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Covid Response Fund

BRITISH GAS ENERGY TRUST £800,000 COVID RESPONSE FUND OPEN – 9 grants of between £40,000 – £180,000 for Charities within High Need Areas.

The British Gas Energy Trust (BGET) exists to alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty.  Helping people in, or at risk of, financial hardship meet their energy needs & manage their energy costs through support, education & raising awareness of sound money management.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the public health measures put in place to control the spread of the virus have had unprecedented impacts on the UK economy and household finances. An estimated 28% of adults in the UK (14 million people) have experienced a direct negative impact on their income1. In the two months following the start of lockdown (March – May 2020) 2.8 million people have fallen into arrears, 1.2 million of whom with their utility supplier. (BGET Advice Need Mapping Report – Centre for Sustainable Energy July 2020)

The impacts on household income and debt are expected to greatly increase the demand for money, debt and energy advice services.  As a response to this unprecedented situation, the Board of British Gas Energy Trust are launching an £800,000 Covid Response Fund which will be open to grant applications from Money Advice & support Charities, that deliver projects aligned to the following aims:

In order to ensure the Covid Response Fund supports advice charities providing services in the areas most facing heightened need, BGET commissioned Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to build an understanding of the areas of the UK most in need of advice services during and after the pandemic.

CSE have created an Advice Need Index (ANI) to highlight areas with the greatest estimated need for advice following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Advice Needs Index (ANI) showed higher levels of need in urban areas and there are areas with high levels of need across all regions or Great Britain with clusters of very high need and relatively low advice provision. It has been a very challenging decision but with limited funding available, the need to manage demand and the desire to allocate sufficient funding to meaningfully deliver services; the Board of Trustees has decided to ring fence allocated funding for 9 grants, between £40,000 – £180,000, aimed at the Decile 10 Advice Need Index Areas shown below:

  Funding Area ADVICE NEED INDEX                                                                      Identified priority areas for service delivery TOTAL AVAILABLE GRANT PER FUNDING AREA
1 South London
  Croydon £150,000
  Greenwich
  Lambeth
  Lewisham
  Southwark
2 Inner & East London  
  Barking & Dagenham £180,000
  Hackney
  Haringey
  Islington
  Tower Hamlets
  Newham
3 South East Hastings £40,000
4 North West  
  Blackburn with Darwen £90,000
  Blackpool
  Hyndburn
5 North East  
  Middlesbrough £90,000
  Hartlepool
  Sunderland
6 East Midlands  
  Leicester £40,000
  Corby
7 West Midlands  
  Sandwell £90,000
  Stoke-on-Trent
  Walsall
8 Yorkshire & Humber Hull £40,000
9 Scotland Dundee £40,000

IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR AN ANI GRANT THAT COVERS MULTIPLE AREAS, PLEASE NOTE SERVICES DO NOT NEED TO BE PROVIDED IN EVERY LOCATION LISTED. BUT PLEASE CLEARLY STATE WHICH OF THE LISTED ADVICE NEED INDEX AREAS YOUR PROJECT OR SERVICE WILL COVER. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU DO NOT DELIVER SERVICES IN THE ANI LIST ABOVE.

The application & assessment process will be looking for applications that clearly evidence that the intervention can help meet the following objectives:

  1. Foster individual skills, capabilities & competencies so people can build financial stability and thrive. 
  2. Help people in financial hardship avoid the burden of energy debt, meet their energy needs, manage their energy costs, whilst informing their energy decisions and supporting choice in a changing world.
  3. Identify impactful interventions to improve the support services for those facing financial hardship.
  4. Manage our funds effectively and delivering support where it is most impactful.

Before applying please check whether your organisation is eligible, if you cannot meet and evidence all 7 of the criteria below please do not apply as your application will be rejected prior to assessment:

  1. The Organisation currently delivers money advice services utilizing their own staff and volunteers, within the identified Advice Need Index Area that they are applying for Project funding for.
  2. All projects have to provide free and direct advice and support to people through their own direct intervention.
  3. The Grant programme is only open to registered Charities, or not for profit CIC or CIOs with an annual turnover of between £200,000 and £1,000,000 in their last audited accounts. 
  4. All grants to be expended by the 30th June 2021.
  5. Organisations will need to submit evidence that the organisation is a going concern (e.g. latest audited accounts)
  6. All applications will need a positive reference from an existing or recent funder (last 6 months)
  7. The project can be fully delivered with the grant funding amount being applied for, and that the application does not exceed the total grant funding available within the area.

In addition to the KPI template any successful funded projects will be required to use the BGET Collective Impact Framework Tool, this tool has been developed to enable the Trust to better understand grant outcomes, and as such the effectiveness of the funding in meeting the Trust’s objectives, this will sit alongside more traditional KPI monitoring.

Please download the Full Application Guidance here

KPI template & budget sheet to be obtained by emailing requests to admin@britishgasenergytrust.org.uk. This document is required alongside your application form to apply.

Please download the Application form here

Please return your fully completed application with accompanying documents to admin@britishgasenergytrust.org.uk by noon on Wednesday the 19th of August 2020. 

Successful applicants will be notified by email on Monday 14th of September 2020 , with project funding commencing no earlier than the 1st of October 2020.

Applications which are received after the deadline or do not provide all the requested information will not be considered or assessed. In light of this please check that your application has been received, if you do not receive confirmation it may not have been.

1 StepChange, 2020. Coronavirus and personal debt: a financial recovery strategy for households.