Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Shared Strength

Our impact in 2021, partnering with small and local charities across England and Wales

Download our full Impact Report here or navigate our impact at a glance below

Baroness Irene Fritchie DBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive


"This last year, with all the challenges it has thrown up, has been a true testament to the strength of small and local charities and the real difference they can make to people’s lives. As we see every day and captured in our new research Value of Small in a Big Crisis small charities showed up, helping people facing complex social issues in ways that mattered the most and at a time when they were needed the most. They stuck around when others didn’t, finding many ways to maintain human connection and truly care for people. They have the passion, specialist knowledge and local connection that enabled them to reach and engage people facing a range of challenges, making their role in our society essential.

None of the impact you’ll see in this report could have been achieved without the combined strengths and efforts shared by a considerable number of people – our charity partners, regional voluntary sector organisations and businesses, our colleagues at Lloyds Banking Group, and of course our staff and trustees at the Foundation who have continued to work tirelessly throughout the year."


awarded in funding in total

We supported 899 charities through our grants programmes.


invested in development support

753 charities received support through our Enhance Programme.


in National Programme spend

benefitting 15 organisations and partnerships.


In 2021 we supported 899 small and local charities through our grant programmes, some of which received multiple grants.


Having that security [of a multi-year grant] means that we can offer that person [a] permanent contract, because we can see in the budget, that there is enough room for that to be the case … we’re not giving a permanent contract, only to make them redundant. And that enables a much, much healthier workplace for someone and therefore much better work for the clients and much better outcomes.”

Small charity quote from an evaluation of our 2021 funding

England and Wales map

North West: 119 charities

North East: 70 charities

Yorkshire and Humber: 81 charities

West Midlands: 61 charities

East Midlands: 61 charities

South West: 88 charities

Wales: 83 charities

London: 187 charities

South East: 87 charities

East of England: 62 charities

We funded

Small and local charities in England and Wales faced greater uncertainty over funding in 2021, yet the severity and number of challenges they faced as a result of the pandemic only intensified. Therefore our combination of unrestricted funding and capacity building support was even more important.

Our unrestricted funding, its availability throughout the year and the reduced time it took charities to apply for and receive it meant that charities could use the money where it mattered most.



awarded in funding in total, supporting 899 charities through our grants programmes.



charities supported through new grants totalling £12.3m in new grant giving.



given in matched giving through the volunteering and fundraising efforts of Lloyds Banking Group colleagues.


Our commitment to racial equity

Deeply rooted and significant race and ethnic inequalities that already exist within our society have only intensified during the pandemic. And for too long, the charities that are best equipped to support people experiencing racial inequity – those which are led by their communities – have been under funded.

When evaluating our own funding, we saw that our processes were not working for these charities, so in 2020 we committed to distribute 25% of our unrestricted grants to charities led by and for communities experiencing racial inequity. We continued this commitment in 2021. Through this commitment we reached many more charities which we’d never funded before. We’re proud to say that because of the changes we’ve made to our funding criteria and the way we promote our programmes, 30% of our unrestricted two-year grants portfolio is made up of charities that are led by and for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. And applications from these charities have the same rate of success as that of white led charities.

Through this commitment we reached many more charities which we’d never funded before. We’re proud to say that because of the changes we’ve made to our funding criteria and the way we promote our programmes, 30% of our unrestricted two-year grants portfolio is made up of charities that are led by and for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. And applications from these charities have the same rate of success as that of white led charities

Unrestricted funding, generally, is just like gold. For charities, it’s a fuel that keeps you running, it’s a flexibility, it’s that difference between being able to be creative and fix a problem pretty immediately to just not being able to deliver. So yeah, it’s just absolutely invaluable to be able to have that.

Small charity quote from an evaluation of our 2021 funding.

The Vine Centre

The Vine Centre in Aldershot offers wraparound support all in one building to people who are homeless, poorly housed, socially isolated and long-term unemployed. Often a person will visit the charity needing support in one area - such as help finding a job - before entrusting the charity with more closely-guarded information, such as support with mental ill health or addiction. 

In 2020, the centre received a £33,000 grant to contribute towards their core costs, freeing up time and capacity so the team could concentrate on the immediate needs of their clients. In 2021, the charity received a further £50,000 in unrestricted funding over two years. 

The Vine Centre team have taken full advantage of the development support available through the Foundation. Recently they’ve had a consultant help them achieve CIO status, had training on staff wellbeing, and health and safety guidance for the café. 

Lesley has benefitted from a sounding board in the form of the peer forums the Foundation organises. “I find it very useful because I get lots of information from other CEOs, and also it’s very good for my wellbeing – because we’re all in the same boat! It’s time to check in with yourself. A couple of people have shared some really quite difficult things, and because we go round and we all offer something, they may just pick something out. It’s a good support network for one of the loneliest jobs.”

Tracey is also supported by Richard Elphick, a mentor matched through our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group. Tracey describes him as a vital confidant on matters as diverse as staffing to funding.

“It’s just been brilliant. It’s as much as anything about giving clarity – someone to talk through things. When you talk through things, you discover the answer, but when you’re staring at a piece of paper it’s much harder. I really look forward to speaking to Richard each month.”


The Vine Centre CEO Lesley Herniman greets a delivery for the Community Cupboard

Lesley Herniman, CEO The Vine Centre

We developed

The past year saw charities continue to go above and beyond and rapidly adapt to the changing and growing needs of their communities, their staff and volunteers. Yet, small and local charities continued to face a range of pressures from income generation to the digital confidence of the people they support to the wellbeing or their staff and volunteers. We provided charities with a range of support to help them become stronger and more resilient.


invested in development support for 753 charities.


Lloyds Banking Group colleagues engaged in skills based volunteering for our charity partners.


individuals and organisations actively engaged across the six communities to shape support for local people.

Across the year, 149 small and local charities were supported by a Development Partner – an experienced consultant to work alongside them. Charities could call on this trusted partner to help them work through specific issues, big or small, from achieving greater financial stability to improving the confidence and capabilities of their staff and leadership. All this was complemented by access to our established Enhance development programme.


The learning and support we receive makes a sustainable and tangible difference to how we operate. As one member of the team said: ‘Stuff that money can’t buy, and if we could buy it, we couldn’t afford it’. Brilliant, thank you! Lloyds Bank Foundation input has helped to secure and shape our future.

Centre for Fun and Families / £137,391 / Young Parents

The Harbour Project

The Harbour Project began in Swindon in 2000 when Kosovar Albanian refugees fled the fighting in former Yugoslavia and arrived in the town. Since 2006, when the Home Office designated Swindon a ‘dispersal town’ for incoming refugees, the charity has grown rapidly, playing a key role in 2021 helping refugees from Afghanistan who were placed in hotels in the town with no support.

The charity is funded in part by a four-year, core costs grant of £140,547 by Lloyds Bank Foundation. This flexible funding means the charity can spend it in a variety of ways, and it is not fixed to any particular roles or costs. As part of the Foundation’s development support, the Harbour Project was matched with local Halifax colleagues Nick and Ethan in late 2020, to explore ways in which surrounding branches can support visitors.

"For a new refugee who will have rent to pay, maybe claiming Universal Credit, looking for work – they need a bank account! It’s what we all need to be able to get on. Nick and Ethan [staff from the local Halifax branch] have been amazing. We’ve had
people who have been unable to open a bank account. We’ve sent them to Nick who’s said ‘they are not leaving this branch today until they can walk out of here with a bank account’. Claire Garrett, CEO of the Harbour Project 

“We started with providing a donation of basic staples – food and toiletries – and it’s blossomed into a conversation on the practicalities of visitors holding money in a bank account,” said Nick Simons, Bank Manager at Halifax Swindon. “It’s a real challenge and ID is a big, big problem. So, we’ve worked on checks and procedures and what we can do to support them.” 

Claire Garrett, CEO of the Harbour Project

Claire Garrett, CEO of the Harbour Project

Strengthening communities by working deeper locally

We believe that the people living within communities are the ones that can make change happen. This belief is central to our People and Communities work and that is why we provide critical friend support to local people as they work together to improve their community. We continued our work with voluntary sector organisations, businesses and councils and others that provide and fund services locally to identify focal issues for each of the six locations we’re working in.

We influenced

In 2021 we built on our progress and work, leveraged our partnerships and continued to make the case for the distinctive value of small and local charities to influencers, policy makers and those with power. We continued to support charities to influence for change locally and nationally around criminal justice, domestic and sexual abuse and welfare through our ongoing funding programmes as well as awarding one off grants aimed at giving charities the tools, confidence and resources to feed into decision making and improve the policies that affect people.


in National Programme spend benefitting 15 organisations and partnerships.



projects to influence continued focusing on the criminal justice and influencing systems and local infrastructure.



calls for evidence and consultations responded to, drawing attention to the issues faced by small and local charities.


The value of small in a big crisis

In the spring of 2021, we published The Value of Small in a Big Crisis. Researchers from Sheffield Hallam, the Open University, IVAR and the University of Wolverhampton found that small and local charities’ distinctiveness in who they support, how they carry out their work, and the role they play in their communities put them at the forefront of helping people and communties respond to Covid, lockdowns and all their impacts and challenges. The research showed how small and local charities ‘showed up’ and then ‘stuck around’ using their position of trust within communities experiencing complex social issues to support people when they were needed the most.

Improving funding and commissioning arrangements for small and local charities

Following the launch of the Procurement Green Paper at the end of 2020, we played a leading role in coordinating the sector’s response to the new plans. We worked with infrastructure bodies to organise an engagement event for charities and met with the Minister and officials, presenting oral evidence to the House of Lords Public Services Committee.

As a result of this work, Government proposed keeping the “Light Touch Regime” in some form to acknowledge the difference between services for people and other goods and works alongside an indication that they will explore exempting a limited number of services from procurement. This is an issue that will impact on many charities, we fund and will remain a priority for us in 2022.

The cost of living crisis is deeply affecting people already experiencing complex social issues while benefit rates are already below what people need to live on. So last year, we were supporters of the #KeepTheLifeline campaign to persuade the Government to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit rate that they introduced at the start of the pandemic. Alongside this, we have been working with think tank, Bright Blue, to advocate for reform to Universal Credit.

We funded Working Chance to set up Changemakers, a group of women with lived experience of the criminal justice system. The group use their lived experience to influence Government to improve Universal Credit for women like them. They launched #BetterBenefits report and campaign and spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Universal Credit. Their powerful testimonies resonated strongly with MPs and peers who have since followed up with the charity to see how they can work with Working Chance to push for change.

Council staff were impressed and thankful that [we] managed to launch our expanded foodbank within only one week of lockdown being announced… the similar statutory service provision of emergency food parcels, reserved for people meeting a narrow criterion, took 6 weeks longer for them to organise.

Small charity in the South East, quoted from The Value of Small in a Big Crisis report

Helping people who fall into some form of financial crisis has also been a concern of ours and so we are a key funder of the Coordinated Community Support programme which has been working in four areas to try to demonstrate a better model of bringing together councils and the voluntary sector to support people who need help.


Light blue line

Our objectives for 2022

Later this year, we will launch our 2022 - 2026 strategy. The new strategy recognises that resilient small and local charities, supportive communities, and changes to national and local policy help people overcome complex social issues and rebuild their lives.

On 3 October, we will be hosting a learning event sharing lessons learnt from our 2018 - 2022 strategy, Reaching Further.

A learning report will be shared during this event that sets out these eight lessons, drawing on from the programme of monitoring, evaluation and learning undertaken by the Foundation from 2018 to 2022 alongside the reflections of the staff team.

We want to highlight the changes to our ways of working that have most helped us in our mission, as well as sharing our vision and objectives for the future.

Light blue line

Download the full report

It was really refreshing, especially in a period of Covid-19, where everything was about the here and now to come across Lloyds [Bank Foundation for England and Wales], and to understand the bit of their offering and what they wanted to achieve with the money they had available. For us as an organisation wanting to grow, and with big ideas about how to grow and looking for ways in which we could achieve that was finding a pot of money in effect, and also the additional support that came with it from Lloyds [Banks Foundation for England and Wales] that could enable us to do that, and help us to do that.

Small charity quote from an evaluation of our 2021 funding

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales 2021 Impact Report front cover with title "Shared Strength"