Despite the difficult challenges imposed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Smallwood Trust is continuing to adapt and identify new ways to support financially vulnerable women all over the country.
Firstly, we have streamlined the application process to make it even easier to apply for a grant and we have also removed the deadlines for our regular rounds of funding.
Please visit the following link to check your eligibility and see if we can help through our grants to individuals programme: https://www.smallwoodtrust.org.uk/flexible-response-fund
In response to an increase in applications since the Easter weekend, particularly from those who are self-employed or on zero-hour contracts, we have provided funds to act as a buffer to help beneficiaries with essentials such as rent and food while they apply for universal credit or find alternative support.
We have also been able to help women who can no longer visit their regular supermarket or food bank due to transport closures limiting them to supermarkets with higher priced products; women who can’t visit or receive support from carers/relatives due to self-isolation measures and an individual who opened a new business only for it to forcibly closed within a week - incurring rent costs with no opportunity for further income.
In the meantime, the Trust has been working with other organisations in the women’s sector and benevolent funds to share ways of supporting one another and to create initiatives to reach even more women facing hardship.
One such collaboration has been the referral pathway with Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) to support women who are being released early from prison due to the crisis.
We are also supporting our community grant partners who are now having to adapt to working remotely and with limited funds as a result of the pandemic.
Emma Crump, Head of Evaluation at the Smallwood Trust said “we want to reassure everyone that we are operating as close to normal as possible, despite the financial and logistical issues we are all facing. The Trust is also working hard to find new ways to support even more women and we hope to announce more initiatives in the coming weeks.”