Less than 5% of £200m Covid-19 funding pot has been distributed to charities

The National Lottery Community Fund has admitted that just £8.5m of £200m emergency government funding it is distributing to help small charities cope during the Covid-19 pandemic has been allocated.

The announcement comes amid concerns raised by the Directory of Social Change around a lack of transparency and delays in distributing the £200m funding pot, which is the first round of Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) money the NCLF is distributing.

In April Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750m support package for the voluntary sector amid the pandemic, including £370m for small charities.

Applications for the £200m first round of CCSF funding launched in May but the DSC has raised concerned about a lack of updates on how it is being spent and when remaining funds for small charities will be released.

In a statement issued today, the NLCF said: “From the £200 million allocated to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) in England, we have already committed just under £8.5million of emergency funding to almost 500 organisations supporting communities in crisis across the country, with much more to come as our funding teams work at pace to get the money out to where it is needed.”

The NLCF statement also reveals details of some of the charities to have received CCSF funding. This includes Barking based mental health charity Ultimate Counselling Training and Support Services. It has received around £10,000 to deliver food parcels and offer mental health counselling to vulnerable people from BAME communities.

Another is Cheshire based Ruby’s Fund, which has received just over £30,000 to provide therapy and counselling support to parents and carers of children with disabilities affected by loneliness and anxiety amid the pandemic.

“We’re proud of our team and of being able to support communities and the sector through these unprecedented times. We will continue to work hard to get this vital funding out to where it is needed most,” said Dawn Austwick, NLCF chief executive.

The DCS last week submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the NLCF on information about contracts to deliver funding as well as on how many applications have been received, progressed and successful.

In revealing details about the CCSF the NLCF has also revealed how much of its own funding it has awarded to community projects in the UK during the pandemic. From 24 March to 24 June it has awarded £200m to more than 7,100 small and medium sized organisations.

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