The London Community Response was launched four days after the start of lockdown, and has now awarded over £11m to support the capital’s community and voluntary organisations during the covid-19 pandemic.
In an unprecedented funder collaboration, more than 50 funders have contributed to the Response, with founding funders the Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation’s Charitable Funder the City Bridge Trust and Bloomberg L.P. all making an initial donation of £1m. The Mayor of London has since added an extra £4m to the funding pot, and the total funds pledged across the collaboration now stands at over £18m.
The £11m represents over 1,100 grants that have been awarded across every London borough, focusing on priority areas identified through listening to communities and civil society groups. Groups have used London Community Response funding for essential work supporting people across communities - including supplying emergency food packages, adapting advice services and ensuring that rough sleepers are kept safe.
‘Delivering differently’ grants from the London Community Response are pausing today at 5pm. Crisis response grants will remain open to cover the immediate needs of communities. Further funding will be announced from the London Community Response in early June, and will be based around ongoing conversations with both the sector and of course, Londoners.
Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, said:
“Community and voluntary organisations across the capital are experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for their services, and this funding is helping them to continue their vital work and support more Londoners during these challenging times. From providing emergency food to essential advice and support, they are showing the very best of our city and I urge all eligible groups to continue applying to the fund so that they can keep supporting our communities who are most in need, and that the Government urgently steps up its support to keep these vital groups operating.”
Jemma Read, Head of Philanthropy, Bloomberg L.P. said:
“We are proud of the impact this fund is having on some of London's hardest hit communities. Thanks to an outstanding cross-sector effort, many of London's most impactful nonprofit organisations can continue to provide vitally important services. As we look beyond the initial phase of the pandemic, much more funding is needed to protect the long-term viability of our city's nonprofit sector and the communities they serve. We encourage the support of many more businesses and look forward to collaborating across the sector so that the needs of Londoners can continue to be met.”
Daniel Chapman, Grants Manager, Walcot Foundation said:
“We have been really impressed with the London Community Response process. It’s enabled us as a place-based funder in Lambeth to effectively co-ordinate our grant-making with other funders and to get money out of the door quickly and effectively. Most importantly it has saved significant time and resources for local community groups so that they only have to write one application form to reach many potential funders.”
Dr Steven Platts, Chief Executive, Groundswell said:
“Thanks to London Community Response funding, we have been able to train volunteers to check in on clients wellbeing over the phone and cover additional technology costs. Recently one volunteer spoke to a client who had his benefits stopped and had been in a flat with no food or electricity for two weeks. As a result of this call we were able to get food to him and alert the team who are meant to be supporting him. Services are overwhelmed with demand, staff shortages or some even closing their doors. The London Community Response has helped us to catch people who may have fallen through the net.”