Posted 05.11.2020

National Emergencies Trust and UK coalition of Disabled people’s organisations deliver emergency COVID-19 funding to Disabled People’s organisations

This week 98 Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) across the UK have received confirmation of successful funding bids of up to £25,000 to deliver COVID-19 emergency support to disabled people at grass roots, local levels.

The UK coalition of DPOs that oversaw the release of funding, Disability Action Northern Ireland, Disability Wales, Inclusion Scotland, Inclusion London, and 7 DPO regional partners in England, were overwhelmed with applications for small emergency grants.

A total of £1,092,906 of emergency covid-19 funding made available by the National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal, was awarded to 98 DPOs of various sizes in both rural and urban locations across the UK. The fund was inundated with applications, with over £3.4million applied for, after a month-long application process.

Andrea Brown, CEO of Disability Action NI, said:

We are delighted to be able to fund a range of projects that will enable disabled people to connect with others, get advice on their income, and have choice and control over their lives.

The most successful projects showed how they would benefit disabled people from a range of backgrounds.

Many DPOs, like other organisations, were heavily impacted by COVID-19 but didn’t have access to emergency funding. This dramatically impacted the support that DPOs were able to provide to individuals as well as their ability to make sure disabled people were involved and represented in responses to COVID-19.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London, said:

The sheer demand for this fund, from DPOs that were locked out of mainstream emergency fund awards, shows the overwhelming need for the peer services that DPOs offer disabled people during times of crisis.

It also shows how DPOs, run by disabled people, are best placed to know what disabled people need to maintain and protect our rights and our inclusion, choice and control.

The funding has been made available to support DPOs to meet the emergency COVID-19 needs of local disabled people. Some projects are providing advice on benefits, some on accessible employment, and yet others will provide training for disabled people. Some are improving their own online access to disabled people; and still others will offer support with equipment such as tablets to access the internet.

Notes to editors:

[1] We use the term Disabled people to mean all groups of people with impairments including: people with learning difficulties, people who experience mental distress, people with a visual impairment, Deaf people, people who are neuro diverse, people with long term health conditions and people with physical impairments

[2] DPO partners are: Disability Action Northern Ireland, Inclusion ScotlandDisability Wales and Inclusion London who in turn will be working with 7 regional DPOs across England.

[3] A full list of successful applicants will be provided when all Letters of Offer are accepted

[4] The National Emergencies Trust (NET) is a charity set up to raise funds from the general public in the event of a domestic disaster or emergency. When a disaster occurs, it collaborates with charities and other bodies to raise and distribute money to those affected. The NET Coronavirus Appeal was launched on 18th March 2020 and has raised nearly £100million for those affected by the pandemic. For more information, visit