Disabled People’s Organisations Covid-19 Emergency Fund

Logos of DPO partners: Disability Wales, Disability Action NI, Inclusion Scotland and Inclusion London

The National Emergency Trust (NET) has today announced £1.5 million of funding to support grassroots Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) across the UK, who have found it difficult to access funding, to respond to the Covid-19 needs of Disabled people.  The funding will be administered and distributed through a partnership of DPOs across the UK.

What work will be supported by the DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund?

The DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund aims to support DPOs to meet the needs of local Disabled people. We are looking to fund 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 totackleisolation 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. 

Who can apply for funding?

Any DPO in the UK can apply if a majority of your governing body (greater than 51%) or management committee are made up of Disabled people and you have a constitution (you do not need to be a registered charity)

How much can I apply for?

The minimum you can apply for is £1,000 and the maximum is £25,000

How long is the funding for?

The funding period is 8 months from 1 November 2020 to 30 June 2021 – all grant income and funding activity will be expected to have been spent and completed by then 

When does it go live and how can I apply?

  • There will be a simple on-line application form to fill in. The Fund will open for applications in September 
  • Grant applications will be assessed, and all grants awarded by 31 October 


  • Further information about the DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund will be communicated to DPOs as soon as it is available
  • DPO partners involved in this work will be actively communicating with DPO’s across the 4 nations of the UK from late August to publicise the fund and support DPO’s to apply

We will be organising 2 webinars for DPO’s interested in applying in September

For further information email NETgrants@disabilityaction.org 

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