Beyond Programme to support churches, Christian Charities, cathedrals and Christian denominational bodies to enable them to meet changing needs within their communities and to adapt to challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic. Grants of up to £50,000 are available to help religious organisations implement new ways of working and introduce new and/or enhanced support and activities across three these: loneliness and isolation; growing community resilience and promoting mental and emotional health and wellbeing; and growing technological capability and resilience. Applications can be made at any time. More information is available here

    BBC Children in Need

    BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme supports children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances and is delivered by Family Fund Business Services. The programme provides items that meet a child’s most basic needs such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to provide a hot meal and other items or services critical to child’s wellbeing. In order to respond to the impact of lockdown on vulnerable children and young people’s access to education resources, they are now making digital devices such as laptops and tablets available as grant items. In addition to these digital devices, they also offer a toys and games grant to help alleviate the pressure of isolation on families during lockdown. More information is available here

    The Foyle Foundation

    The Foyle Foundation has re-opened its Small Grants Scheme for organisations with an annual turnover of less than £150,000 supporting the young, vulnerable, and elderly, disadvantaged. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available and can be used to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking or delivery of online digital services for charities. More information is available here

    Department of Education/Family Fund

    Family Fund has received extra funding worth £10 million from the Department for Education to provide grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children this year. This emergency funding has been provided in response to the crisis presented by the Coronavirus pandemic and will help more parents and carers to look after their children. Families can apply for grants to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including items such as computers and tablets, outdoor play equipment and sensory toys. More information is available here

    Sport England

    Return to Play Small Grants: This fund will make awards, using National Lottery funding, of between £300 and £10,000 to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way. This could include contributing to covering the costs incurred by having to deliver activity in smaller groups than normal, or having the correct hygiene and safety equipment. This fund will also make a contribution of up to £2,000 towards the running costs of organisations supporting the most deprived communities.

    Return to Play Community Asset Fund: This fund will make awards of between £10,001 and £50,000 to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important places and spaces to help their local community return to play safely. This could include contributing to covering the costs incurred by converting existing space to meet social distancing guidelines, or improving a facility’s ventilation.

    More information on both grants programmes is available here

    7 Stars Foundation

    UK charities with a turnover of less than £1.5 million per year and who are working with at-risk young people affected by the covid-19 crisis will be able to apply for unrestricted grants of up to £2,500. The funding can be used for overheads, salary costs, and/ or wherever else the organisation needs to ensure its survival and sustainable services in the future. More information is available here


    Alpkit is now prioritising their funds to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19 virus crisis.

    • Being active in your local community to help elderly or vulnerable people
    • Minimising the impact of self-isolation for those in quarantine and need access to food, medicines or social care
    • Supporting foodbanks and increasing the number of meals on wheels deliveries to support the elderly
    • Supporting those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation
    • Bringing adventure indoors and overcoming the obstacles that prevent us benefiting from going outdoors.

    More information is available here

    Bounce Back Loan Scheme

    On 4 May the Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme to enable businesses and charities to obtain a six-year term loan at a Government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower. The Government will cover interest payable in the first year. The borrower remains 100% liable for the debt. More information is available here

    Dulverton Trust

    In response to the COVID-19 health crisis the Dulverton Trust is prioritising applications from charities that meet their guidelines and are either (a) well-placed to deliver vital services to vulnerable communities affected by the current crisis or (b) charities with which we have an existing relationship. More information is available here

    Jules Thorn Trust

    The Ann Rylands Small Donations programme makes grants of up to £1,500 to support smaller charities across the UK providing support for older people, people with disabilities or others facing difficulties in their lives. Please note that the programme may be paused if a lot of applications are received. More information is available here

    Persimmon Homes

    Persimmon Homes is operating schemes to distribute funding to groups supporting the under-18s and people aged over 70.

    • Community Champions - Persimmon’s Community Champions initiative has run since 2015 and gives away £64,000 every month in single donations up to the value of £1,000. So far over £3.5 million has been donated in the UK. Persimmon has decided that from April 2020 all funding will go directly to groups supporting the over 70s. Groups can apply online here

    Schroder Charity Trust

    The Trust offers grants up to £5000 for supporting:

    • education and young people
    • health
    • communities
    • environment and conservation
    • heritage
    • arts and culture
    • international development
    • the armed forces

    The Trust continues to accept online applications for funding from charities. More information is available here

    Advice and Support

    A wealth of information has been published to support and advise the charity and voluntary sector on how to resume services and activities as lockdown restrictions are eased across the UK. We have listed a selection below as well as organisations offering other advice and support:

    Chartered Institute of Fundraising

    The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has put together an online hub with advice and information relating to fundraising during the pandemic. Resources include Covid-19 public fundraising guidance, research and fundraising strategy development. More information is available here


    NCVO has created Covid-19 guidance pages for voluntary and community sector organisations on their website. The pages are updated regularly to reflect latest information and cover many themes including volunteering, safeguarding and funding. More information available here

    Opening Community Buildings

    ACRE has published comprehensive information to help village and community halls reopen. ACRE’s information sheet looks at how village halls can prepare risk assessments, ensure social distancing once open and introduce effective cleaning regimes. There are some practical resources too including checklists, notices for display in halls and sample terms of hire. More information is available here

    Re-opening after lockdown

    The Cranfield Trust has produced a webinar - A Practical Guide to Re-Opening after Covid Closedown - which will be useful for many organisations. There are also links for many other webinars that will be relevant at this time. More information is available here

    Providing Youth activities

    The National Youth Agency as the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. The guidance will support local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. More information is available here

    Charity Commission

    The Charity Commission has a range of advice and guidance relating to charities and Covid-19 including charity meetings during the national lockdown. More information is available here

    The website has guidance from the Charity Commission for the to charity sector to help with running a charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. More information is available here

    NCVO has created a dedicated section on their website to provide information and advice to charities at this time. The Your Organisation and Coronavirus: Our guidance for charities has information on:

    • Protecting your staff, volunteers and beneficiaries
    • Contingency planning and financial implications
    • How charities are helping
    • Further information and resources
    • Latest blogs relating to the pandemic

    More information can be found here.

    Swindon Borough Council

    Swindon Borough Council also has details of further support for their residents on their website which you can access here

    Wiltshire Council

    Wiltshire Council has set up a dedicated hub to support the most vulnerable residents during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time. Wiltshire Council's team can help provide support but also signpost them to where additional help is available in their local area with hundreds of community groups set-up across the county providing invaluable assistance. People can get in touch with the hub via email or by calling 0300 003 4576. It's available from 9 am- 5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday. More details are available here

    Wessex Community Action

    Wessex Community Action has launched a Covid-19 Resource Hub for local groups and communities. This page is a central resource for the voluntary and community sector, local groups and communities who are helping to organise volunteers and support residents in their community at this time. Please feel free to signpost groups to this page/put a link to it from your website. If you feel there is information missing Wessex Community Action are encouraging people to get in touch and tell them what else might be helpful or if you have resources you would like them to share - Please click here to view their resources.