On 3rd April 2020 The Rank Foundation launched the Resilience Fund in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications are open to all RankNet members, and the fund has been implemented to cover cashflow, fundraising and loss of income challenges relating to the current covid-19 related climate. This includes those facing significant, unplanned demand on services. Within hours of opening, applications were received and the Grants Manager and Foundation Executives began processing the applications, assessing management accounts and cash flow forecasts, knowing that access to this type of funding was a priority.

We will be looking at some of the Resilience Fund grantees each fortnight, with this week spotlighting Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Domestic Violence and disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly.

Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Domestic Violence (HARV)

Organisation Overview:

HARV first came to Rank’s attention in 2019 as a 3 year Major Grant recipient.

HARV’s aim is to identify, support, protect and empower both adults and children who are or have experienced abuse, exploitation and/or violence. Their services include an advocacy service, holistic support, safe houses and housing advice, a children and young people’s service, stalking and harassment services, legal advice and counselling.

Difficulties due to Coronavirus:

During the pandemic there has been a significant increase in demand for their services. Service users are currently accessing services in the evenings and weekends, and safety advice can only be given out over the phone and via email instead of face to face. The need for emotional support has grown significantly, as well as calls for accommodation support, thus the demand on the staff at HARV has increased.

For the majority of victims of domestic abuse, COVID has meant they have had to suffer at the hands of the perpetrator. The numbers of women murdered has increased, as well as abuse of children.

What will the Resilience Fund grant be used for?

“We are preparing for a tsunami of referrals once lock down restrictions are lifted. We are currently working hard to get our centre re opened and re stocked with essential items for families.”

Due to the significantly higher rates of domestic violence, the number of staff will need to increase to meet demand. Current staff are overwhelmed and exhausted. They are also fighting to transfer some of their services from face-to-face to digital, whilst running increased opening hours.

Their new centre was only opened in December 2019 in preparation to rent out conference space, host events and provide catering for income generation. All has been on hold since March 2020.

A resilience grant of £20,000 was approved for core funding. 

disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

Organisation Overview:

disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly has been known to Rank since 2011 when they first recieved a 3 year Major Grant. Since then, they have benefited from 3 Time to Shine leaders and other grant funding.

The charity is values based and user-led, and supports, represents, includes and empowers people living with a long term health condition or disability, along with their families are carers. As per their name, they operate in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on the South West coast.

Difficulties due to Coronavirus:

Their advice line has seen a nearly 70% increase in demand, and with all staff moving to working from home or in the community they have needed. much like HARV, to increase their opening hours to cover demand.

The charity has been inundated with enquiries from service users around PPE and hygiene, and what to do if they or their carers became sick. It would seem the council had not been forthcoming with this information therefore the CEO at disAbility Cornwall has had to work directly with the council to ensure information was sent to Direct Payment recipients.

In addition to longer opening hours, in response to COVID-19 they have set up a community kitchen, delivering free meals to 350 vulnerable clients twice a week who are self-isolating.

What will the Resilience Fund grant be used for?

More than 50% of disAbility Cornwall & Isle of Scilly’s income for the next two years comes from contracts where a key output is to help disabled people back to work. The job market is flat and many will remain unemployed, despite their best efforts. Many of their clients will have to self-isolate for much longer than the general public.

Some of their services that generate funding have been put on hold: losing advertising income from their magazine, they can’t hire out their meeting spaces and are having to run their new community kitchen with help from local businesses and volunteers.

Therefore, a Resilience grant of £18,000 was approved to support the increase in demand as well as loss of immediate income.

If you are a member of RankNet and wish to apply for Resilience funding, please visit our Opportunities page on the online platform. If you have any RankNet related queries, please contact ranknet@rankfoundation.com.