A new fund from Sovereign Housing Association will enable local businesses, community projects, social enterprises, creatives and self-employed people across the south of England and the Isle of Wight to raise money for COVID-19- connected community activities, by pitching for a share of a £50,000.
Groups involved in projects like delivering food to the most vulnerable, offering hardship support, or providing digital services to support wellbeing are encouraged to apply for the funding, which is being made available on Crowdfunder via the ‘Sovereign Pay it Forward Fund’.
But the Pay it Forward cash is also available to those planning relaunch events or post-Covid-19 celebrations, such as a pubs or cafes reopening with a party, special events to relaunch businesses such as hairdressers or beauticians, and activities such as street parties after Covid-19.
With small businesses and community groups facing worrying times during Covid-19, the organisation wants to keep community spirit alive by helping local ventures and businesses stay resilient – and hopeful for the future.
The fund is live online – and open to anyone based within a three-mile radius of a Sovereign community in Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol and the Isle of Wight.
Michelle Smith, Head of Communities for Sovereign, said: “We chose to partner with Crowdfunder because it’s an alternative way of raising money. Communities and individuals who have a great idea can tap into their networks of friends, family and colleagues to really get their projects going at a grassroots level.
“Group just have to raise 25% of the funding, gaining ten donations. Then we’ll match that money, up to £5,000. Working in this way with Crowdfunder fits our asset based community development (ABCD) model, where communities are encouraged to help each other to thrive.”
For more information on the crowdfunding scheme and eligibility criteria, click here.