Voluntary and charity sector



Local voluntary and charity sector (VCS) organisations have played a vital role in helping residents and responding to COVID-19. The Connecting Communities team is available to assist registered organisations by sharing information, resources and expertise, and by helping to co-ordinate and link groups together.

We can also assist and support registered organisations to access grants and funding. This may include figuring out what external grant opportunities are applicable to your organisation, supporting you through all stages of the application process, and reviewing your bid before it’s sent off.  

Take a look below for more information on how we can help registered organisations at this time.

For all queries please get in touch with the Connecting Communities team.

Social enterprises may also wish to visit the alternative sources of funding page.

Take a look below for more information on how we can help registered organisations at this time, and find a consolidated list of funding opportunities available.

This list will be updated on an ongoing basis

The government’s emergency support funding for charities is now open and being distributed via the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF). The application process is designed to be straightforward and fast. 

Other potential funding and grant opportunities that you can apply for:

Trust for London: A fund for projects which aim to tackles poverty and inequality in London. They have seven funding programmes for 2018-2022, details of which can be found in their funding guidelines. There are usually three closing dates each year. Upcoming deadline: 6 October

Rolling grant programmes Click to get info

National Lottery Awards for All England: Grants of up to £10,000 for organisations supporting people affected by COVID-19.

National Lottery Coronavirus Community Support Fund: A £200m fund as part of the Government’s £750m financial support package for charities and social enterprises. They can fund activities that support people and communities affected by COVID-19 and can also help organisations overcome acute financial difficulties that have resulted from the pandemic.

Government emergency support funding for charities distributed via the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) is now open.

Youth Futures Foundation - new open grants programme: Rolling grant programme for organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. Developmental grants between £30,000 - £800,000.

Magic Little Grants: Grants of up to £500 for small local charities projects that help people to stay active during social distancing.

Morrisons Foundation - COVID-19 Homeless Support Fund: Grants of up to £10,000 for work with the homeless.

Comic Relief Community Fund: Grants available to organisations with an income of less than £250,000 who can deliver work against one of Comic Relief’s four strategic themes.

Social Investment Business Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund: This is a £25m fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It has been established to make the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises. 

Arts Council: Their Project Grants, from £1,000 to £100,000 have reopened support individuals and organisations to get arts  activities up and running again.

We have a pool of around 4000 volunteers, many of whom have signed up to help the community response to COVID-19. If your organisation could benefit from more volunteers, or volunteers with specific skills and capabilities please get in touch.

We can help you to create a role description, speak to you about what your needs are and utilise our volunteer network to find relevant candidates who can help. Please note before volunteering begins, the council checks volunteers’ references and depending on the nature of the role will ensure recommended candidates are DBS (Disclosure and barring service) checked.

For all queries please get in touch with the Connecting Communities team

If you are providing support to residents around the delivery of food parcels, prescriptions or befriending, we would love to hear from you to discuss how you can work with existing providers across the borough who are delivering similar services. This way we can share valuable intelligence and foster greater collaboration between groups.

Crowdfunding Click to get info

Thanks so much to residents whose circumstances allowed for their generous donations to our crowdfunding campaign.

We were blown away that over 470 different individuals and organisations pulled together to support this campaign. Following a grant review process, over £39,000 has now been drawn down and distributed to local organisations helping to provide essential food supplies, prescription collections and befriending support. These organisations are Age UK WF, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest, Rukhsana Khan Foundation, Al-Fath Trust, Revert2 Reality, Samaritans of Waltham Forest, St Margaret with St Colomba, PL84U Al-Suffa and Waltamstow Salvation Army.

The Community Bank Click to get info

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, we underwent the application and bidding process for ‘Community Bank’, awarding funds to 16 local organisations across Leyton, Leytonstone, Chingford and Walthamstow to deliver projects which bring people together, with a focus on isolated or vulnerable groups.

We are delighted that seven of these organisations have remodelled their projects and are beginning to deliver these in a COVID-secure manner over the coming months. The remaining ten initiatives are on hold.

The organisations who are delivering projects in the coming months are:

  • Break Tha Cycle: This Chingford based organisation is delivering a ‘Parents with Power’ project which aims to equip parents and carers with tools and knowledge to support their children, particularly those at risk of school exclusion, or social exclusion and vulnerability to criminal exploitation. Through a revised model, parents will now be supported through online workshops and one-to-one support.  
  • Joyriders London: The ‘Cycling ToGetHer’ project focuses specifically on helping women in Leyton who may be isolated, vulnerable and/or economically inactive to connect with others and learn to cycle through monthly online coffee mornings, a blog and advice.
  • Ive Farm Community Garden: This project, which is open for all residents to learn to grow food together. This project is on hold in the short term to ensure it is delivered in a COVID-secure manner.
  • The Man Den: This project originally aimed to provide a play-based after school club which provided intergenerational mentoring to young people in Leytonstone, particularly to those at risk of exclusion. It is now being delivered through online workshops and one-to-one support for young people to combat social isolation and build confidence.
  • Project Zero: Originally this initiative was to be conducted in physical settings but now workshops will operate online to build the skills of young people in Walthamstow by encouraging youth social action and developing mentoring skills.
  • E17 Puppet Project: This initiative aims to nurture connections among adults living with mental health problems and/or experiencing social isolation in Walthamstow through online craft building workshops.
  • Waltham Forest Women’s Network: Through this project, the WFWN hosted an International Woman’s Day event to celebrate women in the community prior to lockdown. They have now remodelled their initiative to support women keyworkers with support through an online platform through workshops.

More information on the full distribution of funds as part of the Community Bank.

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