The devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the Women's Sector has been the biggest challenge we’ve faced in 2020.
As the crisis rapidly grew, Smallwood not only saw a huge demand for support from individual women but we also discovered that a lack of funding threatened the existence of many frontline organisations providing vital services to women.
In response, we delivered two COVID-19 funds to help safeguard the crucial frontline jobs and support services of women’s organisations that had been affected by the outbreak. These were The Women’s Sector Resilience Fund, in partnership with the DCMS, and The COVID-19 Frontline Women’s Fund that was in collaboration with The National Lottery Community Fund.
Over £2.4m was awarded to 117 organisations from these funds, which will potentially benefit around 33,000 women. However, the demand was much greater with 455 applications received which totalled over £8.8m. Further analysis and evaluation of these grants will be undertaken and published in the new year.
For more statistics on our COVID-19 Response Funds click here.
We also continued to provide much needed support to individual women directly. Grant enquiries have increased by over 200% since the onset of the pandemic and we reacted by increasing our grant awards budget in order to help even more financially vulnerable women.
In total our grant funding will increase from £1.4m in 2019 to c.£4.5m in 2020. In 2021 further funding rounds will be announced as we continue to respond to the pandemic.