COVID-19 Response Funding

We are updating this guidance to support organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic – this document is a work in progress and will be reviewed as necessary. 

Many funders will have already been in touch directly with their grantees about the support they may be able to offer. If you are currently in receipt of grant funding contact your funder directly to discuss your support needs.  

There are a number of funders and organisations who are offering COVID-19 response funding to voluntary and community sector organisations:


County Durham COVID-19 Response Fund

Issue 1 - as at 30th March 2020

The COVID-19 Fund has been set up to support community groups and organisations through this period of uncertainty. The focus is to offer emergency funding to deal with emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. This will be to directly support work in the community, and to help organisations survive over this period of closures and isolation. 

Up to £5,000 is available to support the following themes:

Theme 1: Proactive

Your project may be new or something you currently deliver but it must respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Your activity must also complement the support measures that are being put in place in your communities by the statutory authorities e.g. local authority led community hubs.

Theme 2: Recovery and Resilience

We anticipate that this fund will be heavily subscribed.  In this first phase of emergency funding, priority will be given to applications that meet Theme 1. Applications for Theme 2 will be accepted but they will be given lower priority.

For full details on the fund and who can apply please visit the CDCF website here

Durham County Council Area Action Partnerships (AAP's) Funding

Community and voluntary groups can now access an additional £1.4 million of funding to help provide much-needed support during the Coronavirus pandemic. Each of the 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAP's) have been given an extra £100,000 to allocate to groups who are working hard to provide support at a grass roots level across the county. In addition, local councillors are being provided with flexibility to use their neighbourhood budgets to support community groups and the voluntary sector by releasing revenue funding previously allocated for capital projects. 

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund

In this time of national crisis, CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) has launched this rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.   

This is intended as a rapid response fund, and they aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.

The Prince's Countryside Fund Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme

For farming and rural community support groups, who are providing assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic. The grants aim to sustain rural communities, improve the prospects of viability for farm and rural businesses, and support aid delivery in an emergency and build resilience. 

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

This new fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It is specifically targeted at organisations including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing crisis. 

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust COVID-19 Response 

This Trust is providing support to all of their grant holders to help them continue their work, delivering emergency funding quickly to support veterans who are particularly vulnerable, and launching a package of programmes to support the Armed Forces Community with funding from the Covenant Fund and from HM Treasury. 

National Lottery Awards for All England

Awards for All are currently prioritising applications that relate to coronavirus. Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available. You can download the guidance notes here

Neighbourly Community Fund

With the support of partner businesses M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners, Neighbourly are launching a series of micro-grants of up to £400 to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the new Coronavirus outbreak. Grants will be awarded to existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work will involve supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak. 

NCVO Contingency Planning and Financial Implications

What you need to do to prepare for the potential impacts of coronavirus on your charity's or voluntary organisation's operations and finances, including information on what to expect from funders.

You can also access funding searches to look for available grants:



Durham County Council manage a funding portal called Durham4Community for community groups which you can sign up to for free. It allows you to search for funding schemes available to your group, apply for funding and get advice on producing your funding application. 

VONNE Funding Directory 


To support the voluntary and community sector under these exceptional circumstances, VONNE have temporarily made their online Funding Directory accessible to all. Usually a benefit for their Silver and Gold Membership+ supporters, the resource contains the details of more than 100 charitable trusts and foundations that are actively funding charities and community groups in the North East region. The directory is regularly reviewed and updated, and is searchable by area of work, geography, type of funding and grant amount.

Please check our social media pages for the most up to date information on funding opportunities or sign up to receive our e-bulletins here