This year, Progress Housing Group has earmarked a proportion of their annual Community Investment Fund (CIF) grant funding to be awarded and distributed to projects that will help people in our local communities through coronavirus (Covid-19).

From the Emergency Fund, the Group has so far approved 18 applications and awarded £8,881 in small grants to benefit communities and individuals in the areas that we have housing stock, with more applications currently being considered.

Double R Arts is based in Penwortham, Lancashire and is a recent Emergency Fund recipient.

About Double R Arts

Double R Arts was established in 2011 and is a registered charity, providing performing arts sessions for seven to 18 year-olds. 

Before the lockdown, Double R Arts most recent events were their Christmas performance where they raised more than £2000 for St Catherine’s Hospice in memory of the father of three of their Double R Arts members, and a senior production called ‘Never Said Goodbye’, which was performed in February 2020, just three weeks before lockdown began.

'Never Said Goodbye' was a special production for the group as it was the last show for seven Double R Arts members, who, at 18 years old, were 'graduating' and leaving the group after having joined as 11 year-olds.

Double R ARTS  'Never Said Goodbye'

How COVID-19 affected Double R Arts

Beth Blenkinship, Double R Arts Coordinator, tells us how COVID-19 has impacted the group and its members, and how funding from Progress Housing Group has supported the group during the lockdown period.

"When lockdown happened we introduced weekly Zoom sessions and moved online. We renamed the sessions PAC (Performing Arts Connected) and created a slogan with our logo #keepconnectedkeepperformingkeepsmiling.

Double R Arts Amended Logo

"We were still engaging with approximately 30 children and young people. We know that the young people and their parents and guardians have really appreciated and enjoyed the work that we are doing in the sessions, as they are maintaining their performing arts skills as well as using the opportunity to talk to the workers and their peers about the things they have been doing during the week and how they are feeling.

"We have found that our members have been really honest with us about their experiences of lockdown and appreciate the opportunity to be able to continue to engage with us on a regular basis."

How Double R Arts used the small grants funding from Progress Housing Group

"We held three LIVE virtual concerts during April, May and June and had 60 people watching these events, which hopefully brought some enjoyment during the lockdown. We have also recently done virtual end-of-year performances and presentations with certificates sent in the post."


Double R Arts Virtual Concert

"Our main sources of income are the subscriptions paid by the members, and the income generated by ticket sales from our performances. Due to COVID-19, our income has stalled, therefore the funding from Progress Housing Group has been incredibly gratefully received.

"The grant funding has helped us to continue our work with our young people during the lockdown period and provided financial support to our workers for the continued virtual sessions and also paid for the monthly Zoom subscription.

"During the summer holidays, we also planned a week of virtual performing arts activities for our members. But unfortunately, we are still unsure when we will be able to reopen yet..."

Find out more about Double R Arts

Double R Arts focuses on the development of the whole child, developing the skills and confidence of those children and young people who attend and setting them up for the future.

Double R Arts has a Facebook page where you can find out more about the great work of the group. They also have a crowdfunding page

How to apply for funding from Progress Housing Group to benefit your community

We still have funding available. Please apply to our Community Investment Fund for Emergency Community Support funding. We have made it quick and easy to apply.

Application criteria:

  • Progress Housing Group has properties in the project area
  • Customers of Progress Housing Group will have the opportunity to benefit from the project
  • The project must have a positive effect on the community in general
  • Groups should provide feedback regarding the project and the use of the funding following completion of the project
  • All projects must be in line with current government policy, guidelines, and recommendations regarding the control of the virus
  • Applications up to £500 (future applications can also be made).

Download the application form.

Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis, so that funding, if granted, can be agreed and paid in a timely manner.

Please forward your completed application form to the Progress Involvement Team by emailing or email the team if you require any
further information.

You can also request a call back through webchat or Facebook messenger about this funding.