£1.4m fund launched for coronavirus response

A £1.4m fund has opened for charities to increase access to key services and activities that have been impacted by lockdown or social distancing.

The Peter Sowerby Foundation has invited charities to apply to its Increasing Access Fund, to benefit people who have struggled to access key services and activities during Covid-19, due to lockdown measures or the organisations’ inability to deliver services in a Covid-secure way.

The Foundation said it will look to support work in the following key areas:

  • Healthcare Innovation – Organisations in the fields of disability, medical research, mental health and those supporting individuals with long-term health conditions.
  • Community – Organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people.
  • Environment – Organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues.
  • Arts – Organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by Covid-19.

Five ‘digital breakthrough grants’ of up to £100,000 will be offered to support charities with a maximum turnover of £5m to transform health and social care through digital service delivery.

The Foundation will provide grants through three separate streams of funding. These are:

  • Five grants of up to £100,000, to large charities piloting new systems for delivering health and social care. This fund could support organisations to:
    • Pilot and test new digital service delivery that will transform existing services.
    • Invest in digital skills development to better service beneficiaries and to launch new digital services.
    • Invest in digital equipment to facilitate digital service delivery.
  • Grants of up to £25,000 for charities transforming or adapting their services digitally. This strand of funding seeks to support organisations to:
    • Pilot and test new digital service delivery that will transform existing services.
    • Invest in digital skills development to better service beneficiaries and to launch new digital services.
    • Invest in digital equipment to facilitate digital service delivery.
  • Grants of up to £25,000 for charities piloting, testing or launching new services. This strand of funding seeks to support organisations to:
    • Pilot and test new service delivery in response to the Covid-19 situation.
    • Transform existing services to adapt to the Covid-19 situation.

The Increasing Access Fund closes to applications at 17:00 on 16 November.

The Foundation was established in 2013, using an endowment from Dr Sowerby and his late wife after he made a personal fortune developing clinical software, it has made grants worth more than £10m to around 65 organisations.

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