“Without doubt the grant helped increase sales of fresh fish – therefore having an effect on profitability as well as introducing a new type of affordable and delicious locally caught fish into the marketplace for people to enjoy”Amanda Pender, Director of Island Fish and RRGP recipient
In March 2020, with the sudden closure of overseas markets and the local restaurant trade, the UK’s fishing and seafood industry was thrown into chaos. Knowing the community we work to support was teetering on the brink, we acted swiftly, working with partners Seafarers UK to launch an emergency fund for fishermen, fishmongers and community groups to diversify and collaborate – to survive the financial pressures of lockdown, and to support some of the most vulnerable in their local communities.
Our independent impact assessment is in, and we can now share key achievements of this initiative, as well as lessons learnt. Key findings include increased business resilience, job retentions, and raised profile of local seafood in local communities. Click here to read the executive summary or here for the full evaluation report.
Island Fish used their grant to purchase new equipment:
“(Our purchase) was not intended to be a panacea to combat all financial difficulties, rather it was to form part of an arsenal of tools intended to assist in making the company more profitable and better able to easily offer a greater range of fish to the local populace, visitors and businesses – this it achieved, easily and without any difficulties”
When recipients were asked about the impact that the Rapid Response Grants had, they listed:
At a time when applicants were stretched and stressed, our evaluation reveals that recipients really valued the simple application form and rapid pay out of funds. We also identified that the independent help and support provided by the Fishing Animateurs, who guided anyone who asked for help through the application process, was very much valued by recipients. This provides a clear lesson on the importance of facilitators and guidance when aiming to support communities that don’t have always have a strong background in IT and form filling.
As part of our ongoing engagement and quest to better understand and work to support the seafood industry, the programme also revealed key “future needs”, we will use this new understanding of the sector will help to guide our future charitable initiatives.