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Youth Music update re Coronavirus (COVID-19) and FAQs

To look after the welfare of our team and wider society, Youth Music has taken the decision that our staff will work from home from Monday 16 March onwards. All meetings will be scheduled remotely or postponed. Our office will be closed until further notice, with phonelines redirected to staff mobiles. Apart from that, our business will continue as usual.

This page will be kept up-to-date with the latest information, and we will share any changes on our social media. Follow our Twitter @youthmusic for all the latest news updates.
 

Policy for Youth Music grantholders

We recognise that the Covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on the people and organisations that we work with. We want to be as helpful as possible during this time. Youth Music will continue to process grant payments as normal during the outbreak.

We recognise that the outbreak may mean that you have difficulty achieving some of the outputs we agreed when you were awarded your grant. Please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way. We ask that you read the following guidance carefully and follow the steps outlined if you are affected.

Changes to your project schedule and budget

If your Youth Music-funded activity is cancelled or changed as a result of the coronavirus, you can request to extend your project end date and reporting dates.

We value the workforce on Youth Music projects and do not want to see people out of pocket as a result of the pandemic.

If staff and freelance posts are covered by Youth Music funding, and activity is cancelled, you can continue to use the Youth Music grant to cover staffing costs as per the original schedule of activity. For example, if a music leader or project manager was scheduled to work for 2 hours each week then they can still be paid for 2 hours each week even while the activity is not happening. However:

  • We suggest that staff and freelancers are assigned other activity to undertake from home for the times they are being paid, e.g. planning, evaluation or other activity relevant to the Youth Music programme.
  • If staff or freelancers are entitled to other payments as a result of the coronavirus (e.g. statutory sick pay due to being ill or in self-isolation, or income protection insurance) then Youth Music funding can be used to make up any shortfall between what they would have received (if activity had continued as normal) and the amount they receive in benefits. 

If you have committed expenditure from your Youth Music budget for activity that can no longer go ahead, then you can use the funding to honour the commitment. However, we recommend that you think carefully before committing further expenditure during this period.

Should you wish to use your grant in this way then please follow these steps:

Step 1: Contact your Grants and Learning Officer to explain how activity will change, and what budget lines will be affected.

Step 2: Once activity has returned to normal, you will be required to contact us with a budget update and proposed new grant end dates or reporting dates (as appropriate). We will contact you with more detailed instructions once social distancing measures have ceased.
 

Give a Gig Week

Updated: All Youth Music organised Give a Gig events are now cancelled. More info here.

If you’re organising a Give a Gig event and you need to cancel, please contact Hannah Crompton.

 

FAQs

We’ve compiled answers to a list of common questions below – please get in touch with us if you have any further questions.

Email grants@youthmusic.org.uk or contact your Grants and Learning Officer directly.

  1. Upcoming funding rounds. 
  2. Existing grantholders. 

1. Upcoming funding rounds

Are your normal funding rounds still going ahead?

Fund A Round 18 is still going ahead but we have extended the deadline by two weeks to Friday 17 April (notification dates will remain unchanged). At present, we envisage that Fund A Round 19 will also go ahead as planned: however, this may be subject to change as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve.

Fund B Round 11 Stage Two applications are currently being assessed and will go ahead as planned, and published notification dates remain unchanged.

Fund B is currently closed while we improve the application process, with plans to re-open in autumn 2020.

Should I still apply to Fund A Round 18 when I don’t know how long social distancing measures will apply for?

We recommend applying to Fund A Round 18 and scheduling a start date of September at the earliest. If social distancing measures are still in place in July (when we notify applicants of grant awards) then we will provide further advice as to how to proceed.

What do I do if I cannot get people to confirm partnerships and match funding?

We can be flexible here and will treat requests on a case by case basis.

If delivery is delayed on my current grant can I still apply for a new grant (as you can’t have two Fund A grants at the same time) – would Youth Music make an exception in this case?

This will depend on when your current grant is due to end.

Example: we are a current grantholder and are looking to apply for Fund A Round 18. Our project was due to finish in the summer - however due to coronavirus we have had to extend until December, will I still be able to apply for a grant that starts in September?

If your current activity is now running until December then we would recommend that you wait until Fund A Round 19 before applying as you would be unlikely to be prioritised for funding in Round 18.

2. Existing grantholders

Should I pay my staff and freelancers for cancelled planned activities?

It is our expectation that you honour agreements (verbal and written) and contracts with staff and freelancers engaged on Youth Music-funded projects (unless you are taking part in the Government Coronavirus job retention scheme and staff are furloughed), and seek to engage individuals in other relevant activities where appropriate while they are unable to deliver face-to-face work.

We have had to pause the project due to COVID 19, can we get an extension on delivery?

Yes. But it is our expectation that you honour agreements (verbal and written) and contracts with staff and freelancers engaged on Youth Music-funded projects (unless you are taking part in the Government Coronavirus job retention scheme and staff are furloughed)..

We have had to pause the project due to COVID 19, can we get an extension on reporting?

Yes. But it is our expectation that you honour agreements (verbal and written) and contracts with staff and freelancers engaged on Youth Music-funded projects (unless you are taking part in the Government Coronavirus job retention scheme and staff are furloughed)..

We have had to change the project activities i.e. moving everything online, is this still eligible activity under our grant agreement?

Yes, but please keep us informed of changes.

We’re concerned that we’re still paying people but can’t deliver all of the things we said we would in the original application. For example, we will deliver fewer sessions and won’t work with as many young people as we originally anticipated.

We understand that this will be the case and have stated in our policy that we’re aware that outputs will probably be lower than expected.

How long are extensions being granted for?

As long as they are required. Once social distancing measures have ceased we will contact you to review your grant agreement and reporting.

I am a grant holder and my activity has changed, should I contact my Grants and Learning Officer?

Yes – please keep us updated.

I need to spend more money on equipment, so my capital costs will go above 10%

This should be fine, but please keep your Grants and Learning Officer informed of any changes.

I need to spend more money on core staff/costs/overheads, so my indirect costs will go above 20%

We will seek to accommodate this but it will depend on individual circumstances and require approval from your Grants and Learning Officer.

We’ve lost match funding – can we use our Youth Music grant to fill in the funding gap (and therefore project delivery will need to end sooner)?

We will seek to accommodate this but it will depend on individual circumstances and require approval from your Grants and Learning Officer.

My whole team is working remotely – I am struggling to get people to sign documents (e.g. funding agreements, evidence of match, authorised signatories forms, report declaration forms) – what do I do?

If you’re having difficulty getting hard copies of signatures we will accept an email approval or an e-signature instead.

My project hasn’t started yet, should I pay freelancers regardless or should we aim to push everything back?

It is our expectation that you honour agreements (verbal and written) and contracts with staff and freelancers engaged on Youth Music-funded projects, and seek to engage individuals in other activities where appropriate while they are unable to deliver face-to-face work.

Can we bring forward the payment schedule to cover a shortfall in projected income?

We will seek to accommodate this but it will depend on individual circumstances and budgets and will require approval from your Grants and Learning Officer.

How much detail in writing do you need to see from us before getting an approval for budget and activity changes?

At present it’s enough to send us an email with an outline of your plans or discuss them with your Grants and Learning Officer. Please ensure you keep track of all expenditure so you can report against it further down the line.

My organisation was recently awarded a grant and I’d like to announce it, when can I do that?

After your first payment has been made. We have a grantholder communications toolkit to help plan your communications outputs but please be sensitive to the current situation. It’s fine to share the news with partners and colleagues in the meantime.

We know how to work with young people digitally/remotely, how do I share my experience with other grant holders who don’t have the knowhow?

Please write a post about it on the Youth Music Network and we can share it through Twitter.

In response to Covid 19, we are delivering elements of our programme digitally. How do we evidence this work, and what are Youth Music’s expectations for monitoring and evaluating this?

Youth Music understand that grantholders are doing their best to react to Covid 19, and that adapting to a new way of working takes time. Once you’ve established some semblance of a routine, or plan for online delivery with your young people, speak to your Grants and Learning Officer about suitable methods of evaluation.

We are also hosting a series of focus groups around working online with young people. Meetings take place over the next few weeks – check out the events section of the Youth Music Network for dates and sign-up details.   https://network.youthmusic.org.uk/events

This page was last updated on 17th April 2020.