The Ministry of Defence has announced £6 million of funding for armed forces charities doing vital work to support serving personnel, veterans and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. The money is part of a package of support announced by the Chancellor in April to ensure charities can continue their vital work during the pandemic. The sum is in addition to existing funding for veteran’s mental health and the Armed Forces Covenant Trust.
The money will be administered by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, backed by the MOD and the Cabinet Office, and distributed in grant form to charities and Community Interest Companies across the UK addressing the impact of coronavirus on the elderly (including care homes), on mental and physical health, on welfare, on domestic violence, on housing, the criminal justice system, service families (including childcare), and in terms of bereavement and employment.
Grants of up to £60,000 (or £125,000+ in exceptional circumstances) are available. Applicants must demonstrate that they have:
- a strong history of working with people from Armed Forces communities, with at least one year’s worth of published accounts;
- fewer resources coming into their organisation due to Covid-19
- the same, or increased, demand for the services that they deliver to people from Armed Forces communities.
The application process opened on Tuesday 12 May and is published on the Covenant Fund’s website. A separate decision-making board for applications has been appointed – this includes representatives from MOD, the Cabinet Office and Cobseo, the sector body for Armed Forces charities. Organisations in receipt of a grant must commit to spending it all by 31 October 2020. The closing date for applications is Friday, 29 May 2020 and detailed guidance on making an application can be found here.
Small and medium sized charities are advised that they can also bid for funding through the National Lottery Community fund, which has an allocation of £370 million to support the sector.