Coronavirus advice for Local Voluntary, Community, Charities and Faith Sector Groups

This page provides guidance for the VCF sector on the funding opportunities.

In an unprecedented time for all our communities, Mayor Ros Jones has established a series of interventions to support the great work our local voluntary, community, charities and faith sectors are undertaking on the ground to keep vulnerable people safe and well from Covid-19.

Covid-19 has already impacted acutely on many people’s lives, and we expect its effects to be felt for months to come. For vulnerable people facing a particularly challenging time and in need of additional support to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing, our local voluntary, community, charities and faith sector groups are a critical part of the response.

It is comforting to know that in such uncertain times a series of actions are already being delivered by local sector leaders and partners who have come together to support local community action in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This Inclusive approach demonstrates our collective effort in tackling and preventing further deterioration. Community organisations have an ability to genuinely operate and support communities by providing creative solutions that sometimes public organisations are unable to do so, thus becoming catalysts for change leading to genuine place-based working.

It is therefore in these unprecedented times I wish to announce the following funding support interventions to ensure our critical local sector organisations have the tools and support to continue the momentum of fighting back.

Doncaster Covid-19 Fighting Back Fund

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has committed to a 10 point COVID 19 action plan to help the most vulnerable people in Doncaster. The action plan included boosting funding for on the ground voluntary groups so they are in a better position to help people affected by COVID 19.

Additional funding has been secured through DEFRA to support people affected by COVID 19 with food and other essential goods over the next 12 weeks which is why Doncaster Council are inviting registered foodbanks from the voluntary, community and faith sector to apply to the Fighting Back Fund – Foodbank Activity.

It is expected projects will meet community need immediately. The maximum amount of funding each organisation can apply for is £5000 and groups should apply only for what is achievable in terms of project expenditure and value for money in terms of the numbers of people supported between the 21st August and 15th October 2020.

You should submit your Fighting Back Fund – Foodbank Activity application completed in full to no later than Tuesday 11th August 2020 at 5pm.

Who can apply?

Grants may help new or existing foodbanks who are constituted as groups from voluntary, community and faith groups, social enterprises, registered charities and groups of individuals who are acting for the benefit of the community.

Who cannot apply?

Grants cannot be awarded to the following:

  • Individuals (for personal benefit)
  • Groups not based or working in Doncaster
  • Private Businesses
  • National Organisations
  • Party political organisations

What can the fund be used for?

We are welcoming new and existing projects that require grant funding to provide planned support for Doncaster’s most vulnerable residents affected by the impact of COVID 19. Planned support is subject to foodbank related activity or essential items for Doncaster residents such as:

  • Delivery of meals and emergency food parcels to the most vulnerable people affected by the impact of COVID 19.
  • Essential supplies to ensure those who are unable to afford them due to the impact of COVID 19 are adequately supported.
  • Workers or volunteers are supported with transport costs and out of pocket costs incurred. It is expected projects will keep records of mileage use for volunteers at a rate of 45p per mile. If volunteers are paid more than what it costs to reimburse mileage or out of pocket expenses then it’s interpreted as remuneration for their services or a benefit in kind which should be recorded through HMRC.
  • It is expected that every person supported by the project activity will be affected by COVID 19. Examples of people affected by COVID 19 include but are not limited to loss of temporary/ permanent employment; support vulnerable people shielding to mitigating the risk from contact with other people; Doncaster residents impacted by delays to payment of universal credit.
  • By providing food parcels and related daily essentials the project may mitigate the risk of local outbreaks or tackle social isolation for vulnerable people impacted by COVID 19.
  • Practical support to the most vulnerable in our communities in a safe and responsible way with due regard to public health guidance and adequate use of personal protective equipment.

What cannot be funded?

  • Activities which promote a political party or is of a religious nature
  • Any costs incurred in putting together an application for this fund
  • Work associated with land or building projects
  • Groups not able to provide supporting evidence of local need
  • Outstanding debts
  • Retrospective action or costs
  • Duplicate grants for projects that do not demonstrate additional activity

This list is not exhaustive. If you are unsure whether your project will be eligible for funding, or if you need any clarification, please contact the Fighting Back Fund Team.

How will I know if I am successful?

If your application is successful you will receive a grant agreement letter which you will need to sign electronically and return via email before funding can be released. Funding will be paid into your nominated bank account in the group’s name.

You will be notified if your application is unsuccessful. There is no right of appeal.

Things to remember

  • If your application is accepted you will be accountable for the money and you will need to produce evidence of expenditure against project activity.
  • In carrying out activities, you will need to adhere to Government advice and guidance about keeping yourself and others safe from the spread of COVID 19.
  • Monies from the fund will be paid directly to a Bank Account
  • Grants must be spent as stated in the grant approval letter.
  • Please collate/ retain evidence on the benefit to the community arising from this funding.
  • Where possible, groups will be expected to ask beneficiaries to sign a notification stating that they have been impacted by COVID 19.
  • Wherever possible beneficiaries supported will be encouraged to access advice through the financial resilience programme coordinated by Citizens Advice to address ongoing financial needs.

Doncaster Community Fund – Elected Members Ward Budget (Grants up to £3k available)

This funding sits alongside the wider Covid-19 Doncaster Fighting Back Fund and seeks to provide financial support for smaller groups, who may not be eligible for other funding streams, to make a positive impact in their community. Each Elected Member has an allocation of £3k and will be working closely with local groups to ensure resources are targeted at those most vulnerable in our communities in a safe and responsible way. Key areas include tackling social isolation, supporting statutory services to enable them to focus on and deliver essential services and creative ideas around the five ways to well-being to keep people (or get) people connected. Further information is available from your local elected members.

Bespoke funding searches and the latest external funding news

The Policy & Insight Team throughout this period will continue to issue regular external funding bulletins detailing the latest external funding opportunities, in addition, the team have the facility to undertake bespoke external grant searches, if you would like to receive this information please do not hesitate to contact

Doncaster Movement (crowdfunding platform)

If you are interested in an alternative way of financing your project, the Council in collaboration with SpaceHive currently run a crowdfunding platform, the platform is easy to use and contains support from SpaceHive to ensure the pitch reaches its target audience.

Other sources of information and support for VCF

In addition to the above, a number of Regional and National organisations have taken the unprecedented step of launching UK wide disaster relief funds in response to the coronavirus, our regular external funding newsletter will signpost you to the details of these and the specific details of eligibility, in addition, we have dedicated external funding staff that can advise you on eligibility rules and procedure.


Last updated: 04 August 2020 10:54:21