The Covid-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions continue to hit the most disadvantaged people in the UK hardest. To maximise the impact of our funds, we are now implementing Stage II of our strategic response as detailed below. We continue to act under the principles in the Covid-19 Funders statement which was reissued to show the continued support of its 150+ signatory funders for civil society.
COVID RESPONSE STAGE II (August 2020 – July 2021)
With over 70% of the Company’s charitable funding for the new financial year pre-allocated in multi-year funding commitments, a strategic approach to available funds was needed.
SMALL GRANTS – STRENGTHENED PROGRAMME
The Small Grants programme re-opened in September 2020 with an increased budget, a simplified application process and a broad remit to support charities with an income of under £200,000, supporting vulnerable people in areas of high deprivation. Responsive and swift, holding 14 meetings over 10 months means charities have a decision (and potentially funds) within a month of applying. In response to lockdown 2.0, additional applications will be considered from the London Community Response Fund.
CHARITY MAIN GRANTS – SUPPORTING EXISTING GRANTEES
Additional unrestricted funding is being provided to 12 charities who had been supported on a multi-year basis but whose funding was finishing in this difficult year. These were identified from circa 30 charities as those who had adapted to ensure they could continue to meet the ongoing need for their services and could evidence a need for funds in the immediate future.
CHARITY MAIN GRANTS – NEW FUNDING
With evidence of increasing need and impactful delivery, the two priority areas of homelessness and domestic abuse were chosen as the focus for new grants in 2020-21. Striving to reduce duplication and save time and effort for the overstretched charities, we are working with two other charitable funders which will allow us to receive the same application, and then proceed as usual with our assessment process, developing a relationship directly with the shortlisted charity. These assessments are underway, with new grants to be decided in the first four months of 2021, with reduced timescales for the process to reflect the urgent need for funding.
LEATHERSELLERS’ PERSONAL GIVING AWARDS
The Leathersellers’ Company will shortly be launching the third year of its Personal Giving Appeal, offering match funding from the Leathersellers’ Company for any donations made by Liverymen or Freemen. The Small Grants Committee will again select three charities from those it has awarded funds since September 2020 and will be involving them in encouraging donations over the coming months.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE LEATHERSELLERS’ FEDERATION OF SCHOOLS AND PUPILS
Aware of the growing economic impact on lower income families, the Company responded quickly to news of the second lockdown, again providing a grant to provide weekly food hampers, to be delivered to 75 of the most vulnerable families for four weeks.
The Master and several of the Pastmasters also chose to nominate their annual donation from the Fund to a Christmas initiative to provide each of the 600+ families that receive free school meals across the Federation schools with an additional food voucher for the festive period.
Should you be interested in learning more about the above, or getting involved in supporting any of the above strands, please contact our Head of Grants, Natalia Rymaszewska.