THANKS a million.

A local grant-giving organisation is today launching a huge financial support fund to help charities and community groups struggling to provide vital support during the coronavirus crisis.

Many charities are on the brink because donations have dried up and they cannot fundraise.

And for some groups, their work is now more crucial than ever because of the financial and social pressures of the pandemic.

Now the Talbot Village Trust - a charity itself, has unveiled the £1 million Covid-19 Support Fund to help charities and community organisations in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, East Dorset and Purbeck.

It will provide revenue, core funding or capital and equipment requirements to enable the continued delivery of essential services.

The fund is backed by the Daily Echo as media support partner.

Those in immediate need can apply for up to £50,000 of help.

Priority will be given to organisations directly helping people, families and communities during the crisis.

Talbot Village Trust Trustees and key local stakeholders will meet virtually to review applications and award funds on a fortnightly basis until the fund has been fulfilled.

Each application will be considered on its own merits and organisations and charities can apply more than once if needed.

No prior funding is required.

The fund is being supported by BCP Council leader, Vikki Slade, and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell. Both will attend the first virtual trustee meeting to review applications.

Cllr Slade said: “I am delighted that Talbot Village Trust has launched this scheme to help local people at this incredibly difficult time. I feel humbled to have been asked to join the panel – this fund is exactly what I would think the Talbot sisters imagined their charity would deliver.”

Angus Campbell added: “This is a wonderful example of community support at a time of extraordinary difficulty for very many in Dorset and also of unprecedented hardship for our splendid charities that wish to help them. It will enable maximum and timely assistance to be targeted directly for those that so desperately need it.”

Sir Christopher Lees, Chair of Trustees at Talbot Village Trust, said: “At this unprecedented and extremely difficult time for Dorset residents, we are so pleased to be able to support them in any way we can, and we would urge any local charity or community group to apply immediately for our support, if they need it. The application process is quick and easy, and they will get a decision within days.

“We want to support the groups and individuals that work hard and help those in need, and we feel confident that the original Talbot sisters would wholeheartedly agree with this approach.”

The first deadline for applications is midnight on 16th April. Applicants will be notified if they have been successful on 20th April. Subsequent application timetables will be announced after each funding round.

Please go to for more information on the application process.

Applications can be made using the form available to download on the Talbot Village Trust website. Questions can be sent to

PANEL: Talbot Village Trust was first created more than 150 years ago by the Talbot sisters, Georgina and Mary Talbot. Inspired by the poverty of the area at the time, Georgina purchased land to provide farming for employment and housing and a school for use by local people. Thanks to the sisters’ philanthropic approach, the trust is now one of Dorset’s principal benefactors, donating crucial financial support back into the local community. In 2018 and 2019, Talbot Village Trust made grants of over £2million.