FAQs: Grants for the Emergency Fund

Who can apply?

Who can the fund support?
  • Registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations
  • Constituted organisations and non-registered charities
  • Community interest companies and community benefit societies
  • Churches and other religious organisations (if the activity is not deemed to be proselytising)
  • Partnerships or organisations working collaboratively can apply. The lead applicant would need to be one of the above
  • For the Emergency Fund only CCF will be welcoming applications from non-constituted or recently established organisations that can be endorsed by a statutory body e.g. parish council.

CCF grant criteria does apply. Please read the Grant Guidelines to confirm your eligibility priori to completing an application.

Due to the first phase of funding being for immediate impact, to those groups who financially need it the most, the following additional guidelines have been adopted:

  • Support can only be provided to the large local organisations with new initiatives,  additional to their normal core costs. This will need to be evidenced.
  • Grant awards will be proportional to the size of the group’s reserves. We would only expect to award projects their full request if their reserves are held at 6 months or less. Unless a larger proportion of the project was being funded by the group.
Can newly established, local aid groups apply?

We are aware many people have joined community efforts to look after the most vulnerable in society by volunteering to pick up shopping, deliver medicine etc. The Covid-19 Mutual Aid website provides advice on how to set up a local mutual aid group, including important guidance on safety and security.

For the Emergency Fund only CCF will be welcoming applications from non-constituted or recently established organisations that can be endorsed by a statutory body e.g. parish council.

If your group is a new initiative and you don’t have the supporting documents required email your Community Link Officer (see contact details on the map in this link), copying in communitynetworks@cornwall.gov.uk. They will then contact the relevant Cornwall Councillor/s to see if they are willing to support your project in principle and have sufficient funds in their Community Chest to do so. Each Cornwall Councillor has £2000 in their Community Chest, and demand is expected to be high.

Can individuals and households apply?

We understand COVID-19 pandemic is having, and will continue to have, a big impact on individuals and families in our area. Our Fund has been set up to support charitable organisations that can help people most affected. We are not providing grants directly to individuals or families. If you are worried about money or other issues, you can contact a CAB www.citizensadvicecornwall.org.uk/ or other local advice like www.ageuk.org.uk/cornwall/our-services/helpline/.

The Government has published guidance on the £500 million Hardship Fund that will provide support, including council tax relief, in 2020/2021 to those who need it most. These funds will be administered by the District Councils.

Can businesses apply?

We understand COVID-19 pandemic is having, and will continue to have, a big impact on individuals and families in our area. Our Fund has been set up to support charitable organisations that can help people most affected. We are not providing grants directly to businesses. We recommend you view Cornwall Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk where you can find information about the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Is there any other support provided by CCF?

CCF are fortunate to have an existing Crisis Fund to benefit people in emergency situations who are urgently in need of small, one off amounts of money. These funds can be accessed through charitable organisations throughout Cornwall who hold a pot of funds to distribute to individuals in crisis . Charitable organisations reaching people in Crisis can apply for £250 to distribute small amounts, usually £30 or less to a maximum of £90 when there is a need for immediate help, to alleviate destitution or poverty. We are encouraging organisations to call upon this fund more regularly to alleviate added pressure faced by individuals. We welcome top ups from existing recipients and new organisations working with those most vulnerable.

What will the Emergency Fund support?

What types of organisations and projects will the fund support?

This is a rapidly developing situation, and as a result, the focus of the Fund will continue to evolve in line with need and help required. Types of activity the Fund will prioritise:

  • Groups that support the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to ensure that their health and wellbeing is maintained
  • Groups and activities that support vulnerable people self-isolating (the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions etc)
  • Support for foodbanks and organisations working to combat hardship caused by the pandemic including child hunger
  • Community response coordination
  • Volunteer costs for new and existing organisations responding to the effect of the pandemic.
  • Additional costs of working remotely and adapting services delivered in the wider community
  • Additional support as required for emotional support, mental health and bereavement support
What examples of projects could this include?

For example, projects could include, but are not limited to:

• Support for vulnerable and older people in their homes, providing food and medicines
• Funding for community groups that are linked into the hubs being created to coordinate the above
• Special provision of crisis services for rough sleepers and those living in temporary accommodation with changed practices to keep clients and staff as safe as possible
• Free takeaway lunches and online youth services for young people in a very disadvantaged area, supported by local volunteers
• Non-perishable food and essential living and baby items for distribution to destitute refugees and asylum seekers
• To reach (with support and information) local residents who don’t have access to the internet/smartphones – via self-care packages, coordinating volunteers and keeping the local ‘hub’ accessible to them.

Who will benefit from support from these organisations?
  • Vulnerable people who are required to self-isolate
  • Older people (over 70) who are isolated, vulnerable and/or self-isolating
  • People with disabilities and/or underlying health difficulties
  • People returning home from hospital, who require additional help
  • Homeless people
  • People experiencing poverty as a result of the pandemic including low income families
  • Local communities requiring additional support
Can groups apply for loss of income?

We recognise that many small, local charities and community groups will be worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their income and fundraising. Our immediate priority is supporting groups who are providing activities to those who are most vulnerable. We cannot currently meet the need arising from loss of income. However should the Fund receive sufficient donations, we will consider applications for loss of income in a secondary phase of the Fund.

Can groups apply retrospectively?

Unfortunately this is something we do not offer, please do contact us in exceptional circumstances by emailing grants@cornwallfoundation.com.

Do I need safeguards in place?

I’m organising a group of volunteers. I understand that there isn’t a legal requirement for me to have my volunteers DBS checked, but should I do so anyway?

Many of the roles that volunteers will carry out in their local communities do not raise safeguarding issues and do not need a DBS check. You can have a look at the DBS eligibility guidance to confirm whether the activities your group propose to do are captured.

If your group’s activities are captured, under normal circumstances we would advise that having volunteers DBS checked is a prudent safeguarding step. There is, however, no legal requirement for you to have a DBS check. Regardless of whether you choose to have volunteers DBS checked, you should ensure your group follow simple, practical precautions such as working safely in pairs, keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts to safeguard all involved.

Do I need a safeguarding policy?

If you are taking action to help vulnerable people during the Covid-19 outbreak, follow the Government guidance and safeguarding good practice to keep everyone involved safe and well.

If you are new to safeguarding, read NCVO’s safeguarding resource for advice on how to get started with safeguarding  and guidance for people who want to volunteer during the pandemic.

Making an application

How do I apply?

Please refer to introduction to grants page. There are different requirements based on your group’s circumstances.

How much can I apply for?

For Constituted groups: Grants range from £500 – £5,000

For non-constituted groups: Grants of up to £500 in the first instance

Grants will only be made to groups and organisations that can evidence that they are working safely and adhering to government guidance regarding the virus.

How will I know if my application has been submitted correctly?

On completion of the application form you will be asked to verify the information given on the application form is true and your group has formally agreed that you can act on their behalf. You will also be asked to confirm that you have attached all necessary supporting documents.

On submission you will receive a confirmation e-mail. If you do not receive this please e-mail onlineforms@cornwallfoundation.com.

What happens next?

On receipt of your application an assessment will be carried out, we may be in contact if further information is required.

We will endeavour to process your application and get an outcome to you within 3 – 5 working days.

We will communicate with you by e-mail so please use an e-mail address that is regularly checked.

When submitting your application you ticked a box agreeing to the terms and conditions of the grant, please keep a copy for your records.


We do request all awardees to complete a simple online monitoring form, this will provide evidence of where the funds have been spent and the difference the grant has made to you and your beneficiaries. We will send a link to your online form within your outcome e-mail.

The information we receive will help us provide feedback to CCF’s generous donors. CCF are particular interested in receiving case studies, this provides a meaningful, real life account of the impact your organisation is making to those most in need.

Can groups apply more than once?

If organisations are providing ongoing support or have incurred costs they hadn’t expected, we may consider subsequent grant requests, but we encourage them to contact us before applying. You will also be required to submit CCF’s online monitoring form (sent with outcome e-mail) before reapplying.

Previously funded groups and forthcoming panels

What happens if I already received funding from CCF?

We are committed to:

Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way;
Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible;
Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings to ensure your work can continue. We are also urgently reviewing what funds we have available to help the work you will be doing in the community and how we can use those funds well, and quickly; and
Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

What if I am in the process of starting an application from an existing fund?

CCF’s current priority is to process the Emergency Fund applications as quickly as possible in order to reach those in greatest need during this crisis. To this end we have currently suspended all regular grant-making for projects. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to fund a great many of your invaluable projects in time, when we emerge out of this epidemic. Our Crisis Fund and a few programmes supporting individuals are still open for applications, please click here for a list.