Disclaimer: This information is shared on behalf of the National Emergency Trust for Applicants wishing to apply for the Disabled Peoples Organisations Covid-19 emergency fund.

The National Emergency Trust has announced £1.5 million of funding to support grassroots Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) across the UK 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 the DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund?

The DPO Covid-19 Emergency Fund aims to support DPOs to meet the needs of disabled people. They 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 to tackle isolation 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

Who can apply for funding?

Any DPO in the UK can apply if at least 51% of your governing body or management committee are made up of disabled people and you have a constitution/governing document (you do not need to be a registered charity) that shows your organisation is set up to support disabled people and/or advance disabled people’s equality and inclusion. Organisations must be fit for funding. This means having good governance, appropriate financial management policies and processes in place and appropriate standards of safeguarding for staff, volunteers and those using their support or services. As part of our application checks organisations are required to submit the the following:

  • A governing document (e.g. a constitution which explains your organisation’s aims)
  • A recent bank statement (within the last 3 months) in the organisation’s name. The most recent annual accounts (which have been independently examined or audited if required) or statement of income and expenditure. 
  • You will also be asked to show that your organisation has relevant Safeguarding & Equality Policies.

Funding Criteria

All applications will be assessed and scored against the following criteria and weightings:

  • Demonstrate evidence of Covid-19 related need – 20%
  • Demonstrate a good track record of working with disabled peopleand promoting disability rights and equality – 20%
  • Proposed activities within the 3 themes – independent living,isolation, income – 30%
  • Designed to meet and address the needs of Disabled people who experience intersectional exclusion e.g. Disabled women, BAME,LGBT+ communities – 10%
  • Provides a credible budget with costs allocated against activitiesdemonstrating value for money and has realistic spending plans to complete projects within 8 months – 20%

What we cannot fund

Whilst we are keen to fund as many DPOs and projects as we can there are several types of organisations, projects and work we cannot fund. Please ensure that you read the list carefully. If you are unsure if your organisation or proposed work is eligible, please get in touch with your National/Regional support DPO.


  • Any organisation, group or project that is not a DPO and is not specifically set up to support Disabled people
  • Work which does not respond directly to needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Activities that take place outside of the UK
  • Organisations which cannot demonstrate that they are working in an inclusive, non-discriminatory way
  • Standalone or large capital purchases
  • Research
  • Political Groups
  • Work that promotes religion (i.e. work that evangelises or proselytizes)
  • Organisations or projects that will distribute the grant money to others
  • Retrospective costs, i.e. costs already incurred prior to receiving a grant
  • General appeal
  • Grants to individuals

How much can I apply for?

There is a total of £1m funds available for this programme. This is broken down based on the Disability population in each of the four nations of the UK. The following funding is available:

Scotland: £120,000

Wales: £100,000

Northern Ireland: 100,000


North East & Yorkshire & Humber£125,200
(£41,800) +
North West£118,000
London & South East£208,400
(£90,600 London) +
£117,800 (SE)
South West£90,800

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 for 4 weeks from Monday 7th September 2020 and close on 5th October 2020
  • Grant applications will be assessed, and all grants awarded by 30 October 2020

For Deaf BSL organisations and Learning Disability organisations who require accessible versions of this information, there will be a 2 week extension for the submission of your application due to a delay in production of these materials. Easy Read and BSL versions will be available from Friday 18th September 2020. Please make contact with the National Emergency Trust support partners in your region for any additional support required.

Online application form

You can access the online application form here: https://disabilityaction.flexigrant.com/areadetail.aspx

When you access the online application form you will be asked to create an account where you will have to provide your contact details, a secondary contact and the organisation’s details. Once your account has been created, you will be able to continue with the application. The application length is 5 pages and is broken down into the following sections:

  • Your organisation – Here state what type of organisation you are and what your organisation does including your main aims, objectives and activities. If your organisation does not identify as a Disabled People’s Organisation, you will not be able to submit the form.
  • Your project – Provide information about the Covid-19 needs of disabled people you are requesting this funding for, which of the 3 themes apply to your project, what you will use the funding for and if your project is going to specifically be working with disabled people from any other groups.
  • Finance – Give details about your budget for your project. It will ask you to enter into a table the amount you need for each item within 3 periods (November-December, January-March, April-June)
  • Supplementary documentation– Upload your governing document, your annual accounts and a recent bank statement. It will also ask you to confirm that your organisation has relevant safeguarding and equality policies.
  • Declaration – Here you will be asked to confirm that you have read and agree to the declarations.

Your application will automatically be saved; however you are able to save progress at the end of each page so that you may exit and return to your application at any time. If you select to return to summary at the end of the page you will be able to view your progress with the application. Any mandatory fields are marked with an Asterix and these mandatory questions must be completed in order to submit your application.

Further information and support

DPOs considering applying will receive support from the national or regional DPO leads detailed below that your organisation comes under. Each DPO national or regional lead has a named person you can contact to get further information or advice.

The UK National Partners are:

Northern Ireland – Disability Action N.I. Contact: Wendy Afonso-Cole, Grants Officer Email: wendyafonsocole@disabilityaction.orgTelephone: 02890 297880

Scotland – Inclusion Scotland Contact: Janice Sheridan, Partnership and Events Secretary: Email: DPOFund@inclusionscotland.org
Telephone: 0131 370 6725 (TYPE TALK calls welcome)

 Wales – Disability Wales Contact: Jody Mellor, Programme Officer Email: jody.mellor@disabilitywales.org Telephone: 029 2088 7325

England – Inclusion London/ROFA – Contact: Mark Harrison Email: info@rofa.org.uk Tel: 07979400564

The regional partners in England are:

North Yorkshire and the North East – Equality Together, Bradford Contact: Joyce Anderson
Email: janderson@equalitytogether.org.uk
Telephone: 01274 594173 (press option 4 for the Carers Holiday Scheme)

South Yorkshire and Humberside – Disability Sheffield Contact: Kathryn Littlewood
Email: kathryn.littlewood@disabilitysheffield.org.uk Telephone (O): 0114 2536750
Telephone (M): 07734856006

The North West – Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People Contact: Nicola McDonagh Email: Nicola@gmcdp.com Telephone: 07782 540 531.

The Midlands – Birmingham Disability Resource Centre Contact: Steve Moralee or Neha Parmar
Email: smoralee@disability.co.uk, nparmar@disability.co.uk Telephone: 07929 203183

East Anglia – Equal Lives Contact: Kimberly Myhill
Email: Kimberly.myhill@equallives.org.uk

South East – Spectrum CIL
Contact: Jennie Musson
Email: info@spectrumcil.co.uk Telephone: 02380 202629

London – Inclusion London Contact: Alex Hendra
Email: Consultancy1@inclusionlondon.org.uk Telephone: 07946 627 325

The West – West of England Centre for Independent Living (WECIL) Contact: Lucie Martin-Jones
Email: Lucie.Martin-Jones@wecil.co.uk Telephone: 0117 947 9935
Mobile: 07973 685316

Full details and application form will be available from 7th September and two webinar will also be held covering all the information you need to know about applying to the fund. These will take place on: Tuesday 22 September 11am-1pm (Filling out the online application form) and Monday 28 September 2-4pm (Surgery/interactive FAQs). There will be BSL interpreters and sessions will be captioned and recorded.

Disabled Peoples Organisations Covid-19 Emergency Fund