The past year has been unprecedented in so many ways.
This review is a chance to share what we have learnt through our UK grant-making in the context of the challenges of Covid-19, and to tell some of the inspiring stories of the organisations and individuals we have supported.
To help us make the most of our learning in this time of change and consider what practice we might want to build on and embed, we commissioned the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to facilitate a process of reflection with our staff and trustees during the early summer of 2021. A summary of their findings is published here.
We would like to thank all the funded individuals and organisations featured in this review for their time, flexibility and thoughtfulness. We would also like to thank the IVAR team for developing the featured case studies.
We hope that by sharing our reflections on the past year, we can improve our own practice, make the most of the opportunities that have emerged and contribute to conversations about the role of civil society and that of funders in creating a future grounded in social justice.Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive
Our year in numbers
We received 1,231 applications requesting a total of £67 million and made 1,219 final decisions of which 63% were approvals.
Where the grants go
Many of our grants support work in multiple regions or countries.
Click on the bars to find out more
Our year in summary
- Contextual UK milestones
- PHF milestones
WHO declares the virus a pandemic. Governments of the UK publish a coronavirus action plan which sets out a collective approach to the outbreak.
18 March 2020
PHF office closed; staff shifted to working from home
25 March 2020
PHF announces £1 million to National Emergencies Trust and London Community Response
1 April 2020
PHF makes first emergency response grants to support funded organisations. 23 awards made totalling £460,000
6 April 2020
PHF announces open application Funds are paused, to focus on supporting the organisations and communities we support to survive the pandemic, through the creation of a £20 million Emergency Fund
6 April 2020
PHF announces awards of up to £10,000 to every eligible visual artist and composer nominated for Awards for Artists – 113 awards totalling just over £1.1 million
30 April 2020
PHF has awarded 107 emergency grants totalling £3 million
The UK’s declared death toll from coronavirus rises to more than 32,000, becoming the highest in Europe. First easing of lockdown in Northern Ireland
Lockdown measures are eased in England, Scotland and Wales with children starting to return to school
30 June 2020
By the end of the first quarter PHF has awarded 208 emergency grants totalling £5.4 million
People who test positive for coronavirus or display symptoms must now self-isolate for 10 days. The UK Government announces local restrictions for parts of the north of England
7 August 2020
PHF announces changes to open application funds and the reopening schedule for late October
The Prime Minister warns that a second wave of coronavirus has arrived in the UK
28 September 2020
PHF announces Backbone Fund awards totalling £1.4 million to support civil society in the UK
30 September 2020
During the first half of the financial year, PHF has awarded 323 emergency grants totalling £9.4 million.
Northern Ireland and Wales implement short term lockdowns
30 October 2020
PHF reopens main open funding programmes, with revised criteria and processes
England enters new national four-week lockdown
11 November 2020
PHF contributed £500,000 to the DCMS Match Challenge Fund, with UK Youth distributing a total of £2 million to support small youth organisations.
23 November 2020
First grants awarded in the Arts Access and Participation, Arts-based Learning, Shared Ground and Youth Funds since re-opening
England’s national lockdown comes to an end and is replaced by a strengthened three-tier system. The UK becomes the first country in the world to approve the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, and later Oxford and AstraZeneca, as the NHS launches its biggest ever vaccine campaign.
31 December 2020
By the end of the third quarter PHF has awarded 382 emergency grants totalling £11 million
The PM announces a third national lockdown. The vaccine developed by Moderna is approved for use in the UK
The UK PM announces a roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England and a phased return to schools begins in Wales
Lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
31 March 2021
As the financial year closes, PHF has awarded 433 emergency grants totalling £12.5 million.
The World Health Organisation classifies the delta variant as a variant of concern
12 May 2021
PHF commits £1 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee India Coronavirus Appeal
In the emerging crisis, we focussed our efforts on being more responsive: speed was important – getting money out to where it was needed, but so too was our ongoing communication with the organisations and people we fund, to understand the changing impact of the pandemic on the communities they work with. We offered flexibility and simplified our requirements, enabling funding to be repurposed and timelines shifted.