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The hidden impact of lockdown

August 2020

Children and young people have been the victims of domestic abuse, gang crime, digital exclusion and have experienced serious mental heath issues as a result of lockdown in the UK. John Lyon’s Charity urges the Government to do more to help.

Back in April 2020, at the height of lockdown, John Lyon’s Charity was one of the first organisations to sign up to the ‘We stand with the sector statement’ confirming our flexible approach to supporting civil society groups affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Soon after, John Lyon’s Charity pledged half a million pounds of emergency funding to groups and communities in need to the London Community Response Fund (LCRF) coordinated by London Funders.

Since April 2020, over £560,000 has been awarded to 54 organisations working with children and young people in the Charity’s Beneficial Area who have been most severely affected by the global pandemic. Grants have supported organisations with practical support like the provision of food, mobile phones and other digital devices as well as helping organisations adapt their services so that they can continue to deliver their work safely and efficiently to as many young people as possible.

John Lyon’s Charity has now ring-fenced another half a million pounds of emergency funding to the London Community Response Fund.

So what has prompted this decision?

Many of the organisations which John Lyon’s Charity helps in urban areas, such as Brent, Harrow and Ealing, have provided harrowing stories of children and young people who have suffered appalling levels of domestic abuse in the home, recruitment into gangs, the inability to learn online due to lack of home-based computers and laptops, and the escalation of new or existing mental health issues. It is clear from the Charity’s research that lockdown has magnified pre-existing issues and presented organisations with a raft of new problems to deal with.

DrLynne Guyton, CEO at John Lyon’s Charity said “After speaking with multiple charitable organisations that we fund, we have been shocked to hear about the many cases of domestic abuse involving sibling attacks, an increase in mental health problems, knife crime and digital exclusion. These issues were always a problem but they have been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19. We, as a funding organisation are trying to do all we can, which is why we have pledged an additional £500k to LCRF. These small organisations that we support have to survive. If they don’t, the impact on the children and young people who desperately need their support and guidance will be immense”.

On 8th April, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a £750m financial support package for charities hit by the coronavirus crisis. This decision followed pressure from a number of charities and umbrella organisations. However, the government has faced criticism over the slow pace at which the urgently needed funds have been distributed with the biggest concern that it’s going to larger organisations rather than grassroots organisations who are at risk of bankruptcy.

John Lyon’s Charity has compiled statements from a number of organisations who, in the face of unprecedented problems, are working hard to deliver their services to vulnerable children and young people. Their aims are to help alleviate the problems of abuse, crime and exclusion, which have been highlighted and to provide positive activities for young people, whose lives have been very bleak this year.

Yusuf Deerow, Chair, Somali Youth Development Resource Centre (SYDRC) said “What Covid-19 has affectively done is highlight the deprivation and structural inequality that was always there and all it’s done is basically aggravated it”.

Louise Bartlett-Pestell, Director of Programming at Arts Depot said “I think particularly young people with disabilities, who rely on a lot of support in their educational situations or community support groups, that support has had to change or taken away completely and it’s really worrying”.

Donna John, Executive Director, Ignite Trust said “every time there is another young person who gets stabbed or killed…for every young person who is dying is one person too many”.

Rashid Iqbal, Chief Executive Officer of The Winchester Project said the Government needs to “invest in social infrastructure for the long term because that then includes things like childcare, youth clubs, afterschool clubs or things outside of formal schooling education. Value them, they do amazing work, value youth clubs, it’s sometimes the only place a person feels they belong”.

John Lyon’s Charity is calling on the Government to do the following:

  1. To provide greater clarity on the distribution of the £750m funding pot for the voluntary sector announced in April. Most organisations do not know when it’s coming or how much will be given. This clarity is needed now, without delay.
  2. Listen to the voluntary sector and pay attention to all charities, big and SMALL. Big is not always best and from our experience it’s often the small community led organisations that can have the biggest impact
  3. A support package for the Early Years Sector to provide specialist support for families in line with support already offered to schools. The Government needs to recognise the importance of early years on child development and long-term life chances.

John Lyon’s Charity promises to do all it can to ensure children and young people receive the support they need through the groups it funds. But the government needs to sit up and ensure the promised funding of £750m is being distributed quickly and to the neediest organisations. More needs to be done. A lot more.

New Funding Available For Grants Up To £50k

July 2020

A new wave of funding has been announced from the London Community Response Fund, coordinated by London Funders.

At the beginning of April, John Lyon’s Charity was on of the first of now over 60 funders to work together to make it easier for Charities to get the resources they need during these unprecedented times.

The Charity ring-fenced half a million pounds of emergency funding to ensure its groups could still deliver core services within lockdown restraints. Thus far, over £400,000 has been awarded from John Lyon’s Charity to 27 organisations across the Charity’s Beneficial Area, with new applications coming in every day.

Grants have been awarded to help organisations in a variety of ways including adapting services to deliver online, providing specialist equipment, supporting additional staff costs to help with increasing workloads and helping deliver services differently in order to meet urgent and emerging needs. There is now a New Fund available, which applies to both small and large grants. See below for further details:

What funding is available?

  • Small – grants of up to £10,000, using a simple application form, with decisions typically made within two to three weeks of you making an application.
  • Large – grants of up to £50,000, involving a longer application form, with decisions typically made within six to eight weeks of you making an application. In some circumstances we may consider grants above £50,000 but there must be a strong rationale in your application for this.

These grants are expected to cover up to six months of your costs for the work you are seeking funding for (from the time the grant is awarded), though it can be for a shorter period (e.g. activities over the summer). Where possible, unrestricted grants can be offered, though this is more likely if you are applying for a small grant.

Please note, the deadline for the New Fund is the end of July and all applications will be considered in the order they are received. For more information and guidance, please click here.

John Lyon’s Charity awards over £400,000 of Emergency Funding since lockdown began

June 2020

As the UK begins to ease out of lockdown, John Lyon’s Charity is delighted to announce over £400,000 worth of grants awarded, benefitting 27 organisations across our Beneficial Area.

At the beginning of April, John Lyon’s Charity was one of the first Charities to pledge support to the London Community Response Fund, coordinated by London Funders.

The Charity ring-fenced half a million pounds of emergency funding to ensure our groups could still deliver core services within lockdown restraints. Grants have been awarded to help organisations in a variety of ways including adapting services to deliver online, providing specialist equipment, supporting additional staff costs to help with increasing workloads and helping deliver services differently in order to meet urgent and emerging needs.

Despite lockdown having its challenges, John Lyon’s Charity has still been ‘business as usual’, working hard to ensure that all grantees are listened and responded to. Like so many groups, the Charity has adapted to working from home quickly and efficiently and are still receiving and assessing multiple grant applications, as well as contributing to the London Community Response Fund. The Charity has no doubt that this figure will only increase over the coming weeks and months.

One group who was awarded an Emergency Fund a few weeks into lockdown was Home-Start Ealing. Here’s what Sue Porter, Manager at Home-Start Ealing had to say:

As a frontline service, Home-Start Ealing has had to innovate greatly since lockdown to meet the needs of the vulnerable families we support and of some of our regular home-visiting volunteers who are now self isolating. We needed funds quickly to be able to purchase and supply essential needs especially nappies, wipes, formula and sanitary products which are not found in regular food deliveries but are essential to our families many of whom cannot go out due to complex personal circumstances. We are able to do doorstep drops, meet these needs and give families already challenged by having to stay inside with their children one less thing to worry about. We applied to London Funders as soon as it opened and are very grateful to John Lyons Charity for funding our bid so quickly and enabling us to meet the needs of our vulnerable families in these challenging times.” – Sue Porter, Manager at Home-Start Ealing.

We are delighted as a Charity to have awarded £400,000 thus far, however, there is still much work to be done. As Wave Three of the London Community Response Fund opens, we intend to continue to pledge further funding support to ensure all our groups are helped during this uncertain period.

As mentioned, throughout lockdown we are and continue to be ‘business as usual’. With this in mind, we would like to remind all grantees that applications for the November round remains open. Should people like to apply, Stage 1 application process must be completed by mid-July.

May 2020If you are looking to submit an application for a “delivering differently” grant on the London Community Response Fund, please ensure you complete this by 5pm on Tuesday 19th May. After this time, the Fund will be temporarily closed to new applications for this particular programme. Delivering differently grants are to help organisations change their service delivery to support the needs of their communities, at the current time.

It is anticipated that Delivering Differently grants and/or a new Wave 3 fund could reopen from early June.
You can still apply for crisis response grants, with funding of up to £10,000 available. This application helps specifically focus on urgent needs, such as food, mobile phones and other essential services to ensure groups and organisations can continue to function during this difficult period.

This is a pause, not a stop. Further funding will be announced from the London Community Response in early June.

Covid-19 Update – Wave Two Funding Applications Open

April 2020

Since Covid-19 became a very real threat in the last few months, John Lyon’s Charity has joined forces with other funders in London to provide coordinated support to vulnerable groups affected by the pandemic.

Two weeks ago, Wave One was launched for grants up to £5k that apply to urgent needs such as food, mobile phones and other essential services. This has now been amalgamated into Wave Two of the London Community Response Fund, with grants of up to £50,000 available to apply for.

This increased fund is to support larger grants for organisations to deliver their services in new ways to ensure they can continue to support Londoners through the coming months.

In some circumstances requests may be considered of above £50,000 but there must be a strong rationale in your application for this.

Please click here for funding guidelines and information on how to apply for Wave Two.

Covid-19 Update – Emergency Funding Applications Open

April 2020

Funders in London are working together to provide coordinated support to groups responding to the needs of communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, The London Community Response total is currently just shy of £9million pounds and is growing steadily as further funders come together to contribute more.

John Lyon’s Charity is currently working with London Funders on the first wave of funding, which specifically applies to urgent needs such as food, mobile phones and other essential services.

Although the first wave of funding will focus on urgent needs, there will be later funding which will support organisations to deliver services in new ways to support communities, and to ensure that their longer-term needs are considered.

The first wave of funding for food and essentials is now open with small grants available up to £5k.

Click here for Funding Guidelines and information on how to apply.

Funding for London’s civil society groups affected by covid-19 rises to £3.2m

Three charitable foundations have pledged support for the London Community Response Fund, building on the £1m contributed by the Mayor of London and £1m from City of London Corporation’s Charitable Funder, the City Bridge Trust.

John Lyon’s Charity has ring-fenced £500,000 towards the effort, £500,000 of funding has been announced by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and a further £200,000 has been contributed by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust.

Thanks to this outstanding collaborative effort the London Community Response Fund now stands at £3.2million, with further funders expected to announce their contributions in the coming days, ahead of applications opening for civil society groups affected by the crisis to apply later in the week.

The fund, which will be coordinated by London Funders, will be available to organisations facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of the covid-19 outbreak – with reports of organisations dealing with increased demand for services, sickness affecting staff and volunteers, and lower donations.

Funders have been working with London Funders to identify the needs of London’s communities, to ensure that resources can flow quickly to those groups who need additional funding – this has included work to focus on the needs of vulnerable groups, children and young people, food, advice, domestic violence, homelessness, arts and culture organisations and more.  Details of the funding programme’s first wave of applications will be published on the London Funders website in the coming days, and groups can sign up at https://londonfunders.org.uk/our-blog/new-emergency-support-fund-announced-help-community-and-voluntary-organisations to be kept updated when details are announced.

The new funding announced today comes on top of over 200 funders signing up to a statement showing their support to the sector at this time.  The statement, coordinated by London Funders, has signatories from across the UK who can all be seen on the dedicated website www.covid19funders.org.uk.

Commenting on the announcement today of the fund rising to £3.2m, the contributing partners have said:

Dr Lynne Guyton FRSA, CEO at John Lyon’s Charity has said:

“John Lyon’s Charity is committed to helping its grantees and CYP groups through this unprecedented crisis. To show our support, we are ring-fencing £500,000 to assist groups whose delivery and very existence might be affected at this time. It is our mission to walk alongside our groups and help them through this difficult time in any way we can.”

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said:

“The voluntary sector is needed today more than ever before – to provide care and help manage isolation, to run food banks and offer shelter, to provide distraction for our children at home and advice for those most affected. London will simply not cope without these organisations, and funders and government need to come together to support their extraordinary effort. Paul Hamlyn Foundation is pleased to be joining our peers to do just that.”

Julia and Hans Rausing said:

“This is an extraordinarily tough time for everyone across the country, particularly for the most vulnerable in society. We are pleased to support London Funders on this new fund to support the communities affected by this grave pandemic.”

Covid-19 Statement

March 2020

John Lyon’s Charity is truly sympathetic to the impact of Covid-19 on our grantees and wider networks. In response, we have agreed in principle to the joint statement issued by London Funders.  This agreement represents the Charity’s ongoing committment to being flexible and responsive to the challenges presented by Covid-19, in order to best support the Children and Young People’s sector in our Beneficial Area.  However, we ask that grantees must get in touch with their Grants Manager before making any changes to delivery or grant expenditure. If you are unsure who to contact at the Charity, please email [email protected].

Our thoughts go out to anyone affected by Covid-19 and we encourage everyone to follow NHS advice on how to avoid spreading and manage coronavirus.

John Lyon’s Charity commits £500,000 to The Excluded Initiative in partnership with The Evening Standard, Martin Moshal and the London Community Foundation

January 2020

The Evening Standard, John Lyon’s Charity, tech investor and philanthropist Martin Moshal and the London Community Foundation are working together for the next three years to support inclusion in London secondary schools.

The Excluded Initiative offers special support to secondary schools in London that have exclusion rates higher than the national average and are seeking to tackle these issues in an inclusive, nurturing way by building their inclusion capacity and expertise to drive down exclusions to a minimum.  We are seeking schools that have made a commitment to tackle exclusion rates and are looking to implement a plan to do so.  This plan must have the support of the school’s management, staff and Governors, in addition to consulting with parents and the local community to ensure there are tangible benefits for the whole school.  The Initiative will provide project funding over a three-year period totalling up to £150,000 per school for your school’s inclusion programme.

Lynne Guyton, Chief Executive of John Lyon’s Charity said:

“Over the past eight years there has been a trend towards zero-tolerance resulting in more pupils being excluded.  This is happening for several reasons including lack of funding and because schools are under pressure to remove children who bring down their exam results.  In our experience of grant-making, unruly child behaviour is always a symptom of an underlying problem, be it bereavement of a parent, abuse by a family member, mental health issues of parents, being a ‘looked after child’ or inadequate housing.  By partnering with the Evening Standard’s new campaign, we hope to empower visionary headteachers to pioneer new ways of bolstering inclusion.”

Martin Moshal has also committed £500,000, which will be administered by the London Community Foundation.  He said:

“A school’s approach to dealing with exclusions can make the difference between a young person correcting their path to enter the world confident and productive and one who is let down by the system, their potential unrealised, and may leave a trail of trauma in their wake.  Our work at the Moshal Scholarship Programme with over a thousand young people in South Africa and Israel has shown how success can arise out of adversity, given the right support.  My contribution to this critical Initiative by the Evening Standard is driven by my firm belief that there is massive unrealised potential among young people from challenging backgrounds, that if harnessed effectively, can transform their lives, those of their families, communities and the wider world.  My family and I lived in the UK until December 2018 and wish to show our gratitude to the country for hosting us over the last decade.”

Kate Markey, Chief Executive of The London Community Foundation, which manages the Dispossessed Fund said:

“We want to embolden schools that have lacked the resources to be as inclusive as they might and who can lead the way in supporting distressed children that act out so that no child is left behind.”

The Excluded Initiative is now open for applications from secondary schools within London.  Schools based in the Charity’s Beneficial Area can find out more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply here.  Schools based in other London boroughs can apply via the London Community Foundation.

Read Lynne Guyton’s blog on excluded young people here.