From the announcement of an upcoming fund to help finance community energy projects, to a fuel poverty fund and one to support youth tackling inequality and injustice, here’s news of recent fund launches, and funding awards.
SASC to launch renewable fund in 2022 to deliver community energy projects
With COP26 taking place this week, Social and Sustainable Capital has announced plans to launch a ‘next generation’ renewable fund to finance further community projects in 2022.
Ben Rick, CEO of SASC said:
“The COP26 summit will refocus attention on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Convention on Climate Change, and the decisions made could lead to big changes to our everyday lives.
“As a social investor, SASC has focused on energy generation since we launched in 2014 and we see renewable energy as being critical for our future. We have invested over £68m in successful renewable projects of all sizes and announce plan to launch a new renewable fund to finance further projects in 2022. We see renewable projects benefitting communities in so many ways – from reducing carbon emissions, to ensuring communities are less reliance on the national grid, have more control and can generate profits that will benefit their local community.”
Some of the projects SASC has supported so far include financing the build of wind turbines and partly funding a major renewable energy build for a council that wanted to generate its own power.
£10 million top up for investment readiness Reach Fund
Access – the Foundation for Social Investment (Access) and Social Investment Business (SIB) have announced that the Reach Fund, a grant programme supporting charities and social enterprises to increase their resilience by taking on social investment, will continue for a further four years.
Access plans to make at least £10 million available over the next four years to support up to 1,000 further organisations to develop social investment proposals. The fund is available to charities and social enterprises in England.
According to an independent evaluation of the programme, for every pound spent on the Reach Fund, organisations involved were able to raise £7 of investment, with £5.2 million of grants raising £38.5 million investments.
Through the fund, social investors work with charities and social enterprises, using small grants to provide support around issues such as business planning, financial modelling and forecasting. The fund is designed to give the charities and social enterprises control, allowing them to either engage support providers directly and/or use the money to free up their own capacity.
Neil Berry, Director of Programmes at Access, said:
“It’s great that Access is able to extend this programme and continue opening up investment to charities and social enterprises that would not otherwise be able to access it. While the fund is successful in getting to parts of the country that have not benefited from this type of this investment in the past, there is more to do to ensure that the programme is serving marginalised communities to the same degree. Alongside our partners we will have a particular focus on this as we look to the next phase of the Reach Fund.”
Western Power Distribution opens fuel poverty fund
Western Power Distribution (WPD), which delivers power to homes in the Midlands, South West and South Wales, is launching a half-a-million pound fuel poverty fund to help families heat their homes this winter.
It is calling on local charities, councils and community groups in the regions it serves to apply for up to £10,000 to aid their fuel poverty support activities as we head into the winter months.
The fuel poverty scheme is the first phase of WPD’s annual £1 million community fund, provided by the company’s shareholders. Over the winter, it’s expected that more than 100 grassroots organisations will be supported across WPD’s regions through the scheme.
The application window for funding is open until 22 November. Support considered for funding includes:
- Energy tariff/switching advice
- Energy efficiency guidance and products: Insulation installations, updating heating systems
- Grant/discount scheme advice
- Innovation/other to be detailed and impact clearly specified and demonstrated
New fund to sponsor physical activity and local sporting partnerships in Canada Water
Owner of Surrey Quays Road 4.5-acre Canada Water Dockside site since 2020, Art-Invest Real Estate has partnered with Rotherhithe business and Maritime Street neighbour, Decathlon UK, to support local residents in pursuing active and healthy lifestyles.
The Health & Wellbeing Community Fund will sponsor physical activity and local sporting partnerships, with the investment replenished each year for the next five years.
Art-Invest Real Estate and Decathlon UK will invest equally into the Community Fund, totalling £200,000 over the next five years. Decathlon UK will draw on its experience in producing sporting activities for the community in Canada Water, the home of its UK Headquarters, and Art-Invest Real Estate will use its local network to ensure partnerships and opportunities within the local community are realised.
Spark Fund launches to support youth groups tackling injustice & inequality
Global Fund for Children (GFC) and Avast Foundation have launched the Spark Fund, a new fund to support youth-led and youth-focused groups around the world that are tackling injustice and inequality, driving transformational change, and building a more inclusive world.
GFC and Avast Foundation established the Spark Fund based on their shared commitment to empowering the next generation to promote human rights in the digital age. Additional partners Catch22 and Shared Nation are providing research support and technology development.
The Spark Fund puts key decisions in the hands of youth and provides young leaders and their organizations, networks, and movements with flexible funding and capacity development.
Through a participatory grantmaking process, regional youth panels in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe and Eurasia will make funding decisions using a unique and interactive technology platform. A global steering group consisting of young people from GFC’s Youth Leadership Council and Avast Foundation’s Youth Leadership Board, along with representatives from the fund’s partner organisations, is providing strategic oversight.
The first round of grants will be disbursed to youth-led and youth-focused groups in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Groups from these countries that are interested in applying should email sp*******@gl*******************.org by 21 November. Ten panellists aged 18 to 30 from Europe and Eurasia are currently designing and leading the grantmaking process in this region. Applications for youth panellists from Africa, Asia, and the Americas will open in 2022.
Cambridge Building Society donates additional £160,000 from dormant accounts for local charities
The Cambridge Building Society has donated a further £160,000 from dormant accounts to provide grants to local charities that support homes and housing.
The additional funds mean The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund’s grant pot now has more than £650,000 available for local charities to apply for.
Four local charities have so far been awarded grants – homeless accommodation service, Cambridge Cyrenians, charitable housing association, CHS Group, support centre, Wintercomfort and Disability Huntingdonshire, which provides advice and support for older people.
The Society launched its charitable fund in September 2020 with an initial £500,000 made available through its participation in the Dormant Assets Scheme, a UK Government programme that enables financial institutions to use dormant funds for the public good.
The Fund can be accessed via a twice yearly grant application programme, which awards up to £10,000 to charities, community groups and organisations operating within a 15 mile radius of The Cambridge’s branch and store network.
It is one of a number of initiatives in the ‘Making The Difference’ community programme – the Society’s commitment to find new ways to help people have a home, and to work with the community to support those who offer services for shelter and housing.
The Cambridge was one of the first building societies to sign up to the Dormant Assets Scheme and has since been advising others who want to undertake similar projects.
The Cambridge Building Society Community Fund is administered through the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, which supports local community projects.
Applications for grants are made via the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation with deadlines at the beginning of May and November each year.
Shoosmiths Foundation awards £90,000 in grants
UK law firm Shoosmiths is to donate funds to End Youth Homelessness and Street League charities, awarding a total of £90,000 through the recently launched Shoosmiths Foundation.
The Shoosmiths Foundation was launched earlier this year to build upon the law firm’s existing community investment programme, which supports local charity partners through staff fundraising and firm donations, staff volunteering and the provision of legal advice pro bono.
The £90,000 grants support the firm’s strategic aim to advance social mobility, in line with the Shoosmiths social mobility action plan. The Shoosmiths Foundation’s other funding priorities are to advance a carbon net zero UK and promote access to justice in the UK.
Joe Flack, Street League Corporate Partnerships Manager, said:
“The Shoosmiths Foundation together with Street League will support 53 unemployed young people aged 16-24 living in some of the most deprived communities across Leeds and Sheffield, to gain qualifications they need to secure meaningful job opportunities. This project is a critical intervention at a crucial time, ensuring those already facing disadvantage are not left even further behind.
Simon Boss, Shoosmiths’ Chief Executive, said:
“This funding is provided with the aim of creating fairer and wider opportunities for young people facing homelessness and unemployment across the UK. The Shoosmiths Foundation was established as a grant making body to help address societal issues, to empower sustainable change and to improve the lives of the people and the environment in the UK. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic these donations are more vital than ever.
“End Youth Homelessness and Street League both reflect the firm’s priority to improve social mobility, and it is an honour to work alongside them as part of our long-standing community commitments.”
Arcadia grants €1m to Wildlfe Justice Commission
Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has awarded the Wildlife Justice Commission a grant of EUR 1,000,000 to support its core operations in the coming five years, bolstering its mission to disrupt and help dismantle the transnational criminal networks trading in wildlife, timber, and fish.
Dr Simon Chaplin, Chief Executive Officer, Arcadia, said:
“Wildlife crime – where plants and animals are traded illegally – often overlaps with more widely known forms of organised crime. With the right partnerships and expertise, these networks can be obstructed. We are delighted to support the Wildlife Justice Commission’s efforts to protect biodiversity and empower those who are on the frontline tackling wildlife crime.”
Olivia Swaak-Goldman, the Commission’s Executive Director, said:
“The Wildlife Justice Commission is in it for the long-haul, and now with this five-year core grant from Arcadia, we have the opportunity to scale our operational and organisational capacity and increase our impact across the globe. The grant from Arcadia will also support us to utilise our on-the-ground knowledge and expertise to influence policy and build the political will to address wildlife crime as a serious organised crime.”
As part of this work, the Wildlife Justice Commission periodically publishes public reports or holds webinars on wildlife crime, or on the cross-cutting themes that compound wildlife crime, based on its intelligence and research. These reports and webinars are available free online, and any additional public materials produced under this grant will continue to be available at no charge to the public online.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award receives £3m donation from Julia & Hans Rausing
The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust have provided the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) with a £3 million donation to help it reach more young people in the UK’s most deprived areas.
The grant, given over three years, will help the charity to pinpoint the most deprived areas across the UK where there are few or no opportunities for young people to take part in DofE. It will then enable the DofE to support community organisations, including youth clubs, faith groups and sports clubs to start running DofE programmes, providing training for staff and volunteers and funding for young people facing financial difficulties.
The work will support the DofE’s ambition to build on The Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy by reaching an additional one million young people over the next five years, providing targeted help for young people who face additional barriers or need specialist support to do DofE, such as young offenders or young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
Ruth Marvel, CEO, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said:
“The pandemic has had a seismic impact on young people’s lives, affecting their job opportunities, mental health and education. Marginalised young people have been hardest hit. But time and again we’ve seen them show that – with the right opportunities – their potential is limitless.
“The support of Julia and Hans Rausing will let us bring the DofE to young people who don’t currently have the chance to take part – so they can build their resilience and self-belief and discover new skills to help them do better in education and have the future they want.”
This is the first time The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust and DofE have worked together on a project. Julia and Hans Rausing have a longstanding history of supporting young people and youth programmes and the DofE plans to collaborate with other youth organisations funded by them.