About the Fund

Through the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, the Community Foundation and its partners will support local charities and community organisations across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland respond to the outbreak and recover from its impact. Response is about getting extra money to organisations that we know are supporting older people and other vulnerable groups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Recovery is about funding a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover and continue their activities once the outbreak eases.

We will work to make sure the fund reaches the communities that need the most support. We are in touch with local charity umbrella bodies and front-line organisations to see what’s needed and how funds can be spent. From our 30 years’ plus experience, we know a lot of these organisations and so will quickly be able to assist them. We expect the first wave of funding will go to organisations working with older people who are likely to be most seriously affected by social isolation and illness caused by the virus.

The Community Foundation has set up the Fund with and initial £200,000 contribution. We are delighted that Newcastle Building Society has become a founding partner in the fund with a donation of £100,000. Information about other supporters who wish their details to be shared will be shown at the bottom of this page or on our JustGiving page.

The Fund is dedicated to Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. A national appeal has also launched (see FAQs below) and the National Emergencies Trust will distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations, including community foundations. This funding will be in addition to grants we award from our Fund and may have different arrangements.

Support the Fund

If you are a business, funder or an individual that would prefer to give by BACS, please contact us at coronavirusfund@communityfoundation.org.uk and we will get back to you with the details you need.

For media queries about the Fund, please contact Adam Lopardo on  al@communityfoundation.org.uk or Iain Riddell ir@communityfoundation.org.uk

Information for charities and community organisations seeking funding

We realise many local charities and community organisations are looking for urgent help. We will give more information here about opportunities to access funding as soon as we can. Please note, the initial grants will be to organisations already on our database which we will contact directly. More information is in the FAQs below.

It would be helpful if you didn't call us yet with queries about the fund. But you can still make a general application to us now by going to our apply page. If' you've an urgent query, you can email us at general@communityfoundation.org.uk

Frequently asked questions

Which organisations will be eligible for support?

Grants will go to small, local charities and community organisations that meet our normal criteria for funding, and which have previously received support from us. In the first ‘response’ phase, we will be identifying organisations to receive support from our own database and those of fellow funders. We will not be accepting applications. We will focus grants on those who work directly with the following vulnerable groups, or their carers.

  • People over 70 – especially isolated older people and those living in care settings (this will be the priority for the first wave of grants)
  • People with asthma, heart or lung disease or diabetes
  • People who may have a weakened immune system including:
    • people with HIV/AIDS
    • people receiving treatment for cancer
    • people receiving transplants
    • people with conditions like motor neurone disease and muscular dystrophy

Funding will also be awarded to organisations providing direct services and support to people with low and insecure incomes e.g. those on universal credit and people working in the so-called ‘gig economy’, and to those working with school-age children in disadvantaged communities where schools have been closed. 

We will announce the process for awarding grants during the second, ‘recovery’, phase at a later date, once we know how much money is available.

My organisation needs funding to deal with the outbreak. Can we apply?

We are awarding grants from the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund initially to organisations we identify through our database and those of our partners. Other organisations that are eligible for our funding may still apply for a grant from our other funds in the usual way www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply/.

You may also be able to apply for help from other funders. Information about where to go for help with funding is here www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply/help-and-support/

I’m personally affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Can I apply for me or my family?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is having, and will continue to have, a big impact on individuals and families in our area. Our fund has been set up to support charitable organisations that can help people most affected. We are not providing grants directly to individuals or families. If you are worried about your health or a loved one’s, please follow the advice at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/. If you are worried about money or other issues, you can contact a CAB www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ or other local advice centre www.adviceuk.org.uk/looking-for-advice/

My organisation wants to support the fund. How do we donate and what information will we get back?

Thank you for your generosity. Please email us at coronavirusfund@communityfoundation.org.uk and we will be in touch with the details of how to donate. If you wish, we will add your organisation’s name and logo to our list of supporters on this page. We’ll also give you material you can share with your staff and stakeholders about the fund and the organisations we support through it.

Can I specify that my donation is for a specific organisation or community?

To make sure we can run the fund as simply and effectively as we can, we need to pool all gifts into one pot for distribution. Therefore, we can’t accept gifts restricted for a specific organisation or area. If you have a particular charity or community group you want to support, we encourage you to give to them directly.

Can I donate goods or in-kind services rather than money?

Our focus with this fund is on getting financial support to charities and community organisations so they can respond to the virus and recover from its impact. We are not able to handle donations of goods or in-kind services ourselves. However, we encourage you to think about donating food to a local foodbank www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/. You may also want to get involved with your local community response – www.covidmutualaid.org is a good place to start.

Can I fundraise for the fund?

We appreciate the generosity of people who’d like to fundraise for us, but we do not want anyone running events or activities to raise funds which might go against Government advice on social distancing. Instead, we encourage you to share information about the fund and how to make a donation via our Just Giving page.

Is there a geographic focus for this fund?

The Fund will support charities and community organisations in Tyne & Wear (Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland) and Northumberland. If you want to support communities elsewhere in the UK or internationally, there is the National Emergencies Trust or the World Health Organisation appeal www.cafonline.org/home/covid-19-fund. You may wish to contact your local community foundation to see if there are similar funds in your area www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-network

How does this fund relate to the national appeal?

The National Emergencies Trust has launched a UK-wide fundraising appeal in partnership with the British Red Cross to support local charities. Some of the money raised will be allocated to us to award in grants in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. We will run that alongside our Fund. We do not yet have further details but recommend you keep an eye on our website as we'll publish more information when we have it. 

When will you announce funding decisions?

We expect grants from the Fund will be made on a rolling basis, beginning in the next few weeks. We will publish names of grantees and more information on a regular basis.

How is the Community Foundation covering the costs of this fund?

The Foundation's own income is being significantly affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. To make sure we can run the fund effectively and cover the necessary staff time, we are going to retain 5% of the net amount of new gifts to the fund. That means if your gift is eligible, the cost contribution will in effect come from the Gift Aid we claim. In recognition of the scale of the crisis, this is significantly less than the contribution we normally retain from funds. The contribution is something we will keep under review as the outbreak and our work in response progresses.  

Our Supporters

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required