PHF COVID-19 Emergency Response

Published: 6 April 2020 
Stay safe. One of the many street signs that have appeared, to warn people, during the current pandemic. This one was in the high street of Shaftesbury, which has now been pedestrianised.
Photo credit: Nick Fewings

Whilst the full impact of the current pandemic is unclear, we are in no doubt about the immediate challenges that many of the organisations and people we fund, and the individuals and communities they support, are facing.

We have been in contact with all our grantees in the past few weeks. Their thoughtful and compassionate approach to the situations many of them are facing is admirable. It is already clear that, for many of them, business as usual is not possible or tenable. Many of them are working with people whose circumstances were already precarious before the crisis hit. These are desperately worrying times for them.

On 6 April, we are confirming that we will focus our effort and resource from April to Autumn 2020 to ensure our grantees and the communities they work with can survive the impact of societal change on a scale unprecedented in modern times.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation have created a £20 million Emergency Fund. This fund is in addition to the £30 million already allocated to our grant-making programmes for 2020/2021. How we intend to use this Emergency Fund is outlined below.

We have been in touch with all organisations we are currently funding to make clear we will be flexible and responsive to their changed circumstances. This includes suspending normal reporting requirements, extending timelines and converting programme grants into core and operating grants. You can read more about that here.

On 25 March, to help support and alleviate immediate hardship, we announced funding of £500,000 each to two emergency funds for the charitable sector, the National Emergencies Trust and the London Community Response Fund. Find out more about these here.

Emergency grants will be made to some organisations we currently fund. £700,000 in additional grants has been offered this week to 36 organisations. This money is being used to respond to the need they have identified, whether that be adapting existing services or setting up new ones, channelling funds to front line groups or supporting cash flow. We will continue to make emergency grants of this kind in the weeks ahead. We will publish details about these grants .

  • Our 2020 Awards for Artists programme will take a different form this year. Instead, all eligible visual artists and composers that have been nominated will receive a £10,000 award in recognition of the very real financial challenges many of them are dealing with. Find out more here.
  • We are pausing new applications until Autumn. This will enable us to focus all our available energy on supporting the organisations we fund and the fields in which they operate.
  • We will be flexible with those organisations who have already applied to us. For some, the opportunity to pause and come back to us with a refocused proposal may be appropriate. For others, the work they have already done to get to this point will still feel relevant and we will take them forward for funding in the coming weeks. This will need honest and trusting conversations on all sides.
  • From the Autumn onwards, we anticipate being open to new applications again, running a mix of recovery grants and programme grants. This will allow those we fund and those applying to adjust their plans in the light of their experiences and learning.

Throughout, we continue to be open to conversations with the sector, to sharing learning and to developing partnerships. We know that there will be many resourceful, inventive and creative responses to emerge through this crisis and we want to be there to help support that longer-term thinking, as well as for the more immediate concerns.

Please do keep in touch. You can talk to a grants manager by email or go through our enquiries desk which can be contacted by email here.