COVID-19 Community-led Organisations Recovery Scheme

Some of our COVID-19 response funding is being awarded through a carefully selected range of specialist partners.

Application deadline

This programme is now closed

What's it all about?

When the COVID-19 crisis struck, we knew that providing emergency funding at speed would be vital to those people and communities that were hit the hardest by the pandemic and lockdowns.

Through our expertise as the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we identified a number of organisations and charities that were better placed than us to get this critical funding quickly into the hands of particular groups and communities.

Following due diligence checks, we authorised several intermediary organisations – which we knew had the experience, expertise, and networks – to efficiently distribute National Lottery money to these communities, on our behalf.

By putting our trust in these specialist partners, we ensured £59 million of National Lottery funding reached those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 – helping them change and adapt to the crisis and become more resilient in the face of new and future challenges.

“This process is a true example of how funding in London should be delivered. It allows small organisation, like us, to receive funding that may not have been available to us previously. It's had a huge impact on us.” – Applicant to London Community Fund

We authorised several intermediary organisations who, thanks to National Lottery players, were able to distribute National Lottery money on our behalf. These were:

  • We provided £5 million to The Community Justice Fund – supporting specialist social welfare legal advice organisations who provide advice and support to people who are pushed into crisis.
  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we awarded £5.5 million to Covid-19 Homelessness Response Fund – helping small and medium-sized #homelessness charities that needed to expand or adapt in light of COVID19.
  • Nearly £9.5 million went to the COVID-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme - aimed at organisations delivering local services supporting people at high risk of COVID19.
  • Working with UnLtd, Big Issue Invest, Resonance, The Key Fund and School for Social Entrepreneurs, we established £19.7 million COVID-19 Social Enterprise Support Fund Partnership to support social enterprises during COVID-19.
  • We awarded over £5 million to The Barrow Cadbury Trust Covid-19 Support Fund – helping small and medium voluntary sector groups supporting migrants and refugees experiencing hardship caused by the pandemic.
  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we awarded £7 million to the London Community Response Fund – working with London Funders to support charities and community groups across London.
  • As many charities initially struggled to shift services online, we provided nearly £5 million to the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response – organisations impacted by COVID-19 and looking to improve their digital capabilities.
  • Working together with Buttle UK, we were able to provide £2 million in National Lottery grants to support vulnerable children and young people adversely impacted by the recent COVID-19 crisis.
  • In partnership with Smallwood Trust, we set up The COVID-19 Frontline Women’s Fund, providing £500K to support organisations that are working with women most at risk of poverty and financial hardship due to the pandemic.