EMERGENCY COMMUNITY FUND FAQs

This fund was generously supported by:

THE EMERGENCY COMMUNITY FUND IS NOW CLOSED

 

Please contact Work Avenue on 020 8371 3280 to see how we can help you or visit www.theworkavenue.org.uk/meeting to book a meeting with an employment or business adviser.

When can I apply until?

The last date for receiving initial applications is 14th June.

Who can apply for support from this fund?

Those whose earnings or employment have been affected by COVID-19 and who are not eligible for or face a significant delay in accessing Government support can apply for support from this fund.

 

Eligible applicants may include:

 

Those who are recently self-employed and don’t have a 2018/2019 tax return (and therefore are not eligible for the scheme announced by the Government to support self-employed people during the coronavirus pandemic)

 

Those who became employed from 20th March 2020 (and therefore are not eligible for some of the support announced by the Government)

Can I apply if I've been furloughed with a reduction in my salary?

Yes.

 

As your earnings have been directly affected by COVID-19 you are eligible to apply for support from this fund.

 

We recognise that for some on lower incomes and with higher essential expenses, the possibility of a 20% reduction in salary may be causing significant difficulties, which is why this fund is open to applications from people in these circumstances.

 

We are trying to prioritise those where there is most need. We encourage those still receiving 80% of their income to speak to us, review advice and info below, and see if there may be alternative ways to meet essential expenditure during this time.

Can I apply if I'm awaiting a decision on Government support?

Yes.

 

This fund is intended to support families in covering essential expenditure on a short-term basis and is specifically addressing those who may face a delay in accessing Government support.

 

We are trying to prioritise those where there is most need. We might be able to provide you with funds until you have a decision on Government support and until funds arrive.  Once the Government support arrives we would encourage a return of these funds so they can be accessed by others affected by COVID-19.

Can I apply for an interest-free loan instead of a grant?

Yes.

 

If your circumstances have been affected where you are certain of income arriving after an initial period without income and would prefer to seek a cash advance rather than a grant, our fund can facilitate that. We do not want anyone to take on unaffordable debt and would only encourage this if you are confident that this will be affordable for you.

Who will see my application?

Our application process is designed to ensure we understand each applicant’s circumstances before decisions are made on funding. This requires an adviser to speak with each applicant.

 

Only the advisers who speak directly with applicants and those providing administrative support for the fund will see identifying information about applicants.

 

Everyone else – including those making decisions about the applications and allocations of funds will only see summary information about the applicant’s circumstances with identifying information (name, full address, employer’s name etc) removed.

 

All data provided will be stored securely and in accordance with our data protection and privacy policies.

Can I do anything to prepare for my application?

A Work Avenue adviser will contact you for an initial assessment and will explain the next stage of the application process which will involve you submitting financial documentation. (e.g. bank statements and tax returns)

 

To try to keep your expenses as manageable as possible in these difficult times, applicants are recommended to have approached utilities and local councils to reduce their outgoings or have ‘holidays’ from their bills, and to apply for government funds e.g. Universal Credit.

How are decisions being made about who receives funds and how much is allocated to each applicant receiving funds?

This fund is intended to provide short-term assistance to meet essential expenditure.

 

Advisers will ensure we have sufficient information on each applicant’s essential expenditure, the changes in their financial situation caused by COVID-19, and any other support they have been able to access or steps they have taken before identifying the funds needed by each applicant, and forward to the review committee.

 

A summary of all applicants’ situations and needs identified will be presented without identifying information to a review panel. The review panel will award funds according to needs identified, prioritising those in most need of assistance.

When can I expect a decision on my application, and if allocated funds, when can I expect those funds to arrive?

We are aiming to contact all applicants within three working days of receiving their initial application.

 

A Work Avenue adviser will contact you for an initial assessment and will explain the next stage of the application process which will involve you submitting financial documentation and evidence of ineligibility for Government and other support schemes.

 

Once we have all the information needed to progress your application, this will be submitted to the next available review panel who will be meeting twice a week.

 

The review panel will comprise of a group of individuals able to make the funding decisions. The decision should be made no longer than 5 working days from when the applicant has had their final virtual meeting and submitted all the documentation.

 

As soon as a decision is made and funds are allocated, the funds will be transferred to your bank account (depending on the bank the funds may take up to five working days to arrive).

Where can I find information on other financial assistance available to people economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic?

Paperweight are available to support people understand and apply for financial support, including the government schemes mentioned below, and offer debt advice.

 

Mesila UK provide financial management solutions to people across the earning spectrum (not just those in debt)

 

The Government has announced a range of schemes designed to support those economically impacted by COVID-19. You can find more information on some of these schemes by following these links:

 

Self-employment income support scheme

 

Business support

 

Information about coronavirus and claiming benefits (from the Government)

 

Advice on understanding coronavirus and benefits (from Turn2Us)

 

Citizens Advice summary information for those who may not be able to pay bills due to impact of COVID-19

 

Turn2Us have a tool for searching non-repayable grants available from charities based on where you live to help individuals on low incomes.

 

For immediate access to some essentials, you might want to find your nearest foodbank

 

Gift in London and L’Chaim Foodbank in Manchester offer kosher food packages

Where can I find information, advice and support available from the Jewish community during the coronavirus pandemic?

The JLC has collated resources and information for Jewish community organisations, including on Public Health Advice, synagogue activities and religious provision, and personal wellbeing.

 

Work Avenue continues to provide people in the community with employment and business support in these uncertain times. Contact us to arrange a telephone or video conferencing meeting with one of our advisers.

 

The Board of Deputies page on advice and resources during the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

 

Jewish Online is JW3’s new resource for the entire Jewish community bringing together the widest range of Jewish content in one place.

 

Kehilla NW is an online central bulletin for the North West London orthodox community.

 

Paperweight have free services for all those needing guidance on legal, financial and welfare issues. Their website has a special COVID-19 section with relevant guidance.

 

Mesila provide a range of services to help with financial planning, management and  budgeting solutions across the community.

 

PaJeS (a division of the JLC) have been supporting the Jewish schools during the closure including resources for educators, advice for families, and wellbeing guidance.

 

Reshet (a partnership between the JLC and UJIA) have been supporting the informal Jewish education and youth sector, with updated safeguarding guidance, pooling virtual activities.

 

People in Manchester can find information and support available via the Manchester Representative Council website.

 

People in Leeds can find information and support available via the Leeds Jewish Community website.

 

People in Sussex can find information via the Sussex Jewish Representative Council website.