Sussex Crisis Fund

The Sussex Crisis Fund was set up to support local charities and community groups on the frontline of community action to help people suffering as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It was launched three days before the lockdown began in March 2020 and made its first grant within ten days.

Between 20 March 2020 and 25 December 2020:

  • £2.7 million raised and given in grants
  • 600 grants made to voluntary sector groups and charities
  • Over 1 million people have been helped
  • Funded infrastructure bodies to offer additional support to voluntary sector groups and charities
  • Diverse range of organisation supported, from foodbanks and advice centres to charities supporting younger people and those with physical disabilities
  • 11% of all crisis funding directly supported Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and individuals

Click here to see a full list of grants given or look at the map on our homepage.

High priority areas funded included access to food and medicines and other essential supplies, mental health, loneliness and isolation, in particular for older people, support for younger people and help for groups in delivering their work differently through technology or other means.

The following film shows some wonderful examples of groups supported with a Sussex Crisis Fund grant:


You can also see an interim impact report on the work of the Sussex Crisis Fund here. Or click on the image below.

What next?

The impact of the pandemic has been hugely significant for the voluntary sector and for our communities. Most negatively impacted have been the most disadvantaged people and places across Sussex. Many of the groups we support are helping people facing financial hardship unexpectedly and for the first time.

We don’t yet know what the lasting impact of the pandemic will be and what shape our voluntary sector will be left in, in the years to come. Many community organisations have reported serious concerns about the next financial year and several have needed to use reserves to cushion the worst of the financial impacts, but are facing a precarious year ahead. The latest NCVO report[1] on the impact of covid on the VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) sector shows that nationally, 38% of charities surveyed expect their financial position to deteriorate over the next month and yet 57% are seeing a rise in demand for their services.

Despite this, there have also been many positives. Organisations have shown amazing resilience, adapting and shifting their operations to ensure the most vulnerable across our communities are supported. We have seen people come together in ways previously unimaginable to help Sussex to become a safer and more inclusive place to live for everyone. As a grant maker, we have adjusted to become a more flexible and responsive funder and we have seen many others respond in the same way.

We would like to thank the hundreds of community groups and thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help the most affected, as well as the many people and organisations who have given to the Sussex Crisis Fund. You can see the list of organisations here.

We know that the impact of this crisis will continue for many months – if not, years – to come. At the moment, we have allocated all funds raised from the Sussex Crisis Fund. We are now talking about how best to continue to meet the needs of the VCSE sector over the months ahead. Whilst we do so, we are pleased to be able to continue to offer emergency funds to help over the winter period. For more information on funds available, please visit our Grants page here.

If you would like to support our work, please contact Stephen Chamberlain, Head of Philanthropy on 01273 409 400.




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