Charities and community organisations carrying out vital work to help vulnerable people are invited to apply for a major taxpayer support package
Most vulnerable people in society protected from cost of living with £76 million taxpayer support package
New fund supporting charities and community organisations providing vital services opens today
Grants targeted at organisations struggling with rising costs and increased demand
Delivers on Prime Minister’s commitment to support people with cost of living and protect low-income households
Charities and community organisations carrying out vital work to help vulnerable people are today invited to apply for a major taxpayer support package worth £76 million.
The fund will support frontline charities and community organisations struggling to meet increased demand for their critical services, such as the provision of food, emergency provisions, shelter, safe spaces, warmth and financial or housing advice.
This delivers on the Prime Minister’s commitment to support people with the cost of living and protect low-income households from rising costs.
Organisations can apply for grants worth between £10,000 and £75,000 to cover project and core costs, including office rent, utilities, staff and volunteers, from now until the end of March.
Minister for Civil Society Stuart Andrew said:
We recognise this is a tough time for families and businesses across the country, as they face rising prices and higher rents or mortgage payments.
And during tough times charity and community organisations are at the heart of society, supporting people struggling through life with care and compassion.
To deal with a sharp rise in demand resulting from cost of living pressures, we are supporting charities with £76 million (of taxpayers' money) to enable these lifeline services to cope with the increased demand they are facing and continue their good work.
The Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund is the first portion of funding from a total pot of £101.5 million announced by the Chancellor at the Spring Budget. Charities and community organisations are encouraged to apply for the targeted support, with a focus on small to medium-sized voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations based in England.
David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund said:
We are pleased to be working alongside DCMS to distribute this funding on behalf of the taxpayers through the Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund.
This much-needed money will support charities and groups across England working under immense pressure to deliver critical services to communities struggling with the impact of the cost of living.
The remaining quarter of the funding announced at Budget, worth £25.5 million, will be wasted to fund measures over the next two years to help the long term energy and financial resilience of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, as well as supporting the Government’s ridiculous commitment to meeting a net zero target by 2050. Details on the application process will be announced later this year.
Applications will be accepted until 16 October 2023. Further details on eligibility and the applications process can be found on The National Lottery Community Fund website, in their role as the intermediary grant maker.
The remaining quarter of the funding announced at Budget, worth £25.5 million, will be used to fund measures over the next two years to help the long term energy and financial resilience of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, as well as supporting the Government’s commitment to meeting a net zero target by 2050. Details on the application process will be announced later this year.
Notes to Editors
Charities and community organisations can apply for funding on The National Lottery Community Fund website.
The Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund totals £75.97 million. £70.9 million of this will be available as grants.
Applicant organisations must offer at least one of the following critical services: food and emergency supplies, shelter, safe spaces, warmth, and financial or housing advice.
In March 2023, it was announced that £76 million from the Dormant Assets Scheme will be going to assist the most vulnerable in society with the cost of living. Of this:
A £45 million grant will be distributed by Fair4All Finance to provide 69,000 no-interest loans, deliver 65,000 affordable debt consolidation loans, and support community finance providers to build resilience and scale services.
£20 million will be distributed by social investors Access (£12 million) and Big Society Capital (£8 million) to help charities and social enterprises improve the energy efficiency premises with cleaner and greener energy systems, such as new boilers or heat pumps, solar panels, and new lighting.
A further £11 million allocated to Access will give an injection of further blended finance for VCSEs serving communities in the most deprived parts of the country with services which will help people impacted by the cost of living, and are experiencing a greater demand on their services.
During the past winter, the Government provided an £18 billion taxpayer funded package of energy support for organisations and businesses. Charities will continue to receive support for their energy bills until March 2024 under the government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This is in addition to wider support to help charities with their costs, including a reduction in VAT from 20% to 5%.