During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government launched the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF), funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and distributed by the National Lottery Fund. The CCSF was targeted at small to medium community organisations and aimed to (1) increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the Covid-19 crisis, and (2) reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises.
A report evaluating the impact of the CCSF, which distributed almost £2 million in 8,247 grants, was published in September. The grants were used to increase community support to vulnerable people and reduce temporary charity closures, in line with the CSSF’s aims.
The report’s key findings include:
- approximately 6.58 million people were helped by the grants. These beneficiaries came from across a wide range of groups, of which the most common were people with mental health conditions, people with longstanding illnesses or disabilities, children and young people, and people facing financial hardship.
- the majority of grant recipients used funding to adapt to deliver new or existing activities, to continue to operate, and/or to respond to increased demand. A large amount of support was provided over the phone or online, although more than half of grant recipients provided at least some of their support face-to-face.
- one in five grant recipients used the funding to bring back staff or prevent them from being furloughed.
- many grant recipients used the CCSF funding to adapt their volunteer resource to meet an increase or change in demand.