The Rural Hardship Fund is now reaching its end and there is only a little money left in the pot. 

Whilst we hope to receive additional funding for this grant scheme, we are now requesting that all referrers use the updated form attached and complete the following steps: 


1. Ensure that your client has been referred to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund in the first instance.

2. Consider referring your clients to the Household Support Fund for support with food, energy and essential costs.

3. Refer all energy related financial difficulties to Marches Energy Agency.

4. If you wish to continue with a referral to the RHF, please sign the application form attached as confirmation that you have seen the following.

  • scanned copy of up to date bank statement or screen shot of online banking screen clearly showing current balance that matches the ID shown. 
  • dates when income is expected to be received
  • evidence of debts, incomings and outgoings (this could be a financial statement prepared by a money adviser)  and 
  • evidence of having received the maximum number of awards from the Derbyshire County Council Discretionary Fund/Household Support Fund or ineligibility for these funds.

5. Provide a summary of the financial information that the client has provided as evidence. In order to comply with GDPR regulations, Rural Action Derbyshire does not need to see the evidence itself.

Please note, due to limited funds, we will be capping the majority of awards at £100.

You cannot self refer, you must be referred by one of the referral agencies listed below.

Procedures and Referral Form

Many people in rural areas are struggling at this difficult time. Covid-19 has significantly reduced household income for many families and individuals.  We want to make sure that people don’t go hungry and can cover essential household bills or critical household expenses.

The Rural Hardship Fund provides one-off small grants to people in rural areas who have suffered hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The grants are provided to improve the health and well-being of the rural community in cases where circumstances have led or are leading to a significant deterioration in an individual’s health and well-being.

We appreciate that Derbyshire is a large rural county, with lots of small towns and villages with rural peripheries. The Hardship Fund does not exclude partner referrals for residents living in the small and medium-sized Derbyshire towns and villages, but does exclude the larger urban areas of Chesterfield and Derby City.  However, we are particularly interested to hear from people who are living and working in isolated rural locations and have little support.

 We are happy to take referrals from the following agencies/partners. This list is not exhaustive, so if you are working with someone who needs some financial support please get in touch.

Please be aware, we are not able to accept self-referrals. 

  • Citizen's Advice
  • A Derbyshire Food Bank or similar food project
  • Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy
  • Farming Life Centre
  • The Farming Community Network
  • Social Prescribers

Qualifying Criteria

Applications to the Rural Hardship Fund are by partner referral only. Please see below the list of referral organisations. Individuals will also need to meet the following criteria to qualify for support. 

  • Applicants must be over 18 years and living or working in a rural area within the county of Derbyshire (excluding Derby City and Chesterfield).
  • Applicants must be in severe financial hardship - unable to pay for necessities such as food, household bills, utilities, rent etc.
  • Applicants must first apply to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) before making an application to the Rural Hardship Fund. You can apply to the DDF by phone, call: 01629 533399

 And/or applicants may be 

  • In severe emotional distress or poor mental health (anxious, lonely, depressed) and not currently receiving treatment or mental health support.
  • In financial difficulties despite having already accessed government support
  • Ineligible for government support, including benefits and credits
  • Waiting for benefit checks and payments to be processed and paid

Referral Partners

Feeding Derbyshire Partnership Projects, including Foodbanks, Community Cafés, Community Pantries, School Holiday Clubs, Batch Cook Projects

Citizen’s Advice

Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy Team

Farming Community Network

Farming Life Centre

Social Prescribers

Partners can download a Rural Hardship Fund Procedures and Referral form by clicking on the button below.

Procedures and Referral Form

If you would like to make a donation to support the Rural Hardship Fund, please click on the orange donate button at the top of this page or follow this link.