There is no denying that 2020 was hard for many and it looks like we will be seeing much more of the same in 2021. While we are in another lockdown, there is also a sense of hope and regrowth for the coming months as the vaccine programme rolls out across the country.
With the prospect of things easing later this year, members of community groups and staff working at charities will undoubtedly be working on plans to re-open, sustain present operations or grow their support for their community.
COVID-19 Catalyst Grants Programme
In 2020 we launched our Catalyst Grants Programme to assist groups, charities, and initiatives to help Letchworth residents in a range of ways such as providing food, shelter, information on health and wellbeing and to reduce social isolation. It was very impressive to see how charities and community groups adapted so quickly to the ever-changing circumstances and they have done a tremendous job providing support to Letchworth residents. To help support this important work, the Foundation awarded £113,000 of funding with grants ranging from £200 to £8,000 to over 20 voluntary and community-based groups.
The way that charities and groups delivered their work also had to adjust to a digital and distant world. For example, Herts Disability Sports Foundation reached out to us for financial assistance to provide digital aids for their clients. We helped them purchased reconditioned iPads so they could carry on their incredibly important work and to ensure they clients did not feel isolated.
We also awarded grant funding to help with the expansion of operations in Letchworth and with business support to some charities that saw a surge in queries and need. SADA (Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse) needed to increase capacity in Letchworth when they identified a gap in help in the town. This grants programme awarded them the financial assistance to place themselves in the town and offer potentially life-saving advice and help.
This funding stream also catered for charities where their traditional, planned fundraising and income sources had been lost and the charity’s future was at risk due to lack of money. Charities such as Garden House Hospice were awarded a grant because their retail stores and fundraising events could not run and so needed assistance to carry out their work.
Communities Looking Forward Grant programme awards grants of up to £10,000
New Grant Programme
After carrying out extensive research using our Community Response Team and collating local statistics with information from our partners, we saw the important everyday role that community groups and charities played in overcoming wellbeing problems such as social isolation and physical and mental health. So, this is why our new programme will aim to help the groups unable to open last year and assist in any projects for the coming year. We also recognise there will be a need for small grants to support those groups and charities working in the heart of the community assisting residents to deal with the ongoing day-to-day effects of COVID-19.
We have adapted our grant programme for 2021 to help community groups, clubs, local initiatives, and other charities to recover and rebuild in 2021. Our Communities Looking Forward Grant Programme has been established to offer a helping hand with these plans and enable groups to reconnect with their service users, members, and communities.
Our 2021 programme is offering grants of up to £10,000 throughout the year. The deadlines for an application are:
- 26 February
- 30 June
- 24 September
Letchworth is a town with a wide range of charitable organisations either based in communities,
serving a specific sector such as sport or leisure or they are working across the whole town.
If you are planning for the year ahead or a group managing the effects of 2020, this programme may be for you. Grants can be used in a variety of ways from funding resources, hiring buildings to getting consultant support to assist with any aspect of your work.
We are here to help and open to a conversation with any group, organisation, or individual working in Letchworth. We would love to hear your ideas about how a grant from the Foundation would enable you to achieve your goals in 2021.
Applications for funding should:
- Meet an identified need that can be evidenced.
- Meet the objectives of your group and needs of your community.
- Make a positive difference to those involved.
- Provide a breakdown of costs.
- If appropriate, show that the group or charity can sustainably self-fund in the future using other income streams
The deadline for the first applications is the 26 February 2021 for a 26 March decision.
For further information or to ask about the programme email Alastair.email@example.com or ring 07714 521567.
Alternatively, apply online.