Could you help a young person not in education, training or employment?

Minding the Gap offer free, personalised support to young people in Suffolk to gain the skills and experience needed to pursue aspirations, get work-ready, gain employment or start new training or education. Read Olly and James' story to find out how they can help.

The programme is looking for young people aged 16 to 24 years not currently in education, training or employment. The young person needs to live in Suffolk, have a legal right to work in the UK and be motivated to make a positive change.

If you know someone who's looking for support, get in touch: or 07955 866 994  

Minding the Gap is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community fund.

Funding and Resilience Group

The Funding Resilience Group meets weekly to mitigate any risks to the sector and focusses on designing, planning and agreeing what support and training we anticipate is required in the short to long-term. Intelligence & feedback is gathered through partners which includes the CAS Survey (Impact of COVID-19 on VCSE Organisations in Suffolk - Currently sent out monthly) which help us to develop a strategy to provide the right help and to support the sector and the valuable role it plays in many people’s lives.

Partners include:

  • Community Action Suffolk
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Suffolk Community Foundation
  • East Suffolk District Council
  • West Suffolk District Council
  • Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils
  • Foundation East
  • The National Lottery Fund
  • Power to Change
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • Ipswich & East Suffolk CCG
  • New Anglia LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
SCC Funding Podcasts

SCC External Funding Team have produced a series of funding podcasts to help organisations during Covid-19 in collaboration with CAS. These are now available on the CAS website and provide valuable information and tips on bid writing to support organisations to apply for funding at this time:

Funding & Development Surgeries 1-1 Funding Surgeries

Due to popular demand Community Action Suffolk and Suffolk County Council’s External Funding team are teaming up to offer further pre-bookable opportunities for a 1 hour online 1-1 funding surgery on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1pm-5pm.

These surgeries are open to voluntary, community and social enterprises who need help reviewing their finances as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.
These 1-1 surgeries will be delivered by telephone/ video link and can cover a range of topics related to:

  • Identifying appropriate funding opportunities
  • Carrying out bespoke grant searches
  • Assistance with developing a project idea into a bid
  • Support with writing your application
  • Ensuring your application meets the needs of the funder

The session will last a maximum of 1 hour, allowing time to discuss your project in a little more depth.

If you cannot find a time that fits in with your way of working please email to arrange an alternative time.

Please note that booking is essential:

Funding Availability

Funding needs related specifically to COVID-19 in Suffolk is updated regularly and found here:

For all Non-C-19 Funding please visit:

(However many funders have switched priorities to focus on those relating to supporting with the Coronavirus pandemic at the current time).

Local Government Business Grants Funding

On 2nd May 2020, The Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced that the Government would be making extra funding of up to £617 million to local authorities to enable them to support small businesses outside the scope of the existing business grant fund scheme.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).

Some small charity properties may meet this criteria - Funding will be at the discretion of local authorities and each have identified their own priorities to assist as many businesses as possible, so you will need to check the eligibility carefully.

Latest information by area as follows:-

Suffolk District and Borough Councils
Suffolk Community Foundation

Suffolk Community Foundation

SCF Coronavirus Community Fund

The generous people of Suffolk have kindly generated 1.25m of a 2m target set for the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund. 200 totalling 1m in grants have now been awarded to charities and community and almost 100,000 local people across the length and breadth of our County have received vital support during these often dark and difficulties times.

The National Lottery Community Fund

NLCF Coronavirus Community Fund COVID-19 applications - INUNDATED
but still apply!

The Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, managed by the National Lottery Community Foundation, has been inundated with applications.

However the fund is still OPEN for applications.

Full details of how to apply can be found on the NLCF website.

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund

COVID-19 Loan Fund Expanded & Improved - What is RRLF?

The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is an emergency loan fund which will provide repayable finance to charities and social enterprises who are experiencing disruption as a result of COVID-19 and is intended for such organisations who have an otherwise viable business model. It has been established to make the Government’s existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) more easily accessible to these entities.

RRLF is not appropriate for everyone and will not work for all charities and social enterprises. For many, grants or other support may be more appropriate (for potential alternative sources, see our COVID-19 Emergency Funding page) and organisations should also consider other government schemes (see our COVID-19 Resource Hub for more information). For smaller loans of up to £50k organisations can consider the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

What are the RRLF’s key product details?

Key features of the product include:

  • loans will be for between £100k and £1.5m.
  • these loans will be interest-free and fee-free to the customer for the first 12 months
  • the loan term will be a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years.
    interest will be charged at 6.5% per annum for years 2 and 3 (after principal payments start).
  • Applicants should also be aware that any monies received under the CBILS does not reduce the borrower’s liability in any way – as with any loan product, the borrower remains 100% liable.

Applicants should also be aware that changes may be made to RRLF as the CBILS scheme evolves. It may take some time for these changes to filter through to the SIB website.

Is my organisation eligible?

This Fund is only for UK charities and social enterprises which fulfil the eligibility criteria of both the Fund and CBILS – the full list of eligibility criteria can be found on the SIB website.

How can I apply and how long will it take?

There is an application portal on the SIB website and the first page of the application is intended to give clear guidance on your likely eligibility. The aim is for the process to take 2-4 weeks from start to finish.

Gov UK Logo

Government Updates


On 29 May, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with the key details outlined below for you.

Flexible furloughing

From 1 July 2020, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

You can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
    the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

If you are a smaller employer, some or all of your employer NIC bills will be covered by the Employment Allowance, so you should not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.
This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12 June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV.UK and search 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online.

You can contact ACAS for COVID-19 Support on furlough or look at their website here:


NCVO Webinars

Financial Management & Accessing Government Funding

On Friday 22 May, The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) announced that the government’s new coronavirus community support fund is open for applications. This is a significant step for many small and medium-sized charities who are trying to manage the financial impact of covid-19. In this webinar, in association with the Charity Finance Group, you will hear from NLCF about this new fund: who it is for and what is expected from organisations in their application. You will also get some top tips on how to manage your finances during this crisis. Throughout the webinar, we will be signposting you to the latest resources and sources of support.

Watch a recording of the NCVO/CFG webinar: Financial management and accessing government funding

Social Media - Campaigns

Many organisations have been #NeverMoreNeeded than now.

The sector is asking for significant social media noise using the hashtag #NeverMoreNeeded.

Share your stories, share your members' stories and keep telling the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeeded.

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Louise Fairbrother

Financial Sustainability Officer
Tuesdays (All Day), Thursday (Mornings) & Friday (All Day)

M: 07990 876592


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