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. 

“We launched the Sussex Crisis Fund on Friday 20th March because we knew charities would need a source of rapid and responsive funding. We had £100,000 to start with thanks to support from American Express and the Argus Appeal, but we didn’t know how we would find the rest of the money – we just knew it would be needed.”

“Happily the response to our appeal was phenomenal. With great support from the National Emergencies Trust, East & West Sussex County Councils and many existing and new supporters, we have been able to raise and distribute over £4 million direct to local communities when they needed it most.”

Kevin Richmond, CEO Sussex Community Foundation. 

We have now published the Sussex Crisis Fund Impact Report which aims to tell the story of the Sussex Crisis Fund and more importantly, of all those amazing groups of people who responded immediately and compassionately to the changing world around us.

You can read the full report online below or download here




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 supported are helping people facing financial hardship unexpectedly and for the first time – they are ‘new to poverty’.

We ran two focus groups with local charities and community groups in February 2021 and the criteria of the Sussex Crisis Fund (Support and Recovery) was based on what they told us were critical needs. 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.

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.

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

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