#iwill Youth Social Action Fund Now Open

Somerset Community Foundation is encouraging charities and community groups working across Somerset to apply for funding for projects that encourage young people to take action on issues that matter to them.

Groups that engage young people aged 10-20 in activities such as campaigning, fundraising or volunteering should apply to the #iwill Fund. The Fund is open to applications on Monday 16 September and the closing date is Friday 25 October. Successful applicants should expect their grants to be awarded by the end of the year.

Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re excited to receive applications from groups working with young people who are keen to make a difference in their communities. Young people have enormous potential make a positive change and we’re proud to support local groups working with the next generation of volunteers, campaigners and activists. When making your application we would also like you to consider the Somerset Youth Parliament’s local priority concerns for 2019-21, which are: the environment, youth voice, and youth safety and empowerment.”

Grant funding ranging between £1,000 and £5,000 is available to groups including registered charities, community groups, social enterprises and CICs and are being awarded in partnership with the Somerset Youth Parliament and Somerset County Council, which is providing match funding.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Somerset’s Youth Parliament clearly demonstrates how passionate young people are in our County about issues that affect them and the wider community.

“It’s fantastic that children and young people will have the chance to take part in campaigns and projects or volunteer to help improve the lives of others, thanks to this initiative.”

Langport and Huish Episcopi Youth Group were awarded an #iwill grant in 2018. Their project delivered cooking and baking sessions for young people, many of whom were from lower income households and unable to cook.

Senior youth worker Annie Shillabeer explained: “Not only did the young people learn valuable new cookery skills, the project also broke down barriers between generations: A local baker taught them how to bake bread, and they also learnt how to make simple soups. The group then cooked and shared their food with a group of younger children and also the local lunch club for older people in the village. Seven of our young people have since taken their Basic Food Hygiene Certificate and are progressing to Level 2. The project really was a great success and I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome. We have been able to make plans for the future and are now running regular cookery lessons.  It’s a real pleasure to see our young people learning and using new skills.”

The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill Fund.

If you would like to find out more about grant funding for projects that encourage young people to take social action in their communities, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit www.somersetcf.org.uk

New Grants Feed Grass-roots Action

Somerset’s County Councillors will have £2,000 each to fund community projects that improve lives under a new scheme launched this month.

The Improving Lives Grants Scheme has been created to kick-start and support voluntary and grass-roots initiatives that bring people together and help communities stay connected and thrive.

Whether it’s a project to reduce isolation, give parenting support, prevent falls or enhance emotional health and wellbeing – each of Somerset’s 55 county councillors can award up to four grants using their £2,000.

The £110,000 of investment is coming from the authority’s £1m Prevention Fund, set up to finance Council work and community projects that prevent issues, problems and needs developing or escalating. The aim is to improve lives while reducing future demand on the Council’s services – helping the authority remain sustainable in the long-term.

Grants can be used to ‘lever in’ funding from other sources but cannot be used to pay salaries. They can only be awarded to groups or organisations, not individuals. Any individual who has an idea for a potential project should contact their local County Councillor.

Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “One of the most important things we can do to strengthen our communities is support locally-led projects built around bringing people together.

“Our elected members understand their communities and these grants will give them some financial muscle to make a real impact.

“We’re not being too prescriptive, but the initiatives put forward should be ones that engage their communities and improve people’s lives. Schemes that support vulnerable, less-advantaged or traditionally isolated groups will be especially welcome”.

Councillors can make applications to the Improving Lives Grants Scheme from 1 September up until 30 November. Applications will be assessed to ensure that they meet the criteria before funding is agreed.

Applications are encouraged from community groups promoting and providing opportunities for people to be socially connected, more physically active, eat well, enjoy the outdoors, be more independent and better informed about health and wellbeing.

It is expected that the majority of grants will go to Parish Councils and voluntary sector organisations; established bodies that can make a big impact at local-level.

Applications can only be made by elected County Councillors and have to benefit their own division.

Click here to find out who the elected Somerset County Councillor is for a particular area and their contact details to discuss your interest in the fund. 

For further guidance click here. 

Funding: Active Living Programme Grants

Active Living Programme grants of up to £2,000 for groups supporting people in later life to stay physically and mentally active are now available.

Applications are encouraged from community groups which are providing and promoting opportunities for older people in Somerset to be:

  • more physically active
  • less isolated and lonely
  • more independent
  • better informed of health and wellbeing information and advice

In addition, innovative project proposals which work towards these aims are welcomed. We are particularly keen to support Somerset based grassroots voluntary groups, local charities and social enterprises.

The programme is made available through Somerset County Council Public Health, and administered by Somerset Community Foundation.

More information can be found here. The Deadline for applications is Monday 21 October 2019.

Funding for Adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism

It is estimated that there are over 2,000 adults living in Somerset with moderate to severe learning disabilities, and this number is growing. Around half also have autism [Source: Somerset Intelligence, 2014]. However, with the right support, adults with learning disabilities can live a full life in their community. This often involves making spaces and services more accessible, but it also involves putting adults with learning disabilities first, so they can make their own choices, challenge decisions, and get what they need and have a right to.

The Discovery Community Fund aims to help achieve this and more by supporting improvements to the health and independence of adults with learning disabilities and autism right across the county of Somerset.

Applications to the Discovery Community Fund should be made to Somerset Community Foundation, which is managing the distribution of up to £200,000 of funding.

The fund is the result of a ground-breaking partnership between Somerset County Council and local learning disability support provider Discovery. Their Managing Director, Luke Joy-Smith, goes on to say: “Perhaps with funding you could train healthcare professionals in how to make reasonable adjustments. Perhaps a lump sum could provide Changing Places bathroom facilities in your shop, café or community venue. Perhaps funding could help you launch a community taxi social enterprise. Perhaps hoists or sensory spaces would make your disability friendly holiday accommodation truly inclusive. Perhaps with funding, you could develop a network of Safer Places in towns across Somerset.

“If you have a vision that will improve the health and independence of people with learning disabilities and autism in Somerset, Discovery, Somerset County Council and Somerset Community Foundation want to hear from you.”

Director of Adult Social Services at Somerset County Council, Stephen Chandler, added: “This fund is part of the original vision for re-imagining learning disability provision in Somerset. Launching it with Discovery today is the result of a great deal of hard work and it’s very pleasing to reach this milestone.”

The first window for applications lasts from Wednesday 9 January to Friday 22 February. To find out more, visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk/discovery or call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949.

West Somerset Essential Life Skills Funding

The Essential Life Skills programme is funded by the Department for Education as part of its support for the West Somerset Opportunity Area.

The programme aims to enable young people to improve their confidence, knowledge and skills through participation in extra-curricular activity programmes.

Grants are available to groups and individual young people in the West Somerset District Council area to develop and expand youth provision and enable young people to access positive activities. Group organisations like youth providers, schools and voluntary organisations, can apply for grant funding of up to £5,000 to either develop new activities, or expand their existing provision.

Further information can be found here.



New VCSE Safeguarding Funding Programme Launched

DCMS and the Big Lottery Fund have today launched a joint funded programme investing £1.14m until 2022, as part of the wider Government strategy to improve safeguarding practice across the voluntary sector in England.

This funding will be used to develop training, support and advice for the sector and will be delivered in two phases:

Phase 1: Safeguarding resources for England, launched 10th December for Expressions of Interest, closing on 14th January with projects commencing by the end of March 2019.
This is up to a maximum of £570,000 worth of funding for an organisation or partnership of organisations with the track record and knowledge to develop high quality resources which will be freely available to the voluntary sector to improve safeguarding practice.

Phase 2: Safeguarding training and development to be launched in spring/summer 2019.
Funding to a small number of organisations or partnerships to share the resources developed during Phase 1 and support grassroots charities and community organisations to improve their safeguarding practice.

If you are looking to submit a bid, please email communities@somerset.gov.uk.

Funding Available for Taunton Groups

The Larkfleet Homes Community Fund supports charitable projects that help to enhance and develop the local community, and benefit Larkfleet residents and other local people.

Applications are now open, and constituted groups delivering charitable projects which will benefit communities within a 10 mile radius of the Larkfleet Rise development in Taunton, are invited to apply.

Find out more here.

New Dementia Community Grants Programme

Somerset County Council is changing the way it provides day time activities for people with memory loss or dementia. They have announced a community grants programme, which is now open for applications. The initiative is aimed at supporting the development of services for people in Somerset with memory loss or dementia, over the next five years.

Grants will usually be for £250 to £10,000 per year.

The grants will:

  • Directly benefit residents of Somerset and grass roots community groups and organisations.
  • Support an increase in people with memory problems or dementia using community groups and services, even when their condition worsens and extra support is required.
  • Fund activities and services that support both Somerset County Council’s Adult Social Care clients who use Direct Payments to pay for their support, and people who pay for themselves.
  • Fund projects that become self-sufficient and sustainable

For further information please view Dementia Community Grant Outline and Dementia Community Grant EOI template

If you wish to have an informal conversation about this grant and what it can fund, please email the Adult and Health Commissioning Team at commissioningteammailbox@somerset.gov.uk , and a member of the team will call you back.

Somerset Diverse Communities Small Grants Scheme

Somerset Diverse Communities is a project that aims to celebrate the diversity in Somerset. It hopes to support and build relationships with groups and organisations who are supporting or working with black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Somerset.

Through it’s Small Grants Scheme, funding of up to £300 is available to community groups, charities, organisations and agencies which support or directly work with BME communities in Taunton Deane, Mendip, Sedgemoor and West Somerset. Groups do not need to be formal or registered to apply.

Funding must be used for non-profit making purposes which benefit BME communities in Somerset. You could use the money to run a community event, fund running costs, hold a training session to build skills, buy materials for community activities, or promote the work of your group. Due to the nature of this small grants scheme, preference will be given to small projects where the funding can make a big difference.

Somerset Diverse Communities is especially interested in supporting applications which build community cohesion and/or empower people to develop skills and feel confident in the wider community. They aim to be flexible in regards to what they will fund, so if you have a good idea, please Somerset Diverse Communities Community Engagement Worker, Beccy Jesson, at beccy@somersetrcc.org.uk.

The closing date for applications is Friday 19th October 2018.

Further information.

Application Form.

Celebrating involvement in healthcare community grants 2018 – apply now!

NHS England are on the lookout for VCSE groups that have done some amazing patient, service-user or carer involvement work that’s improved healthcare services.

They will be awarding grants of up to £2,500 to a number of projects that showcase good practice around patient and citizen involvement in healthcare.

The  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.

NHS England knows that patient groups, VSCE organisations and a diverse range of community groups all over England are involved in shaping and improving healthcare services. It wants to encourage the promotion of learning and sharing of good practice by making funds available to groups to highlight and share their work with others.

The grants can only be awarded to a voluntary organisation. Please ensure you read the community grants guidelines document before you apply, to check that your organisation and project is eligible. If you are eligible, you will need to complete the application form by Thursday 20 September.