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COVID-19 Support Fund guidance


Applying for funding

To apply for funding, you must first have already spoken with the County Councillor you are seeking funding from. You will not be able to proceed with a funding application otherwise. Please see the list of County Councillors on our website for contact details, where you can also search by postcode if you are uncertain who your councillor is.

The funding application form is hosted on our website and your application must be submitted online via that form.

The application form requires the project lead to outline the nature of the project, who it will help, and information about the applying organisation or group.

Please note: by submitting a funding application you will be confirming that you accept the council’s funding conditions as set out in this guide at the time of application. Organisations not accepting these at the time of applying will not be eligible for funding support.

Bids are initially accepted until 30 October 2020. Funding must be spent in full by 28 February 2021 at the absolute latest.

The County Council may extend or shorten this deadline or amend the terms of the fund following review at any time. The COVID-19 Support Fund is, at present, only available in financial year 2020/21.



Eligibility for funding

Grants made must support only community, voluntary and other non-commercial purposes.

If parish councils or commercial organisations are involved in projects, the County Council will ask for evidence of what they are contributing to the support efforts - this is explained below.

The County Council is not able to fund individuals.

Depending on the nature of your support project, the County Council may need to be assured that you have appropriate safeguarding procedures, appropriate insurance etc.



Criteria for funding

Funding can support three things:

Option 1

Projects which relate to community recovery, sustaining new social action, restarting activity which had been paused, or adapting provision for the ‘new normal’. 

Option 2

Providing funding to existing community groups who are facing a reduced income due to the impact of COVID-19 (for example around paying overheads while facing reduced incomes).

Groups applying to this stream will be asked to evidence why they need this money together with consideration of when they will be financially independent. This stream is not available to parish councils or commercial enterprises.

At this stage, for applications to this funding stream, overheads costs must only be for the period to 30 October.

Option 3

Projects about providing support to the community re the coronavirus. Activity must relate to:

  • supporting people who are self-isolating or in quarantine
  • helping the community to be resilient against wider impacts of COVID-19
  • developing community networks to do either of the above.

Groups applying to this stream will be asked to confirm that they have checked that any proposed new activity doesn’t duplicate something that is already out there, or couldn’t be done by teaming up with another organisation in the community.

The council cannot award funding for the following things:

  • Any activity that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, age or sexual orientation
  • Staff costs or salaries of any kind
  • Activity to make a commercial profit
  • Projects run for the benefit of an individual person
  • Any ongoing running costs of existing activity e.g. insurance, fees, rent, transport, except as a last resort for supporting if your organisation is providing COVID-19 support. If you are in doubt about this, speak with your County Councillor
  • Healthcare and treatment services
  • Formal education
  • Individually prescribed, targeted and specialist exercise and weight management programmes
  • Any predominantly religious activity (but this does not preclude religious organisations from making bids for non-religious activity)
  • Any political activity
  • A statutory responsibility or services generally resourced from/by other statutory organisations
  • Projects for the benefit of residents predominantly from outside Staffordshire

If you feel you have a project that may achieve the outcomes required but are concerned by the restrictions above discuss this with your County Councillor ahead of making the application.



Funding amounts and match funding

Each County Councillor has up to £2,000 to allocate through the COVID Recovery Fund, and they may have additional funds left from the previous tranche (the COVID Support Fund), but this is not guaranteed. This funding can be spent in smaller amounts and there is no set minimum. County Councillors are also able to jointly fund projects which work across their local areas, or even to fund projects working districtwide or countywide.

There is no requirement for match funding, except for projects with involvement of parish councils and businesses. In those cases, you will be asked what the parish councils or businesses are contributing, but there is not a set minimum financial expectation.



Assessment of application

Your County Councillor will consider your application, and you will have already discussed it with them prior to making an application. If they do not feel that it meets these criteria they may contact you to discuss this. Your application may be returned to you to amend and resubmit.

Your County Councillor will then notify the Leader of the Council and the Director of Corporate Services of their wish to support a proposal. Provided that a proposed project meets the criteria of the fund, the Leader of the Council has final decision on whether an application is approved.



Award of funding

If your application is approved, the payment will be processed. The County Council is determined to release funding as soon as possible after approvals, as we recognise that communities need this support urgently. While payments will ordinarily be made swiftly, and we will do our best that this is the case, in certain circumstances the period could be up to 6 weeks after approval.



Project delivery

We expect you to spend funds by 28 February 2021, and the clear expectation is that this will be sooner for projects around supporting existing overheads or new activity, as the Fund is designed to support the urgent public health crisis we currently face. If these timings are reviewed, this will be publicised.

If your project cannot go ahead as planned, please discuss this with your County Councillor. If you have already received funding it may be that you need to return this to the County Council.



Project evaluation

We will expect you to keep in touch with the County Councillor about the delivery of the project, as we need to understand how the public money has made a difference for the community.



Data protection

As a public organisation we are subject to the Data Protection Act 2018 and, as such, where we collect any personal data from you as part of the application process we will only use it for this purpose and no other. Your personal data will never be shared with anyone else and will be retained only for as long as it is needed. Non-personal data you submit to use as part of this application process will be used to make decisions to award funding, perform anonymised analysis, or to undertake publicity or fundraising. For more information on how Staffordshire County Council handles personal data, please see our Privacy Notice.

Please bear in mind that as part of the above, your organisation name will be published alongside the ‘summary for publicity’ you provide in your application, the amount awarded, and the councillor supporting, on the County Council’s website. It is important that we can show transparency over where the funding has been used.

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