Applications have been pouring into our ongoing Covid-19 response grants programme. One month after the programme was launched, and after careful consideration by our panel of over 100 applications, we're delighted to announce the first seven organisations to receive a grant to support them to continue working during the pandemic, with funding distributed on behalf of Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the Ministry of Justice. The grants panel has also approved a further four applications and we are confirming those grants in the coming weeks.
Thank you to the many voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system who've so far taken the time to complete application forms and discuss their application with us. We're aiming to reach a diverse range of organisations with this programme, and it's been fantastic to hear from organisations across the breadth of England and Wales doing a wide variety of work with people in prisons, transitioning through the gate, and in the community. This opportunity continues to be open and we welcome applications from those with an existing relationship with HMPPS with under £500,000 annual income. Please read this blog from CEO Anne Fox for the context to the programme and the impact of the pandemic on the sector.
What they'll deliver
Awarded a grant of £4,000 to deliver a remote through-the-gate service to residents leaving HMP Lewes. As well as ongoing through-the-gate support (e.g. with benefits and housing claims) they will be given information and guidance regarding the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing.
RIFT Social Enterprise
Awarded a grant of £5,250 to deliver remote self-employment sessions to 15 prisoners at HMP Ranby, and to provide support during their first year of trading post-release.
Awarded a grant of £4,800 to continue providing support for women leaving prison in Devon and Cornwall. Includes remote mentoring, assistance with access to benefits and housing, and mental health check-ins.
Kestrel Theatre Company
Awarded a grant of £3,000 to continue working remotely with in-custody participants of drama workshops in 20 prisons across England and Wales, offering meaningful contact and feedback and leading to the best work being showcased by professional actors.
Awarded a grant of £4,000 to deliver socially distanced (1:1) therapeutic creative and drama workshops to young people in HMP YOI Hindley.
Tomorrows Women Wirral
Awarded a grant of £5,000 to continue providing adapted (remote and socially-distanced) support to women in the community in Wirral, referred by Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company / National Probation Service.
Awarded a grant of £7,000 to deliver adapted through-the-gate support to people leaving HMP Wandsworth. Includes a helpline and phone coaching service offering support with all through-the gate needs, and wing visits where possible.
Never more needed
The limited funding available does of course mean that, unfortunately, most applications we've received until now for the grants programme have been unsuccessful. This is difficult news for Clinks to deliver, and disheartening for organisations to receive, at a time when organisations in our sector are never more needed. We've been listening intently to the needs of organisations - including through our regular surveys, our ongoing network meetings, and the Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group - which has highlighted a growing need for services, a continued need for financial support and concern for the long term impact on finances and the people organisations' support. The needs of the sector are significant at this time and the impact of the current crisis on organisations and their beneficiaries will be felt long into the future. £300,000 is not enough for organisations to continue their vital work in meeting the needs of people during the pandemic and beyond. We'll continue to highlight our sector's response and advocate strongly for their needs to the government and the philanthropic community.
It's important to us that the grants process is kept under review. Our priority is always to make sure our team and the panel have the time and resource to focus on making the important decisions involved and carefully manage the programme. With such a high volume of applications - over 100 within four weeks - the feedback we can give to organisations on their applications may not be as detailed as some hoped it would, and as we had originally intended. We'll continue to actively look to fund organisations supporting people with protected characteristics, including those led by and supporting black, Asian and minority ethnic people, and that the limited funds available help meet the changing needs of organisations and the people they support as the pandemic continues into the future. We're also trying to ensure that we are distributing funds equitably across England and Wales, as well as supporting organisations working with people in custody, through the gate and in the community. To help ensure the application process is as fair as possible all the applications are scored blind by our panel, which is made up of representatives from Clinks, HMPPS and a philanthropic funder. Please see our updated guidance, which clarifies this process and makes some of the eligibility criteria clearer.
We're looking forward to hearing from you. Click here to read the full criteria and submit an application form.
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We are extremely disappointed that the JCVI advice on phase 2 of the COVID vaccination programme does not prioritise people in prison and those who work with them, including voluntary sector staff and volunteers https://gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-phase-2-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-programme-advice-from-the-jcvi/jcvi-interim-statement-on-phase-2-of-the-covid-19-vaccination-programme