Sussex Crisis Fund

The Sussex Crisis Fund supported community and voluntary sector organisations leading the efforts to support people most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The third phase of the Fund was particularly aimed at helping people experiencing greater health inequalities as a result of Covid-19 and those facing acute financial difficulties as a direct result of the pandemic. 

To donate, please visit our Totalgiving page. We thank East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council for the substantial contributions that they have made to the third phase of the fund. 


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 – they are ‘new to poverty’.

Click above to hear more about what charities told us









We ran two focus groups with local charities and community groups last month and the criteria of the Sussex Crisis Fund (support and recovery) are based in what they told us were critical needs. Click the picture above to hear more about what the charities told us.

Many community organisations 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. 

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.

What we funded

Grants of up to £10,000 for delivery over a twelve-month period under the following themes:

  • Mental health support
  • Advice and support services
  • Digital inclusion
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Costs associated with providing food and other vital support.

More about the Sussex Crisis Fund

The first phase of the Sussex Crisis Fund was set up in March 2020 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 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.

The following film shows some wonderful examples of groups supported with a Sussex Crisis Fund grant in 2020.

You can also see an interim impact report, dated summer 2020, on the work of the Sussex Crisis Fund here. Or click on the image below.

If you would like to support our work, please email Stephen Chamberlain, Head of Philanthropy, or call 01273 409 400.

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