Charities invited to apply for new Increasing Access Fund

27th October, 2020

The Peter Sowerby Foundation today issued an Open Call for applications to its new Increasing Access Fund.

This fund is designed to support charities to develop new or adapt existing services that respond to the COVID-19 situation to meet local and national needs. 

The Fund is aimed specifically at ensuring or increasing access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with access due to COVID-19, for example, due to lockdown measures or the fact that existing charitable services are unable to be delivered in a Covid-secure way. 

The Fund will support charities to digitally enable access to services, or to adapt their delivery of existing services to comply with social distancing or other Covid-response measures.

The Fund will award a total of £1.4 million to organisations nationally, working within the Peter Sowerby Foundation’s key domains:

  • Healthcare Innovation – organisations in the fields of disability, medical research, mental health and those supporting individuals with long-term health conditions.
  • Community – organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people.
  • Environment – organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues.
  • Arts ­­­– organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by COVID-19.

The programme is split into three distinct funding streams:

  1. Digital Breakthrough Grants to pilot new innovations or service delivery - the Foundation will fund five large grants of up to £100,000 to support charities (with a maximum turnover of £5 million) in the area of innovation and transformation in health and social care through digital service delivery. 
  2. Digital Good Causes - a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) seeking to transform or adapt new services digitally.
  3. Adapted Good Causes – a fund for grants of up to £25,000 (for organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) to pilot, test or launch new services in light of the COVID-19 situation. 

David Aspinall – Chair of Trustees – highlighted the importance of this fund: 

‘Whilst the Foundation has already awarded significant grants in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we recognise the need for further support. 

As such, we are delighted to announce a further £1.4 million to support organisations to launch new or adapt existing services to ensure that beneficiaries can access the vital support they need at this time.’

The Peter Sowerby Foundation was set up thanks to a generous endowment by Dr Peter Sowerby, to fulfil his philanthropic vision and charitable priorities. 

Peter’s vision, creativity and innovation led him to create the software behind EMIS, now the largest supplier of clinical software to GPs in the UK. These qualities are now echoed in the Foundation’s grants. The Trustees look for projects that are innovative, effective and which often don’t meet the criteria for mainstream funders.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 16th November 2020. For more details and information on how to apply, please visit:

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