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Carlisle City Council is providing local businesses with free access to its local business support and grant portal provided by Open4Business. This is tailored for the Carlisle area and includes local, regional and national schemes.

Business can also search for funding relevant to their size and sector. To use the portal, you will first need to register with Open4Business.


Grants and Funding


Disabled People's Organisations - COVID-19 Emergency Fund

10 September 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available for grassroots Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) across the UK to respond to the coronavirus/COVID-19 needs of local disabled people.

Objectives of Fund

The National Emergencies Trust has announced £1.5 million of funding to support grassroots Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) across the UK to respond to the Covid-19 needs of Disabled people.

The term Disabled people is used to mean all groups of people with impairments including: people with learning difficulties, people who experience mental distress, people with a visual impairment, Deaf people, people who are neuro diverse, people with long term health conditions and people with physical impairments

The funding will be administered and distributed through a partnership of DPOs which include Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales and Inclusion London who in turn will be working with six regional DPOs across England.

The DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund aims to support DPOs to meet the needs of local Disabled people.

Value Notes

There is a total of £1 million funds available for this programme.

This is broken down based on the disability population in each of the four nations of the UK:

  • Scotland: £120,000

  • Wales: £100,000

  • Northern Ireland: £100,000

  • England by regions:

    • North East: £41,800

    • Yorkshire & Humber: £83,400

    • North West: £118,000

    • Midlands: £174,000

    • East: £83,600

    • London: £90,600

    • South East: £117,800

    • South West: £90,800

Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are available. It is anticipated that 50% of the grants will be between £1,000 and £5,000; 25% will be between £5,000 and £10,000 and the remaining 25% will be between £15,000 and £25,000.

The funding period is eight months (1 November 2020 to 30 June 2021). All grant income and funding activity must be spent and completed by the end of June 2021.

Who Can Apply

Any DPO in the UK can apply if at least 51% of their governing body or management committee are made up of disabled people and they have a constitution/governing document that shows their organisation is set up to support disabled people and/or advance disabled people’s equality and inclusion. Groups do not need to be a registered charity to apply.

Organisations must be fit for funding. This means having good governance, appropriate financial management policies and processes in place and appropriate standards of safeguarding for staff, volunteers and those using their support or services.

To be eligible, organisations are required to show they have the following:

  • A governing document eg, a constitution which explains their organisation’s aims

  • Relevant Safeguarding & Diversity & Inclusion Policies

  • A bank account in the organisation’s name

  • Recent annual accounts (which have been independently examined or audited if required).



Eligible Expenditure

This fund aims to support DPOs to meet the needs of local disabled people.

The funding is for COVID-19 related work in the following broad three areas:

  • Independent living: covering any COVID-19 related issues affecting disabled people’s choice and control over their lives for example: COVID-19 changes to the built environment, streetscape and transport, advice and advocacy support to help ensure health and social care needs are met, employment advice or advice to individuals about their rights if they feel they need to continue to shield

  • Isolation: covering work to tackle isolation for example: providing IT equipment and support so people can access on-line support or setting up and running peer support networks

  • Income: covering work to support disabled people to access benefits and entitlements and manage debt issues

Some examples of work that could be funded:

  • A DPO wanting funding to produce local COVID-19 related information in Easy Read, British Sign Language and community languages

  • A DPO wanting to expand its information and advice service to deal with COVID-19 related issues by increasing casework capacity or opening hours

  • A DPO wanting to set up a local group of disabled residents to try and make sure the needs of local disabled people are understood and addressed in local COVID-19 recovery planning

  • A DPO wanting funding to cover the staffing, venue and running costs of setting up a peer support network or befriending service

The fund will be able to pay for equipment, running and staffing costs as well as covering a full cost recovery model.

How To Apply

Applications will be accepted from 7 September to 5 October 2020.

Grant applications will be assessed and all grants awarded by 31 October 2020.

Guidance notes and the online application form are available on the website of Disability Action NI, Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales and Inclusion London.

Two webinars covering information on how to apply will take place on:

  • Tuesday 22 September (11am – 1pm) - Filling out the online application form

  • Monday 28 September (2pm – 4pm) - Surgery/interactive FAQs

Useful documents & links

Scheme - Application Form

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Enquiries
    Disability Action Northern Ireland
    Email: [email protected]

  2. Wendy Afonso-Cole
    Grants Officer
    Disability Action Northern Ireland
    Tel: 02890 297880
    Email: [email protected]

  3. Mark Harrison
    Inclusion London
    Tel: 07979400564
    Email: [email protected]

  4. Janice Sheridan
    Partnership and Events Secretary
    Inclusion Scotland
    Tel: 0131 370 6725
    Email: [email protected]

  5. Jody Mellor
    Programme Officer
    Disability Wales
    Tel: 029 2088 7325
    Email: [email protected]


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