Support for Birmingham community groups reacting to the coronavirus crisis

Please note: we are working on a brand new website for Birmingham Community Matters! We’ve decided to stop updating this page (from 25 March 2021) in order to focus our time and resources on making the new site as useful as possible for the small Birmingham voluntary/community groups that we work with.

If you have anything valuable to share for our new site, please email

As well as offering webinars and online surgeries while we practise physical distancing, we compiled this page of resources to help you and your community group or project through this tough time and beyond.

The headings below will take you to the relevant sections.

If this page is your first encounter with Birmingham Community Matters – welcome! We are a small charity providing support to small and emerging community groups across the city. Here is a flyer outlining what we do and how we’ve adapted during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Local and regional support

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS)
is working with partner organisations across the city to support those most in need 

Birmingham Children’s Partnership 
From Birmingham with Love – services and support from a number of organisations. These include an online parenting course – prepaid for every parent in Birmingham (enter the access code COMMUNITY). 

Birmingham City Council

A roundup of emergency food assistance for families

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK
A network run by volunteers offering a facility to list an organisation or search for support by postcode

Environmental Community Learning Programme

West Midlands Combined Authority
WMCA Community Support Hub

Funding: grants and programmes

We’re now listing all relevant grants and funding we find, so they’re not necessarily all Covid-19 related. And this isn’t an exhaustive list – rather programmes we’ve spotted while doing our day-to-day work. 

Arts Council England
Project Grants (open until April 2021)
Covid-19 Support 

ASDA Foundation 
Feeding communities grant – grants of up to £1000 to help with providing food parcels / meals to the local community.

BBC Children in Need 

Betty Messenger Charitable Foundation 
Grant Programme for Small Charities: grants of between £100 and £1,000 are available to small charities which are temporarily struggling but otherwise viable. This is a rolling programme, with the deadline for applications the 20th of each month.

British Muslim Covid Fund 
Grants from £250 to £5000 to help charities, organisations and voluntary groups, irrespective of faith, affected by Covid-19.

Fat Beehive Foundation 
Digital funding for small charities

Windrush Community Fund, offering financial support (£2,500 to a maximum of £25,000) to UK charity, community or grassroots organisations to fund projects which raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme, the Windrush Compensation Scheme or both. Phase 2 will be open from Thursday 1 April to Wednesday 30 June. 

Heart of England Community Foundation
Available grants are listed here and include:
Birmingham Sports Fund offering grants of up to £1,000 for projects that develop sports participation or support emerging talented sports people. In particular, the fund aims to support projects that encourage sports participation from disadvantaged communities, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, women and girls, and disabled people.
Emergency Assistance Food & Essential Supplies Grant, providing grants of up to £5,000 in the Edgbaston and Northfield areas to support ideas and proposals providing social support, volunteers for shopping and essential supplies, support with food/foodbanks and enhanced information, advice and guidance.
Peddimore Community Fundsupporting community projects in the areas closest to the new Peddimore employment park, in northeast Birmingham.

McLaughlin & Harvey (lead contractor at the Alexander Stadium redevelopment)
You Matter Communities Scheme, offering volunteer time, small grants, and the use of excess materials from the Alexander Stadium redevelopment. 

Morrisons Foundation
Covid-19 Homeless Support Fund (grants of up to £10,000 are available to charities supporting homeless people)

The National Lottery Community Fund
Here’s a useful overview of all of the National Lottery’s funding programmes

Persimmon Community Champions
Persimmon Community Champions: grants of up to £2000 for groups or charities supporting people over 70.

Screwfix Foundation 
Grants of up to £5000 for registered charities and not for profit organisations to help all sorts of projects, from repairing buildings and improving facilities in deprived areas, to decorating the homes of people living with sickness and disabilities.

Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network Scheme
Selly Oak NNS is distributing grants of up to £10,000 to community groups/organisations to support local delivery and response to community needs. This will be a rolling programme, while money is available.
Download application form

Severn Trent
Severn Trent Community Fund is open for applications (not just coronavirus-related). It is a rolling programme so you can apply throughout the year. We are holding a workshop with funding officer Sue Heyes on Thursday 20 May: find out how you can attend
Through Severn Trent Trust Fund’s Big Difference Scheme in partnership with auriga, households on low incomes could get up to 90 per cent reduction on their water bills. 

Smallwood Trust
Grants and support to individuals (for women who are on low incomes who have specific needs and are struggling to make ends meet or trying to overcome financial problems). 

Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
Small grants and major grants for charitable organisations with a demonstrable track record of success working to address local issues in communities of extreme urban deprivation and deprived rural districts.

Birmingham EnviroGrant Scheme, offering up to £1,000 to help people help people improve their environment and / or community.

Yapp Charitable Trust
Grants available for registered charities operating for at least three years. Please note this is not Covid-19 emergency funding. 

Youth Futures Foundation
Grants programme

Fundraising: directories and guidance

Funding Central (closing on Wednesday 31 March, to become My Funding Central)
Search for funding

Get Grants
Free newsletter containing details of grants

Matt Haworth, via David McGlashan’s ‘Have I Got Social Enterprise News for You’ email
Free version of The Digital Fundraising Handbook

National Lottery Community Fund
Networks and peer support 

Sandwell Council of Voluntary and Community Organisations (SCVO)
Covid-19 support

West Midlands Funders Network
How WM Funders Network members are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in the West Midlands

Continuity and recovery for your community group or project

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)
Information sheet for re-opening village halls and community centres

Arts Professional
Covid-19: Connecting online during social distancing

Bates Wells
Charity Helpline: free legal consultation (30-minute phonecall) for charities and social enterprises

Birmingham Community Matters
Online surgeries

Charity Digital 
Seven ways to combat Zoom fatigue

Covid Tech Support
Free project support for those who need it

Digital Culture Network from the Arts Council
Getting the support of a Tech Champion

Covid-19 Event Safety Playbook for Events 

Covid-19 Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

Information Commissioner’s Office
Blog: Community groups and Covid-19: what you need to know about data protection

Reopening Guidance for Locality Members

Madeleine Sugden, via David McGlashan’s ‘Have I Got Social Enterprise News for You’ email
Coronavirus comms for charities

Mali Enterprising Leaders (England) 
A new capacity support and development programme (launched in November 2020) focused on the needs of micro and small voluntary and community organisations which have Black, Asian or minority ethnic leaders. Includes one-to-one support and development webinars. 

Resource Centre
Bank accounts for community groups and voluntary organisations (including list updated on Friday 9 October of banks still opening accounts for community groups)  

Update Brum from BVSC
A simple guide to help charities and community groups harness digital tools

Tom Walker, via WMCA’s newsletter
‘Designing and Facilitating Digital Events’

Risk Assessment useful links for those running community buildings prepared by St Francis Youth and Community Centre.


Supporting communities

Boloh – Barnardo’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic family Covid-19 Helpline is for Black, Asian or minority ethnic children, young people, parents or carers who are affected by Covid-19. Barnardo’s says: ‘You can speak to us about your worries, problems and stresses during this time, and we can provide emotional support, practical advice and signposting to other organisations who can provide further help.’ Call 0800 1512605 or chat online; helpline advisors can talk to you in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi or Mirpuri.

Bhealthy (from Healthy Birmingham at Birmingham City Council)
Evidence-based practical resources to enable leaders and professionals to support their communities to reduce people’s risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. You can download Bhealthy resources for professionals and individuals here – available in multiple languages

Birmingham Health Partners
‘How to safely wear a facemask’ guide translated into 16 languages

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Information and resources for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and organisations across Birmingham and the surrounding areas.

Centrala Community 
Support for people from Central and Eastern European communities, including Covid-related finance courses in Polish and Romanian which were live-streamed via Facebook and now available as videos. 

Communities in Sync (sent to us by Sandwell Crossroads)
Leaflet: Supporting carers through loss and bereavement

Create and Express – in the key of community!
This Hull-based not-for-profit organisation has made songs about coronavirus in various community languages to help spread important messages about health. 

An easy-to-understand lesson in using Zoom to make video calls, broken into two simple chapters: ‘Joining a Zoom call’ and ‘Using a Zoom call’. 

Doctors of the World
The latest government advice on Covid-19, translated into 60 languages
Guidance on mental health and wellbeing, translated into 27 languages

Domestic Abuse Support in the West Midlands
Download flyer

Near Neighbours
Covid Videos – short videos in several languages to help people understand public health advice around the Covid vaccine. 

NHS Salford 
Videos explaining coronavirus in eleven languages

Refugee Council
Banking guides in various languages to help refugees open a bank account

The Ubele Initiative
The Emergency Conversation Part 2: Lockdown, Vaccines and the Virus (recording of event streamed via YouTube on Thursday 28 January)
OurSpace Toolkit for Inclusive Spaces

Your Money Your Way CIC
Community organisation in Sparkbrook supporting women on a low income to become confident in managing their everyday finances. To make a referral for support or for further information call 0121 663 171

Research and learning from impact

How charities innovate in times of crisis

Charity So White
Racial injustice in the Covid-19 response: a live position paper

Certification and guidance to help organisations’ conferences and events deliver a representative and diverse set of speakers, perspectives and attendees.

Covid-19: Review of disparities in risks and outcomes

Independent Age
Independent Age survey reveals challenges faced by over-65s during pandemic

‘We were built for this’ report, showing how community organisations helped us through the coronavirus crisis, and how we can build a better future

MoVE (mobilising volunteers effectively)
Report #1: Lessons from lockdown 

The Age of Inclusion: Lessons from social action innovations developing age-inclusive and age-friendly practice

New Economics Foundation
Migrants’ access to healthcare during the coronavirus crisis

Nottingham Business School Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice
Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and Covid-19 barometer survey

Pro Bono Economics
Weekly survey into the impact of Covid-19 on charities 

The Ubele Initiative 
Report: ‘The impact of Covid-19 on BAME led community and voluntary organisations: a follow-up’ (December 2020)

What Works Wellbeing
New research on emotional wellbeing impacts of Covid-19

For social enterprises

Good Finance
Covid-19 resource hub for charities and social enterprises

Social Enterprise Helpline: 0121 771 1411
Covid-19 Summary and Sector Updates

School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE)
How can SSE support you during the Covid-19 crisis?
Black Social Entrepreneurs: a programme aimed at Black social entrepreneurs based in the West Midlands, who want to increase their impact and trading income. The deadline for applications has been extended to Sunday 31 January.

Health and well-being support

Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies
Soothing pack (PDF)

Birmingham Mind
Support line open 9am to 11pm daily: 0121 262 3555

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Covid-19 Mental Health Support Offer for Birmingham and Solihull 

Citizen Coaching & Counselling
Anger Management online course is currently free (usually £27) 

Future Learn
Support Your Mental Health in Lockdown courses

Kashmiri Arts & Heritage Foundation 
HelpLine 65, providing information, friendship and advice to Birmingham’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic elderly community though the Covid crisis. 07874 201102. 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Route 2 Wellbeing
Directory of services and activities either set up to help people during this crisis, or existing services still running in some capacity.

Self Injury Support
Coping with coronavirus lockdown when your mental health is already not great

The Waiting Room (Birmingham & Solihull Health & Wellbeing Services)
Directory of support

Please share resources you think we should add:

This page was last updated on Thursday 25 March 2021.