COVID-19 Support Fund


Please note – the below is for information only.  The Fund is now closed. 


COVID-19 support fund for the specialist migration sector

Barrow Cadbury Trust is partnering with The National Lottery Community Fund to distribute COVID-19 emergency response funding to the migration charity sector in England. We have £5 million to distribute for work that will relieve hardship caused by the pandemic among refugees and migrants experiencing barriers to accessing services.

The programme was designed to support small to medium sized organisations with a mission to support refugees and migrants and was open for a three week period. The fund closed on 2 August, but we had slightly fewer application than expected so have re-opened it for a second round of applications and extended the eligibility criteria. The programme is now open to organisations with an income of £10,000 to £3 million that provide services and support targeted at refugees and migrants. This includes organisations that only work with these groups and those that have more general objects but are seeking to maintain or expand existing services targeted at refugees and migrants.

There is no deadline for applications but we will close the programme once we have enough applications to ensure the funds are spent, while keeping success rates high. Organisations that met the original criteria for the programme and applied by 2 August will have priority and be assessed first. As we have not set a close date we recommend that if your organisation is eligible you should submit your application without delay.

The maximum you can apply for is £50,000 or three months’ expenditure, whichever is the smaller. Decisions will be made by mid-October and grants must be spent within six months.

The Barrow Cadbury COVID-19 Support Fund is one of eight expert partnerships, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, to ensure almost £59m of National Lottery funding reaches communities most vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. It can only be spent on needs arising directly or indirectly from the pandemic, such as not on wider issues such as support with immigration claims. It cannot be spent on campaigning or political activity.

If you have received COVID-19 support funding from another source we will ask you to explain how that funding and this application differ.  You can apply for funding from us if you already hold a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Response Fund but the grants must be for different activities. Please contact us if you need guidance on this.

Who can apply?

You can apply if:

  • Your organisation is a charity, company limited by guarantee or a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee registered in England with:
    • an income of between £10,000 and £3 million in your most recent year of operations;
    • at least three unrelated Trustees or, if you are a company, a Board with a majority of Directors (at least three unrelated) with no financial interest in the company.
  • Your organisation’s main purpose and activities or you have a track record of supporting refugees or migrants.
  • For the purposes of this fund, by “migrants” we mean people born overseas who are experiencing barriers to accessing services and whose difficulties are compounded by the pandemic. They may for example have restricted or unclear rights to live in the UK, have no recourse to public funds or be destitute as a result of their immigration status.

What will we fund?

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund is given to provide services and support targeted at people in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in our case refugees and migrants, or to help organisations overcome acute financial difficulties they’re facing because of the pandemic. We can fund a range of things, for example:

  • Activities and services: any activity that is related to COVID-19, for example:
    • enabling access or providing the necessities of life (food, accommodation);
    • mental health support or activities to prevent loneliness and isolation;
    • help with home schooling for children, building digital skills;
    • preventing exploitation or domestic abuse arising from the pandemic situation
    • referral to other services that will help people cope with the pandemic (advice, health, social security etc.);
    • purchasing items that will help those you support deal with issues arising from the pandemic, for example internet access, electronic equipment. If you are seeking funding for this type of expenditure you must make it clear how the items you will fund and the pandemic are linked and have processes in place to assess and manage items you make available;
    • other needs arising from the pandemic.
  • Changes to your systems (for example moving to remote working or the introduction of new systems) that will better enable you to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, or small scale changes to your premises to enable you to safely provide services
  • Staff salaries or other investment in staff (such as training or support in relation to the demands of COVID-19)
  • Volunteers’ expenses
  • Equipment to help you respond to the pandemic
  • General running costs
  • Interpretation costs or other costs specific to supporting this client group
  • Contributions to fixed costs/overheads

We are unlikely to fund:

  • organisations that work exclusively with people of a specific nationality;
  • organisations that do not involve people with lived experience in the design, development and delivery of their activities
  • organisations that have substantial (more than three months’ operating costs) unrestricted reserves and are not drawing on them to respond to the crisis unless they have good reasons for preserving those reserves

We can’t fund:

  • Any political or campaigning activities intended to influence Parliament, Government or political parties, or any lobbying intended to influence the awarding of grants or contracts or attempting to influence legislation or regulatory activity
  • Services that are not specifically targeted at migrants, refugees or asylum seekers
  • Substantial costs falling to an individual e.g. immigration fees, rent or rent deposits
  • Activities that are aimed at keeping cultural traditions alive, or anything unrelated to COVID-19
  • Things you have already spent money on and are looking to claim for now
  • Loan repayments

How much I apply for and for what length of time?

You can apply for up to £50,000 or 3 months expenditure (using the expenditure in your most recent completed year of operations), whichever is the less. So for example if your expenditure in the year to 31 March 2020 was £150,000 you can apply for up to £37,500 (three months’ expenditure). If your expenditure was £1 million you can apply for £50,000 (the maximum under this programme).

Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund is for short term use only. You must spend your grant within six months, and by 19 April at the latest. You should not apply to this fund if you are not able to take up and start using your grant immediately.

This fund is not suitable for every organisation. If you are not eligible to apply, see The National Lottery Community Fund webpage and the Charity Excellence Framework for other sources of COVID-19 emergency funding.

How will we decide which organisations to fund?

Our panel will be made up of Trustees and senior staff from the Trust alongside people with lived experience and knowledge of the migration sector.

As each of these stages is complete we will inform unsuccessful applicants and provide feedback. To apply, please complete our eligibility questionnaire here.

Other questions?

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions here.

Our panel will be made up of Trustees and senior staff from the Trust alongside people with lived experience and knowledge of the migration sector.

As each of these stages is complete we will inform unsuccessful applicants and provide feedback. To apply, please complete our eligibility questionnaire here.