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Changes to Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Churches

From September 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Grants for Places of Worship programme will close to new applications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In its place, funding for repairs to places of worship will be available through HLF’s existing Our Heritage (up to £100,000) and Heritage Grants (up to £5million) programmes.  These grants will be available to both listed and unlisted places of worship.

Under the new arrangements, 100% of works and activities could be funded with no requirement for partnership funding, through the Our Heritage Programme. For larger schemes, more money will be available for individual places of worship. The Grants for Places of Worship awards were limited to £250,000 per application. Under Heritage Grants, applicants can apply for up to £5m per application.

Full details of the changes, together with details of HLF grants available for churches, can be found on the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance website. Alternatively, go directly to the Heritage Lottery Funds Website by clicking here to find out more.

Source: National Churches Trust


Reminder The Vegetarian Society – Grants

The Vegetarian Society is making small grants of £200 available to help support National Vegetarian Week community activities and events.

Activities need to take place during National Vegetarian Week (15 to 21 May 2017) and must promote National Vegetarian Week exclusively (so no non-vegetarian food or drink) as the primary purpose of the funded activity.

Fundable activities include cookery demonstrations, communal meals, recipe exchange or tasting. Why not check out what organisations did in 2016 as part of National Vegetarian Week here.

The grants are available to:

• Not for profit organisations in the UK (e.g. community groups, schools, and social housing schemes, etc)
• Vegetarian groups, local network groups and student vegetarian and vegan societies
• Informal groups of friends, parents or students.

The closing date for small grant applications is the 30th April 2017.

For more information about the grant click here or to order your free resources click here.


‘This Has To Work’: Last Chance For Charities To Clean Up Fundraising

If self-regulation by charities of fundraising is in the last-chance saloon, as we are often told, they are cautiously ordering another round.

From April, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) plans to introduce an accreditation scheme to vouch for the training and behaviour of fundraisers employed by the biggest charities and agencies.

“Absolutely this has to work,” acknowledges Peter Hills-Jones, the IoF’s director of compliance. “Because if it doesn’t, the public and the government aren’t going to have any more patience.”

His remarks signals the awareness that charities have jeopardised, if not necessarily lost, a great deal of goodwill as a result of recent revelations about questionable fundraising practices. Some regulatory changes have been made, but the sector is very much on probation and risks more draconian intervention if it fails to show that it has put its house in order.

Hills-Jones believes people feel strongly protective of long-established charities and are passionate about any damage to the causes they promote.

“If we can turn that passion into convincing people we have changed, then the British people are nothing if not fair-minded and will give [us] a second chance,” he says.

The new accreditation scheme is expected to apply to 15 big charities with their own in-house fundraising teams and 25 fundraising agencies that work on behalf of other charities. It will cover telephone and street fundraising, including on private sites such as shopping malls and railway stations.

Accreditation will comprise an initial desktop exercise, observation of training and public engagement and, following a decision, any remedial work judged necessary to win approval.

The IoF does not intend to name and shame any charity or agency that fails the assessment, but to publish a list of those accredited successfully so that the public, or, more pertinently, says Hills-Jones, journalists and others with knowledge of the sector, will be able to identify any charities trading without the institute’s stamp of approval. Hills-Jones considers it “almost inconceivable” that any board of trustees of a larger charity would sign off a contract with a fundraising agency that was not accredited.

To read the full Guardian article click here.

From: The Guardian – Voluntary Sector Network


Closed – Reaching Communities Building Programme

The Big Lottery Fund have closed their Reaching Communities Buildings programme to new applications, as they consider the most effective way to support communities is to shape and maintain the places and spaces which matter most to them.

They are still able to fund up to £100,000 of capital expenditure through our Reaching Communities programme, to find out more about this funding programme please visit the Reaching Communities page for more information by clicking here.

Any forms already submitted to us will still be assessed as usual by the Reaching Communities Assessment Team. Anyone who has questions about their application should contact the Big Advice line on 0345 4 10 20 30.


Creative Black Country’s – Open Access Round 7 Awards Reminder

Want to make the most of arts and culture in your local area? Then why not apply for an Open Access Award there is still time if your quick.

The Open Access Award supports activities that build audiences and promote artistic excellence in the Black Country.Whether you’re a professional artist, performer or community group who have never experienced an arts activity before, this could be for you. Open Access is open to individuals, groups and organisations in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Open Access is a flexible award to support the seed of a great idea through to the growth of a great project.

If it builds audiences, connects local people with professional artists and brings great performance, art and creativity to the Black Country, Open Access could help you make it happen.

There are 3 levels of awards:
• Seed: Up to £500
• Grassroots: Up to £2000
• Growth: Up to £4000

How To Apply
Open Access Award – Round 7 is open for applications until Friday, 24 February, 2017.

Download the guidance note and application form to apply.

For more information email info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk or contact us on 0121 525 1127.


Sport England Announces Launch of its New Community Asset Fund (England)

Sport England has announced that from 30 January 2017, sports clubs, local authorities, schools and community organisations will be able to apply for funding from its Community Asset Fund.

This is a new £15 million per year capital fund dedicated to enhancing the spaces in the local community that give people the opportunity to be active. This can include traditional sports facilities as well as outdoor spaces like canal towpaths, woodlands and open spaces; etc that can be used as part of an active lifestyle. Grants will be available for all types of projects and organisations can request awards ranging from £1,000 to £150,000.

Statutory bodies and education establishments will specifically need to:
• Provide a minimum of pound-for-pound partnership funding
• Demonstrate the strategic need for their project proportionate to the scale of investment requested
• Limit requests to a maximum of £150,000 within any 12-month period.

This is a rolling programme and applications can be submitted at any time.

For more information on this funding opportunity click here.


Funding Flash! Rowley Regis Award For All Workshop

BLF LogoAre you a community group looking for money to undertake community activities or a community project which addresses a local need within Rowley Regis? Would your group benefit from a grant of £10,000? Do you want some advice completing your application?

Then did you know SCVO in partnership with The Big Lottery’s Awards For All programme have teamed up to invite applications from local voluntary, community and not-for-profit/charitable organisations in or working in the Rowley Regis Area (i.e. Tividale, Rowley, Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Old Hill).

Interested?! Then why not come along to the Rowley Regis Awards For All Workshop being held on:

Wednesday 19 October 2016, 9.30am – 12.00pm at Cradley Heath Community Centre, Reddal Hill Road, Cradley Heath, B64 5JG.

At the workshop you’ll have the opportunity to meet a member of the Awards For All Team and listen to their thoughts on what makes a good application. You’ll also have the chance to go through the application form where you can access support in completing your groups application.

For more information on the Grant or to book your place at the workshop please contact Libby Mahoney at SCVO on 0121 525 1127. Alternatively you can download the Guidance notes and Application Form here.

Completed Application Forms must be submitted to SCVO, 1st Floor, Lanchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER  by 12 noon on Friday 28th October 2016.


Comic Relief UK Main Fund Closes 1st October 2015

Funding 1Comic Relief UK Main Fund will be closing to new applications from the 1st October 2015

NCVO’s recent Financial Sustainability Review highlights how the voluntary sector is responding to significant shifts in policy and resourcing. In parallel there is growing scrutiny of the charity sector and higher expectations around transparency and accountability. At a global level, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be ratified in September 2015, with commitments for every member government, not just to the world’s poorest people but to tackling rising inequality, including here in the UK.

Given that context, we feel it’s the right time to pause a little and take stock, to ensure we are efficient, effective and evolve appropriately as a partner, grant maker and social investor. We won’t be accepting proposals to our UK Main Fund after midday 1 October 2015 although funding for small grants in the UK up to £10,000 remains available through UK Community Foundations. We’ll be making some gradual changes, which we’ll communicate more widely in early 2016.