Disabled People’s Organisations – Covid 19 Emergency Fund

New UK funding programme for Disabled People’s Organisations is now live! Closing date 5 October 2020.

The £1.5m fund, provided by The National Emergency Trust (NET), will support grassroots 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 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 

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.

How can I apply?

BSL Information for Applicants can be viewed below in 2 parts. BSL version Part 1:

BSL Version Part 2:



  • Inclusion London are the regional partner for London and support is being provided by Alex Hendra. Contact Alex directly by email on consultancy1@inclusionlondon.org.uk She will respond by email to straightforward questions but will book a phone or Zoom session with you if you need further advice or support to apply. Alex will be setting aside one afternoon for individual advice sessions over Zoom with a BSL interpreter available. This will be on Tuesday 29th September 2-5pm. Please contact Alex by email if you need to book a slot in this session. Deaf BSL users are of course welcome to book an advice time with Alex more flexibly if able to bring their own interpreter.
  • Two webinars will also be held covering all you need to know about applying to the fund. These are being organised by Disability Action and will take place on:
    • Tues 22 September – 11am – 1pm – Filling out the online application form
    • Monday 28 September 2pm – 4pm – Surgery/interactive FAQs

There will be BSL interpreters and sessions will be captioned and recorded. More information to follow or email NETgrants@disabilityaction.org