This report explores insights from the Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund. The fund opened on 1 April 2020 and was designed to get small amounts of funding to community groups quickly so that they could continue to support local people through lockdown. The fund was open to organisations that have experienced increased demand, had their services disrupted or identified a need for new services resulting from the pandemic.
The report finds that the grants provided through the Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund have had a significant impact on communities across the UK, with a total of £4m being awarded to 8,000 groups when the fund closed in September 2020. Although the financial value of each grant is small, the difference they have made to small charities and community groups was substantial. The timeliness of the funding helped many groups to respond to rising demand and adapt their services quickly. The grants have enhanced the support these organisations are able to offer their communities: helping to meet the immediate needs of households in crisis, supporting the health and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals, keeping people connected, and making services safe.