750,000 distributed to Sheffield community groups during the Covid-19 pandemic

Community groups in Sheffield received over £750,000 to help them deliver vital services and support during the Covid-19 pandemic, in a new report published by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF).

Grants of up to £5,000 were distributed to 180 community groups as the pandemic began in March 2020, with SYCF initiating a host of changes to their grants processes to make sure funds were distributed swiftly in those exceptional times.

This resulted in communities across Sheffield receiving invaluable help with 168,554 people being supported through the amazing commitment of over 5,665 volunteers, with 45 per cent of the total funding given to groups advancing people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing, and safety.

The SYCF Covid-19 Response Awards and the Response and Recovery Awards allowed community organisations to support people with their mental health, addressing social isolation and providing information and advice, which was particularly important in sharing public health messages.

Activities carried out by community groups included befriending services, activity packs and outdoor activities for children, provision and delivery of food parcels and free transport for NHS workers.

Globalmama Enterprises Ltd cooked and delivered over 3,000 meals to their Somalian and refugee community in Sheffield, helping people with their laundry and setting up WhatsApp groups to share Covid-19 guidelines.

The full report is available at www.sycf.org.uk/covid19grantsreport


Join the Tuk-Tuk team as an Emmaus Sheffield volunteer

Emmaus Sheffield aims through its Social Enterprise programme to provide meaningful work and enable the people it supports – known as companions – to eventually become self-supporting once more.

One of the charity’s main fundraising schemes is its popular second-hand store at the organisation’s headquarters in the historic Sipelia Works, a former cutlery factory at Cadman Street, close to the city’s Canal Basin.

Now the retail team is hoping to attract volunteer Transit or Luton van drivers to help with retail donation collections and deliveries, as well as retail volunteers.

And there will also be a chance to drive the distinctive Emmaus Tuk-Tuk at promotional events.

Charley Fedorenko, deputy manager, said: “Ideally we would like to hear from people who are willing to give one or two days per week – give us a call and we can have a chat.

“All we ask is that volunteer drivers must be under 70 and have a full clean driving licence and be fit and healthy as the role will involve some lifting.”

Volunteer forms can be downloaded on the Emmaus Sheffield website.


Do you have accessibility issues when applying for funding?

Do you have accessibility issues when applying for funding? Do you have a situation where funding is out of your reach due to circumstances beyond your control?  Did you know that major funders will help you access someone like me to support you through grant applications? Neither did I, or maybe I did, but I didn’t connect the dots…

If you have a genuine barrier to being able to apply to a major funder yourself, which you can evidence – then please do get in touch with me. I support you to get the application researched, prepared, written and even submitted, and you don’t pay a thing for this access to help, the funder pays me directly.

I will leave you with a hint on funding that has come up for a few of my startup clients this month. A few of the major funders won’t fund you if you have an online bank account due to them not having a dual signatory facility on payments from the account. I am talking about accounts like Starling and Monzo.

Although I believe they are outstanding bank accounts and are quick to open, please consider a high street bank instead, which will give you more funding options.  If you already bank with a high street bank, approach them first as it may be quicker.  A Natwest Community Account gives you a free accounting software package called FreeAgent. I use it, and it’s excellent! (I’m not even on commission for that one either!).  Enjoy the month – my birthday month, so I promise that I will!


Heritage Hero award-winner Steve’s skills grew at Wentworth Woodhouse

When Steve Ash signed up as a volunteer at Wentworth Woodhouse, he thought he would only learn about gardening. Five years on, he has learned valuable film-making skills and has been named as the UK’s Digital Heritage Hero of the Year.

Steve’s national win recognises his role in Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s Digital Project, a visionary communications project harnessing video launched initially to keep the Grade I listed house on the public’s horizon.

His trophy was one of only two in the annual Heritage Heroes Awards. Sponsored by specialist heritage insurer Ecclesiastical and now in their 12th year, they are the Heritage Alliance’s celebration of Britain’s heritage volunteers’ outstanding contribution to society.

Steve set up the Digital Project and assembled a team of 20 WWPT volunteers. A portion of a pandemic Emergency Grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded to the Trust paid for training and equipment, and the project launched in Autumn 2020.

Steve has contributed over 2,000 volunteer hours to the project and created virtual tours, events and digital games.

Chair of The Heritage Alliance Pam Alexander OBE added: “This year’s Heritage Heroes nominees have demonstrated the incredible and forward-looking work done by heritage volunteers. Our 2021 winners have achieved awe-inspiring and inspirational results for the heritage they care about and show just how exciting, powerful, and wide-reaching heritage volunteering can be.”