PHA announces COVID-19 community funding

COVID-19 small grants

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched a new programme of investment that will provide support to communities in response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PHA is encouraging groups to apply to the short-term funding programme, which can be used to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities living through COVID-19.

Professor Hugo Van Woerden, Director of Public Health at PHA, said: “Communities have risen to the challenge of the pandemic and created a strong web of mutual support, highlighting the importance of community infrastructure in dealing with such challenges. This has allowed people at the margins of society to be protected as the community adapted to new modes of delivery, through partnering with other groups or extending their service reach.

“It is hoped this short-term funding programme will facilitate a health improvement response to the recovery phase of the pandemic by enabling and encouraging improved resilience through healthy lifestyle choices, while also aiming to address underlying social determinants of health and the negative impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups within our communities.” 

Programmes eligible for funding should promote healthy lifestyle choices. Projects which have benefitted from this programme previously have included workshops focusing on, for example, drugs and alcohol awareness, autism and young women, postnatal depression, stress management programmes including teaching young people stress management techniques, personal development programmes, ‘Hope Ambassador’ training, and parenting programmes.

Other activities supported also included gardening, yoga, mindfulness, arts and crafts, and cooking.

This year the programme will allow groups to apply for a wider range of programmes with the aim of achieving better health and wellbeing as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

The PHA has commissioned the Clear Project to facilitate this process in the Western, Southern, South Eastern and Belfast Local Commissioning Group areas. The short-term funding programme is also available in the Northern Trust area through the four community networks (CRUN, NACN, CWSAN, Impact Network NI).

Brenda Morris, Manager of the Clear Project, said: “Short-term funding programmes play a vital role in supporting communities to effectively respond to the needs of their area. This work can take a range of forms from self-help and life skills initiatives supporting those in need to giving groups the opportunity to develop and build their capacity to help others.”

Two types of awards are available under this scheme:

  • Award one programme of up to £1,000 that non-constituted and constituted non-profit taking community/ voluntary sector groups can apply for; and
  • Award two programme of between £1,001 and to a maximum of £5,000 for constituted, non-profit taking community/ voluntary sector groups.

Any group interested in applying for the short term funding programmes for the Western, Southern, South Eastern and Belfast areas can find out more at

Further details are available from the Clear Project on (028) 7138 3386 or  

The closing date for applications for these grants is Thursday 6th August 2020 at 3pm.

Northern Area Grants scheme contact information:

The Northern Area Health Alliance: to access the short term grant application this will be available on the funding section of the health alliance website. To become a member of the Health Alliance website follow the link below:

For Further queries regarding Northern PHA/ HSC locality short term funding information, contact:

Amanda Elliott, Northern Area Community Network (NACN) & Causeway Rural & Urban Network (CRUN)  Ballymena, Ballymoney, Larne, Causeway & Moyle:

Janine Gaston, Impact Network NI, Antrim, Newtownabbey & Carrickfergus:

Denise Doherty, Cookstown & Western Shores Area Network (CWSAN), Magherafelt & Cookstown:


Notes to the editor

The funding programme will support a range of strategic themes and priorities including: ‘Making Life Better’ Strategy (A whole System Strategic Framework for Public Health) 2013 -2023

‘Protect Life 2’ (PL2)  Strategy 2019 -2024 - reducing suicides and the incidence of self-harm within Northern Ireland  - promoting mental health and emotional wellbeing

The Department of Health Mental Health Action Plan