Smallwood Trust – Women’s Urgent Support Fund

The Women’s Urgent Support Fund is supported by £5.43 million of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to respond to the cost-of-living crisis. The Fund is delivered by Smallwood Trust.

The programme will provide emergency funding for organisations delivering frontline services and is led by, for and/or serving women enabling them to respond to the spike in demand of priority basic needs from women who are most at risk of poverty, because of the cost-of-living-crisis.

The funding is for projects that meet at least one of the core objectives of the fund:

  • Frontline organisations led by and/or supporting women can respond to an identified increase in demand, brought on by the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Frontline organisations can meet the basic priority needs of women at most risk of poverty, because of the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Frontline organisations led by and/or supporting women will be strengthened during the cost-of-living crisis.

The programme will provide emergency funding which helps to meet the following objectives:

  •  Women affected by the cost-of-living crisis and poverty gain confidence, tools, skills and support to build their financial resilience and improve their mental health.
  •  Vital frontline jobs/roles and services will be protected or enhanced by additional funding enabling organisations led by and serving women to meet increased demand for their services.

There is a total of £2.2 million for Round 2. It is expected that around 35 organisations will receive a grant.

Grants of between £15,000 and £60,000 over three years are available. This should be split across the three years, with a maximum of £20,000 per year.

Projects must start by November 2024 and all funds must be spent by November/December 2027.

To be eligible to apply, organisations must:

  • Be delivering frontline services which are led by, for and/or serving women.
  • Be responding to identified need and demand as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Be based in England, especially within the priority geographic areas.
  • Have an annual turnover of less than £1 million.
  • Have their own UK based bank account with at least two unrelated signatories.
  • Have their own management committee with at least three unrelated members.
  • Have a written governing document.

Priority will be given to organisations and/or services supporting the following groups:

  • Women experiencing racial inequality.
  • Disabled women.
  • Women with No Recourse to Public Funds.
  • Women that are the sole parent to children under 18 years.
  • LGBTQ+ communities experiencing financial insecurity.

At least 50% of grants will be committed to projects that support women experiencing racial inequality and/or disabled women.

Applications from smaller organisations are encouraged.

Applications from partnerships will be accepted.

The fund can cover the following types of costs:

  • Emergency support and to meet the priority basic needs of women in the community through, for example, normal charitable support including welfare packs, food or clothing (these should be purchased by the organisation to distribute to women in their community, using their usual policy and processes).
  • Dedicated organisational capacity development.
  • Staff salaries.
  • Project activities.
  • Running costs.
  • Equipment.
  • Organisational development.
  • Contributions to fixed costs.

Round 2 is a two-stage application process:

  • Stage 1: Complete an online Expression of Interest Form by the deadline of 21 June 2024 (5pm).
  • Stage 2: Smallwood will invite around 100 organisations to submit a full application

Full guidance notes, FAQs and an online Expression of Interest form can be found on the Smallwood Trust website. 

Groups can also submit their Expression of Interest as a video or audio file.

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