How to give away £20m in 59 days

59 days. That’s all the time it took for the Steve Morgan Foundation to completely allocate the £20m Community Match Challenge Fund.

The fund consisted of £10m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and £10m in match-funding by Steve Morgan. 

The £10m from the DCMS came from a £85m Community Match Challenge Fund and formed part of the Government’s £750m support package to support charities impacted by Covid-19.

Steve Morgan CBE, chairman of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “I’m really proud of Foundation’s work in the last two months, which has meant we’ve been able to distribute £20m of match-funding with the DCMS to more than 125 charities, predominately in the North West.  

“These were charities that were desperately in need of funding. The team worked hard to get the money out in such a short space of time. I’m very proud.”

It’s estimated that the Community Match Challenge Fund has benefited more than 850,000 people.

The charities to receive awards include cancer support  organisation Maggie’s, type 1 diabetes charity JDRF UK and Stick ‘n’ Step, which has been helping children with cerebral palsy for nearly 20 years.

Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, which opened its doors in Liverpool in 1947, is another one of those to benefit.

The organisation provides a broad range of services, including two youth clubs, pensioner yoga groups and awareness raising in areas such as social media and knife crime.

Centre manager Keith Lloyd said: “The match-funding has enabled us to continue to provide emergency support to children, young people, vulnerable families and the elderly in Bootle, who have been disproportionately affected by Covid.  

“We were going to have to stop providing this support at the end of October but now can continue over the winter months and Christmas up until March 2021, which gives our community a reassurance that this weekly support will be there during the winter months.  

“The funding will also enable us to kickstart a programme of wellbeing and early intervention work in support of our children and young people and address some of the impact Covid has had on our community.  

“Without this funding this would not have been able to happen and will support our community to become more resilient again.”

Blackburne House, which supports vulnerable women in Liverpool, has also benefited from the Community Match Challenge Fund.

Executive director of operations Andrea Rushton said the grant will be transformational. “We will scale up our counselling and wellness provision to support 465 women over two years,” she said. “We offer a trauma informed reactive and responsive service.  

“We will be able to provide our service to many more women over the coming two years and provide them with connection, support and strategies that will help them through times of crises.”

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