Emergency government support funding for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, to be distributed via the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF), opened for applications on Friday 22nd May.

The government has pledged a total of £750 million to ensure that the VCSE sector can continue their vital work, which has been significantly disrupted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Of this, £200 million will be provided by the NLCF, and will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

It has two key objectives:

– To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
– To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

They are prioritising:

– Organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the covid-19 crisis
– Organisations providing services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the covid-19 crisis
– Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to covid-19

Organisations are able to apply for funding of between £300 to £10,000 or funding over £10,000. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will review the £200 million to inform decisions about the distribution of the remaining £110 million in available government funding.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) website has an extensive breakdown of all funding available to the sector:

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