Royal London Foundation 2020: supporting the fight against coronavirus

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We’re changing how the Foundation runs this year so we can immediately support local charities and organisations providing vital help to people during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Royal London Foundation exists so our members can support their communities by nominating local not-for-profit organisations to receive funding from us. We’d normally start our nominations process in April and look to distribute funds later in the year, however in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic we've decided to change how we provide funding from the Foundation this year.

We will not be asking members to nominate local causes, but will instead donate funds of £400,000 to the National Emergencies Trust. Read on to find out more about our decision and how the funding will be used.

Why is the Foundation changing this year?

This is a challenging time for everyone. Those who are on the front-line, supporting the already vulnerable people in our local communities, will be dealing with increased demand for services, as well as a drop in funding and voluntary fundraising.

There will also be more volunteers (and their clients) having to self-isolate, go into lockdown or finding themselves unable to provide or access support. All of this means not-for-profits and charities have had to change how they deliver their services. 

How will we distribute the Foundation funding?

We will allocate our donations for the Royal London Foundation to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) instead. UK Community Foundations (UKCF), who we work with on the Foundation, are heavily involved – through the community foundations they work with across the UK – to distribute a lot of these funds during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Set up in 2019, following the Grenfell Tower and Manchester Arena tragedies, the NET is an independent charity that collaborates with other charities and bodies to raise and distribute money at the time of a domestic disaster – meaning they can respond to emergencies more effectively.

Take a look at the NET website’s frequently asked questions for more information.

How will the NET allocate funding?

The NET provides a single collection point for public donations before distributing them in the form of grants to frontline charities across the UK – this means they can provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.

To do this, the NET works with a network of 46 community foundations across the UK. As they’re local foundations, these groups are well-placed to understand who’s impacted, and how, and what help they need, and they have experience in distributing grants. This process allows the NET to get money to those who need it quickly and simply.

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How much is the Foundation donating?

We’ve decided to donate our 2020 Foundation grant budget to the NET – this amount is £400,000. We’ll keep members updated on how donations to the NET have been distributed as this information becomes available.

Please note that we’ll still be awarding continuation grants as part of the Royal London Foundation this year. These provide a second grant of £10,000 to 10 member-nominated organisations a year after they received the first one. The grants are awarded to organisations who demonstrated strong impact from the grants they received the previous year in order to help them continue their good work.

Find out more about our continuation grants.

Will the Foundation open again in 2021?

We’re planning to re-open the Foundation in 2021. We’re currently reviewing the Foundation to see how we can use it to make an even more positive social impact, and we’ll keep members involved and updated on how we do this.

How you can help

Find out what you can do to keep yourself and others safe, and help your community during the coronavirus outbreak.

Follow the NHS guidelines to protect yourself and help stop the virus from spreading, and make sure you look after your own wellbeing.

Call or video call friends, family and loved ones to keep connected while you’re unable to see each other.

You can sign up to be a ‘check in and chat’ volunteer, help to deliver medical supplies, assist with transport for patients or support those self-isolating on the GoodSAM website

If you’re able (and it’s safe) to, you could drop in a postcard to self-isolating neighbours to offer support with urgent supplies or a phone call – just make sure to keep a safe distance and leave any items on doorsteps.

The NHS is still in need of blood donations – check the Give blood website for updated information on centres and donations during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can give food, toiletries or (if you can spare it) money to a food bank. Donations can be made online on the Trussell Trust website, or you can use their tool to find a local food bank.

Visit the Eden Project Communities website for more information on what you can do to support your local community during the coronavirus outbreak.