In December 2014, DCLG announced £10m of funding for domestic abuse refuges. However, the short application window was over the Christmas period and required these specialist services to submit an application with their local authority. The timing and nature of this application process meant that many small, specialist services would have struggled to bid for the money, despite the urgent need for extra funding. Women’s Aid Federation of England identified this problem and approached Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales for support.
The Foundation already funded a number of specialist domestic abuse services, and providing support to the eligible charities fitted with the Foundation’s wider objective of supporting small, specialist services.
Recognising the urgent need for support and the potential to leverage additional funds into the sector, the Foundation sought to help. Because grants save time, effort and resources the foundation was able to agree a grant of up to £50,000 within a matter of days.
The grant enabled small, specialist domestic abuse services to receive consultancy support to help them bid with their local authority to DCLG. The grant was made to Women’s Aid, which was then able to coordinate the consultancy support for those services that needed it most. This demonstrates that grants are good for investing locally, and bringing in other resources to support services.
36 specialist services were supported to submit a bid by consultants, and 18 of these were successful. These consultancy-supported bids won more than £3.5m from DCLG; the grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation was able to help leverage 70 times the amount it invested into the sector through this work.