£30m to help people through crisis – new Big Lottery Fund!


A significant number of people continue to experience poverty (13 million across the UK; Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2014). Over the last few years, one of the most worrying trends is the significant increase in people experiencing a situation where their basic needs such as food, shelter, fuel and basic health and/or social care are not being met.

The Big Lottery Fund has just launched its £30m Help through Crisis Fund to improve the prospects of people currently living in crisis or at risk of crisis as a result of hardship. They are looking to fund projects that draw on the strengths and personal experiences of people facing hardship so that they can overcome immediate difficulties and be ready for opportunities and challenges ahead. They are looking for projects that provide tailored support, advice and advocacy to enable people to address difficulties and be in a better position to improve circumstances and plan for their future.

Organisations can apply for grants of between £300,000 and £500,000 to provide immediate support such as food parcels and a bed for the night, and to then work with people to address the underlying cause of their situation through advocacy and advice on issues such as family breakdown, health problems, homelessness or debt.

Projects will need to have experience in providing hardship services so they can start helping people from day one. Projects are expected to be funded over five years and will need to show they are fully engaged with the people they are supporting and working with local partner organisations.

Successful projects will be partnership based, rooted in the community and will focus on supporting people who find it difficult to access mainstream services and support – perhaps because they are disabled, have a learning difficulty, or a mental health issue, or maybe live in an isolated rural community.

Projects should meet all four of the following outcomes:

  1. people who have experienced hardship crisis are better able to improve their circumstances
  2. people who are at high risk of experiencing hardship crisis are better able to plan for the future
  3. organisations are better able to support people to effectively tackle hardship through sharing learning and evidence
  4. those experiencing, or who are at high risk of experiencing, hardship crisis, have a stronger, more collective, voice, to better shape a response to their issues

They want to fund collaborative projects, which they expect will have a range of organisations involved in them. One organisation must apply on behalf of the others involved and will be responsible for the terms and conditions of grant if successful.

Stage One Applications need to be submitted by 26 August, with the best invited to complete a second stage application by 11 November. Applicants will be told if they have been successful in March 2016.

For more information and to apply, go to the Big Lottery Fund website.