General Covid19 guidance 


LBTH Safe Reopening Guidance for Voluntary and Community Organisations in Tower Hamlets

Updated 01st October 2020


NCVO - Including: - Including:

VCTHSafeguarding and Volunteer DBS checks during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, what you need to know 

ACAS - Advice for employer and employees

NCSC - Homeworking: preparing your organisation and staff

What Works WellGuidance for better workplace wellbeing

Skills Platform - Coronavirus (Covid-19) awareness - Skills for Health are providing a free online course aimed at public sector workers, particularly key workers, to learn about Coronavirus symptoms, infection prevention, investigation, guidance and support.

Funding and Finance

Local Funding Opportunities

East End Community Foundation - East End Emergency Fund - The fund is open for donations and the amount collected will be matched by the Canary Warf Group. EECF is working with the council on identifying need and community groups.

Spacehive - Coronavirus: Let’s pull together Campaign - Spacehive is engaging with national funders to support community projects. The fund is aimed at local projects around the Coronavirus outbreak, they're relaxing the criteria so you can fundraise for running costs. All projects under this campaign will have the Spacehive fee waived.

Regional Funding Opportunities

In order to support the sector and reduce the fund applications time The London Community Response Fund portal will allocate all emergency funds coming or managed by the London Community Foundation, and future funds coming from the London Funders members. this means if you apply through the portal your application may be assessed by many funders.

The funds currently open are:

London Community Response - Second wave – Wave 2 has two funding streams that are taking applications:

  • Crisis response: grants 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. 

There is a very quick turnaround of seven to ten days between application and awards for these grants. The Programmes have a weekly rolling deadline until further notice.

National Funding Opportunities

Central Government 

Coronavirus Support Finder - The government announced on the 20th April a support finder tool for charities, business and self-employed people to find out what financial support is available, including loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether the business is open or closed.  

New support for charities - On 8 April the government announced a £750m fund to help charities responding to the Covid-19 crisis. £370m of this fund will go to small and medium-sized organisations at the heart of local communities, the funds will be allocated through the National Lottery Community Fund and other organisations, . The other £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the scheme opens and how to apply.

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - VAT payments will be deferred for three months from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible. No applications required.

National Lottery Community FundAwards for All - Covid19 - Grants of up to £10,000 - The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) for the next six months is prioritising funds to groups and organisations supporting communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The funds are aimed at organisations most likely to face increased demand in their services, supporting people who are at high risk, and supporting and connecting communities to work together during the pandemic.

Neighbourly Community Fund - Small grants of up to £400- Fund for charities and community groups actively supporting communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund is supported by M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), Coca-Cola European Partners, giffgaff, Southern Coop, HEINEKEN and their customers and members.

The Yapp Charitable Trust - The Yapp Charitable Trust has invited small UK charities affected by the impact of COVID-19 to apply for grants of up to £3,000 per year over three years. Registered charities in England and Wales, with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000, can apply for funding for core costs and staffing.

Childhood Trust - Champions for Children - funding available for groups and organisations supporting vulnerable children affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

National Lottery – Heritage Fund - Grants between £3,000 and £50,000. Open until 30 June. The fund is aimed at heritage sector organisations as a response to the coronavirus outbreak including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Youth Music Network - Emergency Fund - Check the deadlines here - Youth Music are distributing an emergency fund to support organisations with cashflow, maintaining services, adapting services, and with a focus on children and young people. It is not necessary to have received a Youth Music grant in the past. Funded by People’s Postcode Lottery, PayPal, and the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

Arts Council Coronavirus support - Emergency fund of £160 million to support organisation working in the cultural sector in three streams: 

-National Portfolio Organisations £90m - Fund for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs). All organisations within the Arts Council’s 2018-22 National Portfolio of Organisations (including Bands 1-3, and Sector Support Organisations).
-Organisations outside of the National Portfolio £50m - available to organisations in the cultural sector, who are not National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) or Music Education Hubs.
-Funding for individuals £20m - Fund available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.

Sport England – Community Emergency Fund – Grants between £3,000 and £10,000. £20 m fund 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 (COVID-19) crisis.

John Lewis Partnership - £1m Community Support Fund - The fund will focus on the elderly and vulnerable. Help could include setting up additional local delivery services to support the self-isolating, the vulnerable, the elderly and those looking after them; delivering boxes of staples to local care homes and community groups, and donating products to create care packages for customers to share with vulnerable neighbours. The complete information is not yet published, please refer to their website for updates.

Waste and Resources Action Programme - COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant – £3.25 million fund to support the operations of not-for-profit food redistributors to ensure that any surplus food can reach people in need or those considered most vulnerable. Grants can be used to fund both capital and revenue costs associated with redistribution activities.

Localgiving and People’s Postcode Lottery - Magic Little Grants – Grants of £500 to charities running community projects to support and inspire people to take part in sports and physical activity to improve their health. The fund will support projects that help people to stay active during social distancing, such as online fitness classes delivered via video conferencing software or YouTube.

Association of Mental Health Providers - Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund – The Department of Health and Social Care is providing grants of £20,000 to £50,000 to voluntary and community sector providers that are providing mental health services during COVID-19. Applications should only take 30 minutes to complete and there will be a fast-track assessment process.

National Survivor User Network (NSUN)NSUN COVID-19 Fund – Part of the above Coronvarirus Mental Health Response Fund, this fund provides grants of up to £1,000 to support user-led organisations and smaller unconstituted community groups that might not otherwise be eligible for a grant. Grants will support community action, peer support, mutual aid and other activities that are using community technologies to support people with mental health needs during the COVID-19 period. Applicants must be members of NSUN (membership is free – please see above web link).

Digital and technology

Mayor of London

  • London's civil society - Digital support access - Online hub to request Digital support and guidance from GLA and partners across London's Digital and Tech Support sector to third sector organisation that are facing.challenges to go online to keep delivering their services.

Charity Digital 

  • Coronavirus all in one place - Charity digital have been exploring issues and solutions charities face around digital and technology such as remote workforce, fundraising, Cybersecurity, skills and resources for service delivery and management, digital leadership, and other subjects.
  • Charity Digital Exchange - Charity Digital portal for software with discounted prices for charities.

CAST (Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology) is a charity working to help people use digital for social good, they offer free consultations and guidance:

Covid Tech Support - Covid Tech Support -  Volunteers are offering their digital skills to set up WhatsApp and Facebook groups and help you get to grips with online docs, websites and apps that support you and your teams, or suggest tools you could be using.

Superhighways - Charity offering training and support to small charities and community organisations across London to be more effective, raise their profile and demonstrate their impact using digital technology.