Council grants for community organisations

STOP PRESS: 6 May. The fund was heavily oversubscribed and is now closed.

Lambeth council says it will contact all voluntary community sector (VCS) organisations that applied with the results of their application by the end of Friday 15 May. The Integrate Agency, which is supported by the council, is sharing regular updates with the latest funding opportunities as they become available. It is also running online workshops to help VCS groups through this challenging time.

children in centre
Children at the Max Roach centre in Brixton

Lambeth council is providing one-off payments of up to £10,000 to help voluntary community sector (VCS) organisations.

Many of these organisations are having to divert resources away from their usual services to support emergency measures because of coronavirus or have had to close because of social distancing restrictions.

To support their ongoing response and recovery, which the council says are vital to making local communities more resilient during and after the crisis, it has created a £170,000 fund from the neighbourhood element of the community infrastructure levy (NCIL) which councils can charge on new developments in their area.

NCIL, as well as being used to fund physical infrastructure like roads, is also designed to support social demands arising from developments and to ensure that resilience is built into communities.

The council said that when the initial emergency has passed and economic recovery begins, VCS organisations will need support to adapt and to provide community-based projects and activities that will help Lambeth residents.

“This will be vital to reducing the strain on local infrastructure, such as transport and health systems,” it said.

Examples of activities which are eligible for a payment are:

Groups which have had to divert funds/resources away from providing face-to-face activities to providing virtual ways of engaging

Groups which have had to divert funds/resources away from their usual services to provide different services altogether

Groups which support people into self-employment, addressing mental health issues may need to significantly scale up as a result of the pandemic

Groups which provide tutoring for disadvantaged students will be vital after home schooling and may need to scale up with recruitment/training of tutors

Due to government legal restrictions on the NCIL criteria, the fund cannot support food-related projects.

The council is making a separate financial contribution to food distribution, with more than 7,000 food parcels delivered so far.

Who can apply?
Minimum criteria that organisations must meet are:

  • Be Lambeth-based
  • Have a written constitution
  • Have a bank account with at least two signatories
  • Anyone making an application must be at least 18 years old

The process

The council says the Lambeth Fund process is designed to be as simple as possible.

Applicants are required to fill in a simple form.

Council officers will conduct background and due diligence checks before making a decision on an award.

Funding decisions will be made weekly by a mixed panel, with applications considered on a first come, first served basis.


As part of the funding requirements, successful applicants will be asked to collect equalities monitoring information about each beneficiary and to report on who has used its services.