One-off grants are available to charities and not-for-profit organisations in England for work that will relieve the hardship caused by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic among refugees and asylum seekers and by migrants experiencing barriers to accessing services.

Funding body: National Lottery Community Fund
Maximum value: £ 50,000
Application deadline: None Specified

The Barrow Cadbury Trust, which specialises in migration issues and the migration sector, is distributing £5 million in funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund’s COVID-19 Response Programme for England.

Objectives of Fund
The funding aims to help not-for-profit organisations in England to respond to needs arising directly or indirectly from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic or provide additional funds to help sustain their work with refugees and asylum-seekers and migrants.

For this fund, “migrants” refers to 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, people who have no recourse to public funds, and people who are destitute as a result of their immigration status.

Value Notes
A total of £5 million is being made available through this one-off fund.

The maximum grant available is £50,000 or three months’ expenditure, whichever is less.

Grants must be spent within six months and by 19 April 2021 at the latest.

Who Can Apply
Applications will be accepted from charities, companies limited by guarantee or a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee registered in England.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Have an income of between £10,000 and £1 million in their most recent year of operations.
  • Have at least three unrelated Trustees or, if a company, a Board with a majority of Directors (at least three unrelated) with no financial interest in the company.
  • Have as their organisation’s main purpose (as set out in their organisation’s governing document) support of asylum seekers, refugees or migrants.
  • Be able to start using the grant immediately as this is for short-term use


The following organisations are unlikely to receive funding:

  • Those that only work with people of a specific nationality.
  • Those that do not involve people with lived experience in the design, development and delivery of their activities.
  • Those 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.

The following cannot be funded:

  • 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.
  • Individual material benefit (eg,. buying computers or phones for people, cash payments, immigration fees, down payment for rent deposits).
  • Activities that are aimed at keeping cultural traditions alive, or anything unrelated to COVID-19.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Loan repayments.

Eligible Expenditure
The funding is given to provide services and support for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who are in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to help organisations overcome acute financial difficulties they are facing because of the pandemic.

The funding can be used for 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.)
    other needs arising from the pandemic
  • Changes to the organisation’s systems (for example moving to remote working or the introduction of new systems) that will better enable them to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, or small-scale changes to their premises to enable them 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 respond to the pandemic.
  • General running costs.
  • Interpretation costs or other costs specific to supporting this client group.
  • Contributions to fixed costs/overheads.

How To Apply
The deadline for applications is 2 August 2020.

There is a three-stage assessment process. Full details are on the Barrow Cadbury Trust website along with the guidance notes, Frequently Asked Questions and eligibility questionnaire.

Useful Links
Barrow Cadbury Trust – COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund

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