Covid-19 Recovery Fund
Community and Personal Resilience Grant

INTRODUCTION

Community and Personal Resilience grants are being funded from the Government’s Covid-19 Outbreak Management funds as part of Herefordshire Council’s Covid-19 recovery plan, supporting economic recovery and improving wellbeing in Herefordshire..

 

KEY DATES:
INITIAL FUNDING ROUND CLOSES 14 OCTOBER 2021.
PROJECTS TO COMPLETE BY 30 JUNE 2022.

Herefordshire Council is offering funding to support the Covid-19 recovery plan, supporting economic recovery and improving wellbeing in Herefordshire.

The global Covid-19 pandemic and resulting measures to reduce the spread of the virus have had an unprecedented impact on the national and local economy, and on people’s well-being and mental, as well as physical, health.

The Herefordshire Community Wellbeing Survey 2021 found:

  • 28% reported high levels of anxiety.
  • 32% experienced a drop in household income.
  • 33% were doing less exercise.
  • 30% were sleeping less well.

Local data also shows that 17.8% of the population in Herefordshire is classed as inactive. Wellbeing is the lowest in those living the most deprived areas.

Herefordshire Council has also experienced significant increases in those claiming unemployment benefits, 123% compared to March 2020.

See details of Herefordshire’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan. Useful sources of intelligence and research, including the Talk Community Wellbeing Survey 2021, can be found on the Understanding Herefordshire site.

The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector has provided exceptional support to our communities across Herefordshire during the pandemic and many organisations have experienced an increase in demand and higher complexity in the support needed.

A survey of the sector last year indicated that 43% of organisations had seen an increase in demand for their services and 61% required support to access income generation opportunities and had funding requirements.

As part of the Covid 19 Recovery Plan Herefordshire Council is also commissioning an extensive review of the VCSE sector, which will include scoping and mapping activity, a greater understanding of the impact of Covid 19, the issues it currently faces and future challenges and opportunities.

To take the learning from this, the Community and Personal Resilience Grant will operate in two funding rounds.

The initial funding round will enable us to continue to develop and support the sector as it plays a vital role in strengthening our communities and promoting personal resilience through the services and activities they provide, which can offer individuals greater choice.

The second funding round will reflect findings of the VCSE sector review.

Both funding rounds will have a completion date of 30 June 2022 with all expenditure defrayed by this date.

AIM

The overall aim of the Community and Personal Resilience Fund is:

  • To build and accelerate projects that seek to improve the overall health and wellbeing across all ages of the Herefordshire population and improve the lives of those most affected fastest by working in partnership with the VCSE.

OUTCOMES

Outcomes to be achieved through the grants scheme are:

  • Increased numbers of people supported to address the adverse personal impact on them by Covid 19.
  • Increased mental health and wellbeing of Herefordshire residents adversely impacted by Covid 19.*
  • Fewer people feeling lonely and isolated.*
  • Increased resilience of community organisations to respond to the needs of local residents.
  • Increased capacity of the VCSE sector to build individual and community resilience.

* Projects will need to be able to demonstrate these outcomes through a recognised method such as Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing.

 

What can the grant be used for?

You can apply for a grant to fund for any activity, service or equipment, excluding core operating costs, that will increase VCSE capacity to improve the lives of those residents and those communities which have been adversely impacted by COVID 19.

We will consider both communities of place and interest, direct delivery of services and projects that are ready to go and that you will be able to undertake within the given time period.

You should note the following:

  • Projects will need to demonstrate the need for their proposal and how it will improve resilience for individuals and communities.
  • Support provided must be a new activity, be free of charge to participants and inclusive.
  • We welcome project ideas delivering activities to residents of any age anywhere in the county.
  • We will consider both communities of place and interest.
  • You will need to complete the project by 30 June 2022 with all expenditure defrayed by this date. You will therefore need to demonstrate when you submit your application that your project is ready to go and that you will be able to undertake it within the time period. You need to demonstrate that your costs are realistic and value for money.
  • You will need to consider sustainability and ongoing support for residents and communities at the end of the project.
  • We will consider projects which focus on increasing/building back an organisation’s capacity if it can show that it will benefit residents/communities adversely affected by COVID 19.
  • The fund cannot be used for statutory provision.
When can I apply and how much for?

The initial funding round is open for applications up to 14 October 2021.

There will be a further funding round in November/December 2021 which will be informed by the VCSE Sector Review.

The maximum amount of grant that can be applied for is £10,000 during the lifetime of the scheme. Although we are not specifying a lower level, we want projects which will be both value for money and have a significant impact.

Match funding is encouraged to demonstrate wider support by other partners but is not required for this grant.

Who can apply?

We will accept applications from one of the following:

  • Voluntary and community organisations
  • Registered charities
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO)
  • Not-for-profit companies
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC)
  • Parish and town councils
  • Sports groups
  • Parent Teacher Associations

The organisation must already be working with their local community and have a demonstrable track record of delivery. It must also have a constitution or similar governing document, a bank account and be able to show 12 months’ worth of accounts.

How to apply and deadline

Herefordshire Community Foundation are administering the grant on behalf of Herefordshire Council. Please click the button below to start the application process.

All applications must be received by 14 October 2021 for assessment at the Fund Panel meeting to be held on 26 October 2021.

What happens next?

Once received, Herefordshire Community Foundation will acknowledge receipt of your grant application by email. The grant application will be assessed by our Grants Officer who will make recommendations either for the application to be approved or rejected, or you may be asked for further information to support your application.

Grant applications are assessed on their individual merit by an independent panel against the grant funding eligibility criteria, the impact of the project and that it demonstrates value for money.

Based on your application and any further information you may have been asked to provide, we will advise you of the decision to either:

  • Offer a grant.
  • Offer a grant with some specific conditions.
  • Reject the application detailing the reasons why the application was not accepted.

As this is a discretionary grant with limited funds the panel’s decision is final. There is no appeals process, however it does not preclude you from applying for other funding.

When Can I Start My Project?

When you receive your offer by email, this will set out how much grant Herefordshire Council are prepared to offer and detailing any specific conditions. If you are happy to accept the grant offer and associated conditions, you will need to email back confirmation of your acceptance. You can commence once we have received your confirmation.

You will be required to keep all paperwork relating to the grant spend, e.g. tender/procurement information (quotes), all invoices, receipts, cheque stubs and bank statements. You will be required to monitor and report on progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in your grant application. You will also be required to participate in any ongoing evaluation of the Covid-19 Recovery Fund.

What are Grant Offer Terms & Conditions?

Terms and conditions of the grant will be sent with the application form and again if you are offered a grant.

Key points to consider are:

  • You should not start your project until you have sent your acceptance of the terms and conditions.
  • You should keep all paperwork relating to your project, i.e. all invoices, receipts and bank statements.
  • Information relating to user feedback and progress towards the outputs of your project should also be kept.
  • Eligible expenditure is that which has been paid on invoices or receipts that have been defrayed and are dated after the offer letter has been agreed by all parties.
  • Other specific conditions of grant will be included with your offer if applicable.
How do I submit my claim for payment?

You can claim the grant payment as soon as you have signed and returned your offer letter, subject to meeting any conditions which have been specified prior to receipt of the grant.

When do I need to submit my monitoring report?

Once all the grant funding in your application has been spent you will need to complete a monitoring report within four weeks of completion.

This will need to summarise how the grant has been spent with reference to the fund criteria, the outcomes achieved, and a breakdown all the income received and all the expenditure incurred.

There will be a simple online form for you to submit.