Applications open for new Youth Support Fund

Application deadline: 5pm, Friday 19 February

20 January 2021

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced a new Youth Covid-19 Support Fund in England.

This £16.5m fund is open to local uniformed youth groups who have a deficit for the period between November 2020 and March 2021. 

Girlguiding has been working closely with DCMS during the pandemic as part of an alliance of youth organisations seeking to secure funding to support young people, so we're very pleased to see this fund released.

The total amount local guiding can apply for is the lower amount of:

  • 25% annual expenditure
  • any deficit realised between November 2020 and March 2021
  • £250k

How to apply

Hi there

My name is Lauren and I'm here to talk you through the key details of the Covid-19 Youth Support Fund. I’ll explain the process you need to follow and show you how to complete the application form.

This is an England-only fund that can help to support running costs. It doesn’t cover project costs.

Even if you’re not delivering online meetings, you can still apply.

Everything you need is on one webpage.

For the link to apply and for more information go to and search ‘covid-19 youth support fund’ or simply search this on Google.

If you have any questions about the application form or process, you need to contact PwC directly using the contact form on the website.

PwC is the company that has been commissioned by government to deliver this fund.

There are two ways you can submit your application; either through the online portal or via email. PwC are encouraging applicants to apply via the online portal. But you may find it easier to fill in the application form on Word and send it in via email. That way, you do nott need to register to the portal. You may also be able to share the Word document with other Girlguiding volunteers to help others apply.

Throughout the application there are no word count limits but it’s important to be as succinct as possible while also answering all the different elements within each question. We recommend you aim for about 150 words per written question.

It’s important to note that if you have been invited, either by Girlguiding or nominated by your commissioner, to apply for funding from the Community Match Challenge, you can still apply for this fund, but only if you plan to use it to cover different costs. For example, CMC could fund your subs and Youth Support Fund could pay for your rent or vice versa.

You cannot double fund any of your running costs. This means for example if your rent costs £200 and this is covered by another funder, you cannot secure an additional £200 to also cover that same cost. However, IF one funder is only covering 50% of that cost, can you secure the other 50% from a different funder.

 We’ll start by looking at the eligibility criteria.

So the first thing you need to do is read the webpage to see if you’re eligible to apply.

The local youth club category is aimed at unit level. All units can apply whether your unit is a registered with its own charity number, or if you haven’t got a charity number you can apply as an excepted charity.

The national or umbrella category is aimed at other Girlguiding levels. You can apply if you are an infrastructure organisation (for example: a district, division, country or region) that support more than 10 units.

Now have a look at the eligible costs. DCMS have confirmed that subs are an eligible cost that you can apply for.

Next, you need to read the application guidance in the downloadable content section. This document is particularly helpful.

You’re now ready to look at the application form. Please take note of the mandatory attachments required as part of your application, as there are a few.

If after looking at this information you think you can meet the criteria and provide the information they need, then you can start completing the application form.

So let’s have a look at the form.

Section 1 is organisation details.

Here you must use the local details for the Girlguiding group you’re applying for. Don’t use ANY Girlguiding national details. Do not use the national charity number as this may cause your application to be rejected.

1.5 Your status will be either a registered charity or an excepted charity. If your status is an excepted charity rather than a registered charity please tick 'other' add write that you are an excepted charity. You won't have a unique reference number as an excepted charity, unless you've registered for Gift Aid and therefore have a Gift Aid number, in which case, include it here. If you don’t have a Gift Aid number, don’t worry, your application will still be considered.  

Section 2 is about your organisation.

2.6 - Girlguiding delivers a girl-only service, so this is about if you have other Girlguiding units of the same section nearby.

If you don’t have another Girlguiding unit of the same section within a 20 minute walk from your meeting place, you can tick no similar services.   

If you feel you have a strong case for ticking 'no similar services' for example if you’re a young carers unit or hospital unit, then you can tick no similar services.

Or you may simply not have another unit of the same section in your town.

2.9 - regarding volunteer numbers, use the number of volunteers for the Girlguiding group you’re applying for.

2.11 - the age category says 6-10, however this fund is indeed for 5+ year olds so include all your Rainbows in this category.

Section 3, grants overview.

Throughout this section and all others where it refers to financial information, provide all values to the nearest pound. There’s no need to include the pence.

3.1 - a cash basis is when you account for things as and when you receive or spend money. The payment may be physical cash or payments going in or out of your unit/levels bank account.

An accruals basis is when you show income in your unit/levels accounts when it is earned or when it is billed (but not paid), for example if you received an invoice to pay £100, you would account for that spend on the day the invoice was received, rather than when it was actually paid.

Most units are more likely to be working on a cash basis but do double check with the person in your unit who looks after the finances if you're not sure.

3.2 - This is the part where you need to work out how much money to apply for

You can apply for 25% of your annual running costs or for the financial deficit you’re incurring through the lockdown from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021. It depends which amount is lower. So you need to do two calculations.

The first one – take the total expenditure for your last signed set of annual accounts. Divide it by four. This will give you the 25% figure.

The second one- work out your deficit in November and December (this will be a minus figure if you have spent more than you have coming in). Then, work out your estimated deficit for January to March. Add these two figures together.

Whichever figure is lower, is the amount you can apply for.

3.3 - in this question you can explain that your unit/level is run by volunteers and therefore achieves good value for money. If you look at your annual costs and divided this by the number of girls, this will give you a cost per head. You can even go one step further and divide that figure by the number of sessions delivered for the cost per girl per session. This should demonstrate the value for money. But please also write about how you have been minimising costs at a local level to be more efficient. For example if you’re getting free rent or free supplies or other donated items.

Section 4, financial viability

4.2 - To help you with this section take a look at Girlguiding’s Finance policy which was launched last year as this will help you with some of the definitions and where to find further information.

In the free reserves section: Your free reserves are the amount of money you have available immediately. Such as the amount in the bank or any investment accounts that can be spent if you need to after you’ve taken into account your outgoings. For example, if you have £100 in the bank, but you know you need to spend £50 on the hall rent next month, your free reserves would be £50. So the final figure in this table will be the remaining funds immediately available once you've taken everything you know you need to spend into account.

If you prepare your accounts on a cash basis, the amount of free reserves for previous years can be shown simply as the bank balance shown in the accounts at year end.

In the working capital section: If your unit accounts on a cash basis rather than accrual, you won’t have any working capital and do not need to complete this table.

If you do work on an accruals basis, working capital is broken down into two elements

– current assets are everything you own with a lifespan of less than 12 months. So not any long-term assets like property.

- And current liabilities, which is everything you owe to other people within 12 months.

The ratio is the assets divided by the liabilities then times by 100 to show it as a percentage.

4.4 - you can talk about how when lockdown restrictions are lifted you anticipate our membership numbers to return due to the incredible impact of face-to-face experiences our girls and young women benefit from and the good value for money offer we for parents. You can also add in detail about how you’ll be working hard to ensure these membership numbers do recover, by doing local recruitment campaigns and receiving recruitment support from Girlguiding. If there have also been long term changes to your income and expenditure detail this here too.

4.4.3 -  in this question the funder wants to know if, without this money, you'd have to close or scale back the services your unit of level can offer. So please detail exactly what costs you wouldn't be able to meet without this funding. And what the consequences are if you don't have the funding.

4.5 - you can leave this question blank unless you have received any support from the government schemes mentioned.

If you are applying in the local category, you do not need to complete 4.6 and 4.7

Section 5, learning and evaluation.

5.1 - your outputs are the activities you deliver to girls in your unit or at your level. So that could be the number of online meetings you hold, the number of trainings you’re providing, the number of activity packs you’re sending to girls. Anything in terms of what you’ll be delivering and which you couldn’t deliver without this funding. They also want to know the number of girls you’ll reach. It’s ok is some of this isn’t confirmed or could change, just give your best estimate.

Do write some free text in this section too if you can, but remembering to keep it short.

Section 6: the mandatory attachments.

Attachment 2- management accounts are accounts which are updated on a regular basis during the year to help you manage your finances.  It’s almost like an internal report so you can keep track your income and expenditure. They could show finances on a monthly, termly or quarterly basis. The format can really vary, and you may have been keeping this information in a notebook. The key pieces of information it would include are; how much money you’ve received, how much money you’ve spent, and if this varies to what you were anticipating (ie your budget). You will also need to have predictions for January to March 2021 on there too.

So in summary, include your actual income and expenditure from the start of your financial year until December, and then your income and expenditure predictions from January till March.

Attachment 3 is a balance sheet. This is similar to the management accounts, but it includes everything the unit/level owns such as cash in the bank account, property, equipment or vehicles. Anything of value. It also takes into account anything you owe (eg any unpaid rent, or money owed to your local depo for a uniform order etc)

So this document needs to include cash in hand, bank balances and any investment your unit/level.

You’ll also need to separate out any restricted and unrestricted income and expenditure you have. Unrestricted money can be spent on anything. Restricted money has a specific purpose, usually separate from your day to day running costs. For example, if you’ve been fundraising for a trip or for a piece of equipment.

So you’ll need to provide this information from the start of your financial year, until the end of October 2020. The idea here, is that the funder wants to see the state of your finances before the November lockdown.

For attachment 4 you need to provide your most recently published annual accounts. You need to provide a minimum of one years’ worth, but three years’ worth if you have them.

If you use the units accounts package that we provide, you can simply submit the ‘annual accounts tab’ within that excel sheet if it’s complete and signed off for a whole year.

For attachment 6, you can use Girlguiding’s Safeguarding policy which applies to all Girlguiding organisations. You can find this on our website.

For attachment 7 you can use the latest version of your standard termly risk assessment.

Save all of these attachments in a folder for when you’re ready to submit.  

Then finally, don't forget to sign the document on page 19.

You are now ready to submit your application either on the portal or by email.

If applying by email, don’t forget to attach the application form to the email alongside all the attachments required. Submit your application to [email protected]

The deadline is 5pm on 19 February. This is when the fund closes. Applications submitted after this time and date will not be considered.

Please remember to direct any questions to PwC via the contact form on the webpage. But also keep your eye out on the webpage, as UKYouth will be provided further support, guidance and webinars on the application.

You can find further guidance, along with the application portal, on the DCMS website

This fund has been released in addition and separate to other available funding. You can find information about other grants and funding opportunities currently open on our website