National Express Foundation unlocks £250,000 more funding to help young people

Applications are invited from community groups and educational institutions for a share of a new pot of funding which is being made available to help young people succeed in life.

Earlier this year, the Foundation committed over £250,000 to support 3,000 young people in the West Midlands and Kent. This second £250,000 round of funding aims to increase the number helped this year. The Foundation is also making the process simpler for community groups to apply.

The application process for community groups in this round will involve two stages. Initially, groups will simply be asked to provide a single paragraph setting out the proposed activity.   The application form can be found here.

The deadline for the first round is 6 October. Applications will be assessed, and those which are considered most likely to succeed will be invited to submit a more detailed application.

Educational institutions can find their application form here, with a deadline of 25 October.

James Donnan, Foundation General Manager, explained: “We recognised that for many small community groups, the process of completing detailed application forms is time-consuming and can be particularly frustrating if unsuccessful.

“By simplifying our application process we are encouraging any group that works with young people to apply and pitch us an idea of how their activity helps to support, develop and engage young people. We can then assist successful organisations to progress these ideas in to a full proposal”.

For full details of the respective projects and bursary programmes that can be supported by Foundation funding this year please visit

Travel Grants for International School Visits

Travel grants are now available to enable groups of secondary school pupils to visit a partner school in any country (Europe, or wider World) for a minimum of four nights.

Visits can be used to enhance curriculum teaching, improve language learning or help build soft skills. Priority is given to applications that feature young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as visitors or hosts. Offered through a new £2.5 million Department for Education programme in partnership with the British Council, it is anticipated that the visits will offer up to 20 students at a time per school a truly intercultural experience.

Visits must be started by 31st May 2020; the last date for applications is the 14th February 2020.

Further information

The Lottery’s 25th Birthday Thanks To You campaign

This year the National Lottery is celebrating its 25th birthday and the difference it has made to heritage, the lives of people and communities throughout the UK, over the past quarter of a century. Thanks to National Lottery players, over £30 million goes to good causes each week.

The annual Thanks To You campaign is the perfect opportunity for you to be involved in the birthday celebrations and to say thank you to the National Lottery players who have made so many projects possible. It’s also a chance for you to highlight the difference you have made in your local community.

The principle of the campaign is simple: anyone who visits a participating National Lottery-funded venue or project between 23 November & 1 December 2019 and shows a National Lottery ticket gets free entry, or another special offer.

Some fantastic organisations and projects have already registered across the good causes family, including Westonbirt the National Arboretum, The Fitzwilliam Museum, The Old Vic, National Holocaust Centre and Museum, Pleasance Theatre, Black Country Living Museum, National Justice Museum, University Museum of Zoology, Derby Arena, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, V&A Dundee, Worcester Cathedral, the National Trust for Scotland, RSPB, Bath Comedy Festival, The D-Day Story, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and many, many more.

If you haven’t already done so (and thank you if you have!) please register your interest in being a part of the campaign on the Lottery Good Causes website.

If your organisation has not taken part in Thanks To You before, and/or you are not sure what your special offer might look like, the Lottery can help. Their dedicated project manager, Stacey Reed, is on hand to work with grantees to make sure your offer reaches new audiences and benefits from the national promotional profile of the 25th birthday celebrations.

There are many ways for everyone to get involved. In previous years, some of the special offers have included:

• free entry to venues for all or part of the Thanks To You period
• an expert talk or a guest panel
• guided facility or venue tours
• setting aside tickets to an event coming up in the future
• a membership discount
• hard hat / in-construction / behind the scenes tours
• a day, weekend, or week of activities
• workshops or lessons
• a special view of a collection or archive not usually open to the public
• an in-store or restaurant offer
• the chance to sit in on a rehearsal or training session
• something totally different to your usual programme of activity – maybe a group walk or fete

Need more inspiration?

Julie from Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire, has written a blog about how taking part in the Thanks To You campaign made a big difference to a small project.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Thanks To You project manager, Stacey Reed, on or 020 7211 3928 if you have any questions.

Princes Trust Team Programme Smethwick

Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for their next 12 week Team Programme for 16 – 25 year olds, starting 7th October 2019. The Programme offers skills such as team building, confidence and leadership. Young people will gain nationally recognised qualifications and certificates in First Aid and Food safety.

Alongside this, young people:
• can build a CV
• will be taught interview skills
• will have two weeks work experience and
• will be introduced to employers and training providers in a field that they wish to progress into.

A bus pass is provided which does not affect benefits.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Jack Dytor, the Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07787 245 832 or by email

If a group has an upcoming event which the Princes Trust could attend to aid recruitment, please contact Jack Dytor at Smethwick Police Station on the above number.

Further information

Opportunities at Health Exchange

Health Exchange was formed in Birmingham in 2006, with the aim of creating a dialogue with the community about health and wellbeing.

The organisation’s guiding belief was, and remains, that everyone should and could be empowered to take positive control of their own health and wellbeing.

Health Exchange is looking to recruit to three vacancies. Please click links for full job description and instruction on how to apply.

Link Worker – Birmingham based
£19,000. Full-time

Link Worker Supervisor – Sandwell based
£21,000. Full time

Health and Wellbeing Partner Supervisor – Birmingham based
£21,000. Full-time

The closing date for all three vacancies is 12 October, 2019.

NHS Community Grant

NHS England is offering community grants of up to £2,500 to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that have developed good practice around patient and citizen involvement in healthcare. The purpose of the grant is to enable organisations to share their good practice so that others can learn from the involvement successes.

The community grants will be awarded to organisations that can tell the story of their patient and citizen involvement project. Using the funding they will share what worked, how they involved patients and citizens and what impact involvement had on services. Organisations should be able to tell their story in a creative, appealing and accessible way which can include producing films, photo or audio books, leaflets and posters, graphics or comics.

Application: Online application form on the website, or by post to the address below. Guidelines are available on the website.

Contact: Community Grants Applications, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Zone C, 6th Floor Skipton House, 80 London Road, London, SE1 6LH



Sugar Smart Sandwell Launched

The Sugar Smart Sandwell campaign was launched today with the aim of helping people reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.

Based on the national Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign, Sugar Smart Sandwell is inviting local companies and organisations to get involved in promoting healthier food choices.

This may involve promoting a healthy workplace scheme, holding a healthy recipe demo or removing adverts for sugar. There are so many ideas that can encourage changes.

Sandwell Leisure Trust has made the first pledge to improve vending options.
Sandwell Leisure Trust chief executive Ash Rai said: “As a healthy workplace, Sandwell Leisure Trust is looking to get involved with as many Sugar Smart Sandwell actions as possible. Some people consume as many as 40 teaspoons of sugar every day. That is more than five times the recommended daily allowance!’’

Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s director of public health, said: “Earlier this year we saw hundreds of Sandwell kids give up sugary drinks during Fizz Free February. We also promote the Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign to local schools.
“But this isn’t just an issue for kids. All of us, through our businesses and organisations, can help make healthy food choices easier.”

The campaign aims to recruit 50 organisations across Sandwell sign up to the Sugar Smart initiative by February 2020 and pledge to raise awareness and encourage action to reduce sugar intake. A network of ambassadors will be recruited to work across all sectors (e.g. workplaces, schools, health, businesses, leisure centres and community organisations).

People interested in the campaign should go to

Grants Available for Organisations working with Young People and the Elderly

Charitable organisations providing services for young people between the ages of 13 to 25 and the elderly can now to apply to the Field Family Trust.

The next meeting of Trustees is in April 2020 and applications will close on 6 weeks prior to the meeting or when sufficient applications for the meeting have been received. Organisations applying must have an annual income of under £1m and be working in the West Midlands and London (within the boundaries of the M25). The Trustees will consider applications for a wide variety of purposes, such as outreach, engagement, equipment, furnishings, running costs, helplines.

For further information please view –

Grants to Support Animal Welfare Charities (UK)

The next deadline for applications to the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust is the 15th January 2020.

Charities registered in the UK and working to offer sanctuary, rehoming and rehabilitation to animals in the UK and/or internationally can apply for a grant of up to £35,000. Organisations involved with the conservation of wildlife, the rescue, rehabilitation and (where possible) release of animals are also eligible to apply. The funding supports general running costs or capital purchases. The Trust encourages repeat applications from charities when further financial support might be given if funds allow.

For further information please view –

The Idlewild Trust

The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grantmaking programme is the 13th February 2020.

The Idlewild Trust supports charities that improve opportunities for young professionals working in the arts, particularly at an early stage in their careers; and supporting the conservation of important works of art and objects in museums, galleries, places of worship, historic buildings or their grounds that are being lost through the lack of funds to look after these works. The Trust awards around £140,000 each year in grants and makes grants of up to £5,000.

For further information please view –

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