Emergency Small Grants

In response to Covid-19, the Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust increased its grant-making capacity to give support to organisations supporting communities facing financial hardship due to the impact of the pandemic.  These additional Rapid Response grants were available up to a maximum value of £5,000, and below are some examples of where these funds have made the most difference:

Grant amount – £5,000


Members of the FANY (PRVC) have truly embodied their motto ‘Arduis Invicta’ – in difficulties unconquered – in recent months, providing essential voluntary support during the COVID-19 pandemic to frontline services including the NHS Nightingale Hospital London, the Westminster and North London Coroners’, the City of London Police and the National Emergencies Trust. 

In just eight weeks, the Corps gave over 700 days of support, compared to its typical average of 600 days per year.  Nearly all of the Corps 140 active members have been involved in COVID-19 taskings, making this deployment the most significant for the Corps since the Second World War.

Corps members are selected and trained to a very high level. The unique training enables members to rapidly assist with a multitude of functions with great professionalism under crisis conditions; for example, liaising with the worried families of patients at the Nightingale Hospital and providing essential call handling, data management and administrative support to the Westminster Coroner. 

The Fishmongers’ Company is proud of its association with the FANY and is delighted to have been able to provide additional funding via the Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust in support of the Corp’s Covid-19 operations. 

“Once again, in a time of national crisis, the volunteers have worked as part of the Enquiries Team undertaking vital work to keep the Coroner’s service going. It is at times like this that the true value of the work they undertake can be seen. Thank you again.” 

Andrew Walker, North London Coroner

  Grant amount – £4,000


First Love Foundation believes no one should face crisis alone. We define crisis as not having the resources to provide the most basic of human needs for oneself or family, with no immediate means of funding those needs.

Crisis can take many forms, ranging from serious ill health, debt, homelessness, right through to domestic violence coupled with an ‘income shock’, leaving society’s most vulnerable without the financial resources to provide the most basic needs for themselves or their dependents. This traps them in a cycle of poverty.

Aerold Bentley, Co-founder & Chair of the First Love foundation.

We respond to crisis through our highly regarded, bespoke, Enabling Lives Programme, which provides instant access to high quality advice and support at the point of need. Our holistic model and solution-oriented approach works to restore dignity, build resilience and reconnects individuals to society in order to find a path to purpose. Our holistic model remains the same since pre COVID-19, but the way we deliver it has dramatically changed in 2020, because of the outbreak of COVID-19. Until March 2020, we ran face-to-face crisis sessions twice weekly to provide our advice, support and emergency food. That recently changed.

We made some very quick changes as soon as the pandemic hit, to ensure we switched to a remote, mobile service as quickly as possible. Crafted in line with the government guidelines, our Emergency Model meant we could support and feed those in need as safely and efficiently as possible. We became a vital lifeline for the borough and were one of the first organisations mobilising in this way, straight off the ground. We began delivering our advice & support service over the phone, increasing this element of service to 5 days a week instead of 2. We also began delivering emergency food parcels straight from our warehouse right to the recipient’s door. With this, we increased the amount of food we gave from 5 days of food, to 7 days of food.

We have seen a 900% increase in individuals and families requiring the support of First Love, compared to this time last year. Over the past 15 weeks we have supported 3500+ individuals, over 1400 of which are children, with 1600+ hours of advice and support, 66500+ meals totalling at 25000Kg of food.

Our mission continues to remain, in spite of COVID-19, that we ensure we offer a holistic model of support to individuals so they can begin living independently and sustainably again – as quickly as possible. That means digging deep and finding out why they are using our service. From there we can help tackle some of the underlying causes of hunger such as helping to restore income, addressing benefit issues and provide support with employment – so these individuals and families will not require long-term charitable support.

Grant amount – £5,000


Due to the restrictions placed on us by the Coronavirus outbreak, we have had to limit our normal services. We have set up two new services:

Housing & welfare telephone helpline:

From Tuesday 31st March we have been running a housing & welfare telephone helpline. This helpline operates from Monday to Friday with an advice worker available to speak directly to those in need between 10am and 1pm. On an average week we have taken 75 calls and responded to 81 emails. A weekly report giving a brief synopsis of activity undertaken and the issues that arose can be found at www.mannasociety.org.uk/2020/04/13/telephone-helpline-weekly-reports

Meals on wheels:

The second new service we have set up is a ‘meals on wheels’ one. In conjunction with Southwark Council, we are providing hot meals to those rough sleepers who have been put into temporary accommodation (as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak) and to other vulnerable people. We cook the dinners and Southwark deliver them.

This service began on Tuesday 14th April. For the first four weeks, we were providing on average 60 meals per day. This has now risen to about 110 per day. Each meal consists of a hot dinner and a sandwich. Occasionally a piece of fruit and/or a cereal bar is added when available.

The meals are very much appreciated. One recipient saying she was over the moon with her meal and the delivery service. She expressed her happiness at the service she was receiving and how delightful the food looked and tasted.

Grant amount – £2,000


Vision – “Every prisoner a learner, every prison a place to learn”
Mission – Prisoners’ lives transformed through learning

  • We inspire – Through the courses we provide, the advice we give and the examples we share, we encourage our learners to reach their potential and achieve their goals.
  • We care – We care about the people we fund, prison staff and our team. We support people, enabling them to realise their learning ambitions and future goals.
  • We collaborate – We believe that by working together, we can achieve the changes we want to see. Our networks join-up prisons, universities, third sector organisations, and people with experience of prison.
  • We are tenacious – We strive to remove the obstacles in the way of prison learners, and work against the odds to give hope and opportunities.
  • We are expert – We have 30 years’ worth of experience in delivering prison education. We share our expertise, while also learning from other experts – particularly those with lived experience.
  • We celebrate – We recognise the success of our learners, our partners and our team and shine a light on the, often unrecognised, people who help change others’ lives
  • We are inclusive – We value everyone’s contributions and see diversity as a strength and asset. We work to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Grant amount – £3,500


The Walworth Community Food Hub has been set up to help local residents significantly affected by Covid-19. It is operated by Pembroke House staff and volunteers, and supplies fresh food via volunteer cycle couriers direct to residents’ doors.

We’ve been able to get food packages out to a wide range of people in acute need: from a mother with a several-week-old baby who has just been discharged from hospital with Covid-19, to struggling families in multiple occupancy households with no recourse to public funds, to one venerable recipient of 101 years old! The feedback we are getting is that these deliveries really do make a massive difference.

As a community hub, our primary target group is people who’ve had a significant change in food security circumstances due to Covid-19, and who may fall through the gaps of local authority and food bank provision.

  Grant amount – £2,500


Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours have been providing services to Older People in the borough since 1947. We provide befriending and advocacy services to people in the borough aged 55 and over and experiencing loneliness and social isolation.

Case study – Mrs M

Ms M is 80 years old and lives in a flat alone without a carer. Her siblings and their children live in different places around the UK and abroad.  Prior to the lockdown, a friend who lived locally did her shopping for her, however this was not possible after the pandemic was announced.

Ms M has complex health conditions which impact on her mobility. The teIe befriending calls undertaken by THFN, also include a welfare check. During her initial call, her THFN Befriender Advocate registered her as a vulnerable person and she soon started receiving food parcels and the other support she required. During the calls with her Befriender Advocate she would reminisce about where she was born and grew up in the borough. Her Befriender began a photo diary of these places and was able to take photographs and send these to her which she enjoyed very much.

This has had a huge impact on her wellbeing, Ms M, looks forward to her calls with her Befriender and the photographs she receives.

 Grant amount – £3,905


In It Together is an online programme for 20 young people in Hackney experiencing economic or social disadvantage. Developed in response to the increasing anxiety, stress and social isolation reported by young people, the 10-week programme will include sessions on mental health and wellbeing, access to tools, resources and support services, and creative relief to help participants process the impact of the pandemic, stay connected and stay safe.

“Total Insight Theatre is incredibly grateful for the generous support of The Fishmongers’ Company’s Charitable Trust! The Trust’s donation will support the digitisation of our outreach programmes, making a significant difference to our ability to support vulnerable young people during this time.”

Grant amount – £1,000


We currently serve 150 homeless, vulnerable, elderly and lonely people each day, six days per week. Our first meal consists of a takeaway bag containing a sandwich, soup, yoghurt, porridge, a piece of fruit and a snack bar. Our second meal consists of a nutritional and balanced hot lunch. We also allow our friends to take a meal with them if we have leftovers, which allows them to eat later in the day when there are no other options.

Every single pound makes a difference!

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