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Smallwood awards 31 ‘uplift grants’

It is widely recognised that the Cost-of-Living Crisis is putting a huge strain on individual women, communities and the organisations and services that support them. This has been reflected in our own analysis of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on women’s organisations across the UK and emerged throughout feedback sessions we have held with long-term grant partners. We also know that funders have a vital role to play in helping their partners navigate and respond to the needs of staff and beneficiaries.

In response to this, the Smallwood Trust invited our multi-year grant partners to apply for an ‘uplift grant’ and awarded c.£200k through this programme, bringing our 2022 grant spend to £2.36 million. 

Many of our grant partners themselves have been tremendously affected by the current crisis whilst at the same time dedicated to supporting women experiencing acute need. 

In particular, we encouraged multi-year grant partners to apply for an uplift around the following areas:

  • Helping safeguard jobs
  • Uplifting salaries
  • Providing cost-of-living payments for staff
  • Responding to additional need
  •  Providing additional grants to individual women

Our Grants Managers remained flexible and supportive to the needs of each organisation. Grant partners were given a space to be honest about what they needed through a light touch application form. 

Overall we saw the costs that organisations applied for largely correlated with the Smallwood guidance. Funding was largely needed to cover increasing utility bills, uplifting staff salaries in line with inflation and providing additional hardship grants to women.

Organisations also noted that the increased demand on their services since the pandemic, had not diminished. Many are also providing ‘warm hubs’ and food banks for financially vulnerable women.

We know that uplift grants across the board will assist our grant partners to continue providing life-saving services during the Cost-of-Living Crisis. The uplift grants offer our grant partners a sense of certainty that they can retain experienced staff members, pay costly bills and support beneficiaries to stock their cupboards during the coming months. 

Grant partner feedback

The Trust’s support is meeting immediate and unmet needs – for warm clothing, food, toiletries, and transport costs – helping women to make positive choices as they seek to rebuild their lives. Without this funding we simply would not be able to offer women solutions to the challenges they face post-release, and that are being compounded by greatly increased living costs. The Smallwood Trust remains committed to responding to the needs of the women’s sector as part of our mission to tackle gendered poverty.Prison Advice and Care Trust

The much-welcomed uplift grant from Smallwood Trust will enable us to help five of our female team members who work on the Charity Grants Partnership to help meet the ever-increasing living costs caused by the crisis. In my opinion, this is a ground-breaking grant initiative offered by Smallwood Trust. Unlike the numerous Covid-19 response grants that were made widely available to all during the pandemic, financial assistance to help charitable organisations like ours to combat the rising costs caused by the cost-of-living crisis are virtually non-existent. This grant will help us to remain robust by easing financial concerns, so that we can concentrate on awarding more Smallwood grants to vulnerable women in our locality who are suffering greatly during this unprecedented time of financial need.The SAMEE Charity

Safer Spaces: This funding will help to support our work with women at risk of rough sleeping due to fleeing violence and abuse, by enabling us to increase our women’s safety practitioner staff capacity at evenings and weekends. Our offer includes providing women’s safe accommodation and a range of outreach city-wide drop in points where women can access help and support that reduces risk and improves safety.Colab Exeter

Alice is a women-led organisation that not only supports disadvantaged women in our community, but also give women from difficult and disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to volunteer, train and eventually work at Alice. This grant will really help to safeguard jobs by subsidising the salaries of our Family Support Workers who sacrifice so much to be there for the women that Alice supports.The Alice Charity

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