Proud to be part of the Smallwood Trust
During the pandemic, I am proud to have been the Chair of Trustees of the Smallwood Trust as we decided to address the twin challenges of growing poverty among women and falling income for women-led community groups by accelerating our Community Grant Partnerships.
These combine block funding including 20% for overheads with strategic support for organisations, which then distribute direct grants of up to £700 to individuals as well as providing advice around services.
By April this year we had expanded the model to 29 partnerships across England. 27%of which are BAME-led groups. Since 2018 £2m has been devolved to Community Grant Partnerships and in 2020 Smallwood’s funding supported 19,000 women to pay their rent and buy essential items, a 600% increase on 2019.
We were shortlisted for our Community Grant Partnership programme at this year’s Charity Awards and won the award in the Grantmaking and Funding category.
Matt Nolan, CEO of Civil Society Media which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated Smallwood Trust on winning the award. He said: “The standard of entries this year was as high as ever, despite the challenges that the sector has faced during the pandemic – so Smallwood Trust should be very proud to have won their category. Their programme has delivered great results.”
On receiving the award Paul Carbury, our CEO, said: “I’d like to thank our Board for their foresight in devolving around 30% of the grants budget to local women’s groups who know best to spend that money. Most importantly, we want to share this award with our Community Grant Partners who are enabling women to be financially resilient, keeping women safe from harm and violence and supporting them on a range of issues from housing to employability skills, in the face of so many challenges through COVID and the cost of living crisis.”