Steve Baylis

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Comic Relief Local Communities Programme

Funding4There are still many communities in the UK that suffer from economic and social deprivation and the current economic climate may make this situation worse. For this reason, Comic Relief has decided that £4.5 million should be available to fund projects across the UK which are addressing these issues through the ‘Local Communities’ programme.

Comic Relief is pleased to be working with UK Community Foundations and Community Foundations across the UK, to deliver this Local Communities programme.

The Heart of England Community Foundation is one of the delivery partners for Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country.  The Local Communities programme will run for 18 months and during this time, grants of between £1,000 and £5,000/£10,000 will be available. The programme aims to empower local people, enabling them to create lasting change in their communities. Projects should be run by people directly affected by the issues they are dealing with and priority will be given to small, locally based groups or organisations in areas of disadvantage that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community.

Under the programme, organisations can apply for funding to:

  • Improve people’s life skills, education, employability and enterprise
  • Maximise people’s ability to strengthen community cohesion and build social capacity
  • Provide people with opportunities to access local services, achieve greater social justice and to reduce inequality, exclusion and disadvantage
  • Advance people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety

Organisations who have received a Community Cash grant or any other grant from a Community Foundation can apply for a Local Communities grant. However organisations which hold a grant directly from Comic Relief, cannot apply for a Local Communities Grant. A Local Communities grant must be at least 30% of the total cost of the project.

Application closing date is midday 1st October 2015
(For this round only, we aim to spend at least 50% of the money available, on projects which increase access to sport and exercise for people who face social exclusion and isolation).
Please contact the grants team on 024 76883265 or 024 76883262 if you require any further advice or guidance. To apply for a Local Communities Grant, please click here

Sandwell Legacy – Capital Refurbishment Support

Community EventsDoes your community room need a lick of paint or new kitchen facilities? What about a new heating system or electrical rewiring? If the answer’s yes, the housing investment legacy scheme may be the helping hand you need.

They want to help Sandwell’s great community projects by offering some free labour and materials to transform buildings and its surroundings.
So, if you are a voluntary, community or not-for-profit organisation such as a school, charity or faith organisation based in Sandwell and serving our communities, why not apply?

You can download the application form and guidance notes here, send us an e-mail or call 0121 569 2924 and we’ll post or email one out to you.

Please note that there is no monetary value attached to this scheme – only tools, material and some helping hands. Forms must be returned by Friday 27 November, 2015 to the email address above or posted to us at: Sandwell Housing Investment Team, 1st Floor, Direct 2 Industrial Park, Roway Lane, Oldbury, B69 3ES.

Positive Futures Fund – Birmingham and Black Country Funding

Funding4The Positive Futures Fund aims to support community/voluntary organisations and registered charities working with disadvantaged young people within Birmingham and the Black Country.

The fund priorities and focuses on:
• Projects that work in innovative ways to inspire and to keep young people out of the criminal justice system (and those who are potentially at risk of falling into the criminal justice system)
• Projects that aim to create a positive impact in local communities and encourage sustainability of resources to continue the work taking place with disadvantaged young people

Who can apply?
• Groups need to be working actively within Birmingham or the Black Country
• Be working with or their main objectives are to work with young people who are on the periphery of crime and/or in disadvantaged communities and be able to demonstrate the ways in which they would inspire young people
• Be small local independent organisations run by local people, with an income of less than £200,000 (within the last financial year)
• Be based in the local community and demonstrate that young people play an active role in the project

How much can you apply for?
Available grants range from £2000 to a maximum of £5000. Grants will need to be spent within 12 months of receipt

How can you apply?
The link to Positive Futures Fund’s on-line application form is available on their website. Click into the grants section and follow the on-line application process for the main grant application form

Closing dates for submission of applications are not published but you will be notified within 13 weeks of submission of a completed application.

All successful applicants will be required to complete and submit an end of grant report which enables Positive Futures not only to see what difference the grant has made but what impact this funding has had on both organisation and beneficiaries

It is strongly recommended that you give the Grants Team a call on 02476 883265 or 02476 883262 to discuss your potential application before submitting. This ensures both your organisation and project are eligible before spending time on completion of application forms. Please note that eligibility does not guarantee a successful award.

Funding for Financial Literacy Projects

Funding5The MSE Charity has announced that its grants programme re-opened for applications on the 1st September 2015.

The MSE Charity provides grants to constituted community based groups (including schools) for projects to help fight financial and consumer illiteracy and to educate and inform adults and children about consumer and debt issues. Under the programme, grants of up to £5,000 are available. Priority will be given to groups with an annual income of less than £500,000.

Nottingham Women’s Centre is a project which has benefitted from funding from the Charity.  The Women’s Centre received a grant of £3,850 to provide financial education training to female ex-offenders offenders to improve their financial well-being and build an independent life free of crime and debt.

The closing date for applications is likely to be the 30th September 2015 or when 40 applications have been received. To apply, please follow the Link to the funder’s website.

SCVO Meet the Funder 2015 in partnership with CTWM (Charitable Trusts West Midlands)

EventsFollowing on from last year’s hugely successful event, SCVO and Charitable Trusts West Midlands have joined forces in one unique event to bring you this year’s conference where, as well as ‘Meet the Funder’, we will be celebrating CTWM’s 40th Anniversary of supporting funders who support local groups in the West Midlands.

Over 300 participants attended ‘Meet the Funder’ last year, ranging from local community groups and larger voluntary organisations to all types of funders and infrastructure support agencies.

This year’s conference and funding fair will be an opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experience and perspective of grant giving and develop good practice in grant making, explore matters of shared concern, and forge productive relationships that contribute to the wider benefits and overall sustainability of the region’s voluntary and community sector. Delegates can hear about CTWM’s journey over the last 40 years, look at some of the key policy issues impacting on the sector, and consider some of the key trends and their longer term impact on improving the quality of life for people in the West Midlands.

We only have 200 places this year, so it really is ‘first come first served’, and when we reach 200 people there will be no more places released…so early booking is strongly recommended!!

This year we will also be running practical workshops for groups who may be considering applying to the Lottery, Children in Need, HLF, Arts Council, Esmée Fairbairn & others; going through their respective application forms in detail to give groups the best opportunity to make successful applications.

This year we have also invited a number of guest speakers from organisations such as NCVO, Big Society Capital & Esmée Fairbairn to share their thoughts and views on how trusts, foundations and other organisations in the voluntary sector are responding to the changing landscape of funding to the third sector and what this means for society, including for those most vulnerable.

To book up, please follow the link to Eventbrite. Prices are the same as last year, so this event still offers great value for money.

Celebrating Participation in Healthcare Community Grants (England)

NHS EnglandNHS England has launched a new community grant scheme to showcase good practice around patient and citizen participation in healthcare.

NHS England will be awarding a number of small community grants to not for profit organisations who can tell the story of their patient and citizen engagement work in a creative and interesting way. This can be in a wide variety of ways: videos, photo or audio books, leaflets and posters, graphics or other formats.

Grants are available of up to £1,000 each; the total funds available are £10,000. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on the 28th September 2015. For further information, please visit the NHS England website.

Funding to Alleviate Effects of Poverty on Women and Children

Funding5Registered charities whose purpose is to alleviate poverty and social deprivation with particular emphasis on children and women’s issues have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Volant Charitable Trust. The next application deadline is the 8 January 2016.

The Trust which was set up by the author J K Rowling also supports research into the causes, treatment and possible cures of Multiple Sclerosis. However, this funding stream is currently fully committed and is currently not considering further applications for funding in this area. For further information, please go to the funders website.

BIG Launches £30 Million Help Through Crisis Fund- Deadline 26th August 2015

Funding2The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has launched a new £30 million Help Through Crisis Fund. The fund aims to help people facing hardship so that they can overcome immediate difficulties and be ready for opportunities and challenges ahead.

Not for profit organisations that have direct experience in helping people overcome hardship, can apply for grants of up to £750,000 to help fund best practice, collaborative projects that will provide a range of services including hands-on advocacy and advice, to better enable people to deal with the problems they are experiencing.

BIG are looking to fund five-year projects to support robust learning and evaluation. BIG will consider funding projects of three or four year’s of duration if there is a strong rationale for this. While the main focus of the projects will be on addressing hardship crisis through advocacy support and advice, projects may also provide other activities that help to support immediate need for example:
• Hot meals
• Food parcels
• Emergency furniture
• Clothing
• Shelter.

There is a two stage application process. The closing date for Stage One applications is noon on the 26th August 2015. For further information, please follow the link:

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.


Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Shared Ground Fund

Funding2The Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) has established the Shared Ground Fund to provide organisations with the financial support they need to test new approaches and explore ways of addressing new challenges in the area of migration. It will also support organisations with an already strong track record of achievement with substantial help to achieve a greater impact.

Not-for-profit, formally constituted organisations working with young migrants are eligible to apply. Beneficiaries can be in the UK alone or with family, and includes those who are undocumented or have irregular immigration status. The PHF is particularly interested in supporting organisations working with those aged between 14 and 25 years. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their group achieves all of the following:-

  • Proactively seeks ways for its work to have a wider impact on the policy and practice of others, or on the wider systems relevant to migration and integration. Wherever possible and appropriate, the group engages young people in creating this change, giving them a substantial and meaningful say over decision making, resources and assessing impact.
  • Is interested and active in capturing and sharing wider learning with others, particularly where the work is exploratory.
  • Recognises, develops and reinforces young people’s skills, assets and strengths. The group is strongly committed to the principle of participation of young people.
  • Understands and has addressed the ethical, equalities and safeguarding implications of the proposed work and the staff, volunteers and others dealing with vulnerable young people are appropriately trained, qualified, supervised and supported.

Applicants must contribute to one or both aims of the Shared Ground Fund:-

Living Well Together – for projects that are supporting work for the benefit of young people that helps communities experiencing high levels of migration to become stronger and more connected. Projects must contribute to one or more of the following objectives:-

  •  Young people participate positively to help the communities they live in to become stronger and more connected.
  • Communities benefit from collaborative community action, across a mix of social groups.
  • New approaches are explored, evidence generated and shared to inform and influence the policy and practice of others.
  • Views and experiences of young people contribute to policies, data and services which affect communities.

Staying Safe – for projects that ensure that young migrants in the greatest need can get help and support. Young people in this category include survivors of torture, sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation, those in detention and those who are destitute. Projects must contribute to one or more of the following outcomes:-

  • Young people are safe from exploitation and abuse.
  • Young people can better navigate immigration and support systems, receive fair treatment, and protect themselves from harm.
  • New approaches are explored, evidence generated and shared to inform and influence the policy and practice of others.
  • Views and experiences of young people contribute to policies, data and services which affect communities.

The Shared Ground Fund offers two levels of funding:-

  • ‘Explore and Test’ grants of up to £60,000 for up to two years. Funding is designed to help explore and test both new approaches and ways of addressing new issues. Up to 20% of the grant may be allocated as a contribution to organisational running costs.
  • ‘More and Better’ grants of up to £400,000 for up to four years. Funding is intended to help develop and embed more established activities.

Further information can be found on the Paul Hamlyn Foundation website

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