National Lottery launches £45m Community Fund network

The National Lottery has pledged to provide a further £45 million in funding for the UK’s ‘most vulnerable communities’ to help them recover from COVID-19 impacts.

Through its ‘Community Fund’, the National Lottery has established a new network which will help it distribute central funds to five partners supporting organisations that work within communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pandemic circumstances. 

The network will be led by the ‘COVID-19 Social Enterprise Support Fund Partnership’, which will tasked with distributing  £20 million to social enterprises best-placed to support local, vulnerable communities in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Supporting charities that will receive £5 million include refugee support charity the Barrow Cadbury Trust, homelessness support organisation Homeless Link.

The Community Fund’s new network will be further supported by social enterprise support foundations Access to Justice and UnLtd.

The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has given out more than £200 million since the start of lockdown to help communities cope with unprecedented impacts. 

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “These partnerships will extend the reach of National Lottery funding at a time when communities need it most. They are each experts in their field, which is why we’re delighted to be working alongside them.

“Their local knowledge, dedication and network of contacts will be critical in supporting the distribution of much-needed funding at a critical time for communities. We’re grateful to them for working with us so closely and of course to National Lottery players for making this emergency response possible.”

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