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Aviva Community Fund pledges £2mn extra to support financial wellbeing, & other funding news

Melanie May | 3 November 2022 | News

Money - a mixture of notes and coins. By Alaur Rahman on Pexels

Here’s a round up of funding opportunities, including regional and national grant offers, as well as updates on funding awarded.

A woman inputs figures into a calculator, with a notepad by her side. By Rodnae Productions on Pexels

Aviva Community Fund pledges extra £2mn to support financial wellbeing

To help tackle the financial pressures being brought on by the cost of living crisis, the Aviva Community Fund has launched an additional £2mn funding to causes supporting financial wellbeing in their communities.


Recruiting and managing millennials, a course by Bruce Tait.

Nonprofit organisations can apply now and receive matched funding for public donations until 31 December 2022 with donations matched pound for pound up to £250 between 4 October and 31 December, or until the entire £2 million is allocated. The extra financial support is aimed at helping people take control of their wellbeing by giving them tools to be more financially independent.

This is the first time the Aviva Community Fund has pledged extra financial support within a three-month window. It comes in response to the increased demand

charitable organisations are facing to help those struggling with cost of living pressures. Research conducted by Aviva found that almost half of employed people (43%) did not feel financially on track for the future and 65% felt they were ‘just getting by financially’.

The Aviva Community Fund helps registered charities or social enterprises with an income of up to £2million, looking to raise up to £50,000, and has raised over £5.1 million for UK causes since 2019.

Small unrestricted grants available from The Leathersellers’ Foundation

The Leathersellers’ Foundation is offering UK charities small unrestricted one-off grants up to a maximum of £5,000.

The Leathersellers’ Small Grants Programme 2022-23 will consider applications from charities registered and operating in the UK including CIOs but not CICs that are working:

Submissions will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with the Small Grants Committee meeting regularly to ensure charities receive a decision within a month of submitting their application.

Devon County Council offers grants of up to £10,000 for transport projects to connect people

Devon County Council is seeking applications for its Connecting You Community Grants Fund. The fund provides grants to projects and organisations in Devon to help connect people to activities that help tackle loneliness. 

The fund is open for applications from projects and charities across Devon. Grants of up to £10,000 can be applied for to fund specific transport projects tackling loneliness or transport related activities to enable people to access activities that will help. 

Devon County Council have recently been awarded funding through the Department for Transport Tackling Loneliness with Transport fund and will be working with a series of partners to deliver a programme of transport schemes aimed to tackle loneliness. The new fund is one of its initial projects.

Grants for Scottish ebike trial projects

Community groups in Scotland can apply for funding towards projects that will provide opportunities to trial ebikes.

Transport Scotland has committed a further £900,000 towards the eBike Grant Fund in 2022/23. Local authorities, public sector agencies, further and higher education institutions, active travel hubs and community groups are invited to apply for funding to adopt ebikes, etrikes, ecargo bikes, cargo bikes and trailers, tandems, adapted cycles and trikes towards projects that will provide opportunities to trial ebikes.

To encourage the uptake of funded cycles, applicants can also apply for extra funding, limited to 5% of the total project to support subsidised access to ebike hire/loan schemes for people with mobility issues, those on low income, jobseekers, modern apprentices, young people and students.

Energy Saving Trust is running the application process and applications can be submitted until Friday 18 November 2022.

Grants to help North Yorks organisations support healthy, happy & independent living

North Yorkshire County Council is offering grants for voluntary and community organisations to help people living in North Yorkshire to continue to live healthy, happy and independent lives within their local communities and to reduce demand within the county for long-term statutory social care and health services care and support.

The council is offering 25 place-based grants awards – each centred on one of the major settlements in the county and the funding is for a three- year programme to start 1 April 2023.

Organisations will be able to bid for grants up to £15,000 per annum (or £45,000 for Harrogate and Scarborough towns and £30,000 for Selby town).

Closing date for all applications is midnight on 27 November 2022.

Grants to help charities & CICs seeking to raise investment

The Reach Fund is offering up to £15,000 in grant funding to charities and CICs who need support to raise investment.

The Reach Fund is a grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises raise investment. The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and is open to organisations in England.

Over £3mn of grants have been awarded to date, and a further £7mn funding is available to help with business planning, cashflow forecasts or measuring impact, and more.

Fundsurfer is an Access Point for the fund – a social investor who can refer charities and social enterprises to the Reach Fund so that they are able to apply for a grant. As such, it will help organisations complete and submit an investment readiness plan and a grant application to The Reach Fund.

More information is available here.

Environmental project support for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

The Reaching People Environmental Fund is open for projects anywhere in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The fund was set up to give Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland access to a greener life and leave an environmental legacy. It is administered by the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation.

To be considered, activities or projects need to meet one of the following environmental fund themes:

Grants of up to £5,000 are available, with a closing date of 23 February.

Funding for Manchester’s youth & play sector

Not-for-profit organisations from Manchester’s youth and play sector can apply for a share of £500,000 to provide activities and support for children and young people across the city.

The funding is being made available by Manchester City Council through the Youth and Play Investment Fund, and supports activities including:

There are two rounds of funding which are open to applications from small and/or new voluntary, community, and faith sector organisations with a turnover of less than £75,000.

The closing date for applications in round one is the 14 November.

Social and Sustainable Capital launches second housing support fund

Following its first housing fund, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) is launching a second offering that will continue to support social sector organisations to provide safe, stable and appropriate homes for vulnerable people and their families in the UK.

The Social and Sustainable Housing (SASH) fund was co-designed with the social sector and launched in 2019. Having already raised and allocated £64.5mn to frontline housing organisations, SASH II opens with almost £35mn and is expected to go on to raise £125mn. It aims to help more than 30 organisations buy 1,000 properties to provide homes for 10,000 people over the fund’s life.

The fund has attracted investors, including Big Society Capital, Scottish National Investment Bank, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme, Ceniarth, and Ogelsby Charitable Trust.

SASH II provides flexible finance to organisations delivering vital services to disadvantaged people and families in their communities, including the homeless, individuals and families fleeing domestic violence, asylum seekers, young people, and people with addiction or mental health issues. 

To date, the SASH fund has invested in 18 high performing organisations across the UK and approved loans to a further four. SASC is now in conversations with new organisations interested in investment and expects, through the new fund, to be able to support over 30.

A stack of hands on top of each other. By Fauxels on Pexels

138 social enterprises supported by Big Issue Invest in past year

Big Issue Invest has supported 138 social enterprises and invested £37mn into social enterprises and charities in past year.

According to its 2021-2022 Impact Report, those 138 social enterprises were able to support over 2 million customers across the UK in the same period. 92% of investments made by Big Issue Invest contribute to core solutions to poverty.

The organisation reports that, of its total investment portfolio, almost 60% of investees are based in the areas of highest deprivation, according to the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation.

23% of its total portfolio is invested into organisations directly tackling inequality in the UK in order to improve health, education and job outcomes in deprived areas.

Of the total number of investments, 47% organisations support people living in poverty and/or financial exclusion, 35% support people with mental health needs and conditions, 31% support vulnerable young people, 27% support those experiencing unemployment and 21% support older people.

The report also sets out Big Issue Group’s five-year strategy, launched this summer, which looks to support a greater number of individuals, organisations and communities in need, delivering creative solutions to unlock social and economic opportunity for people trapped in poverty. Through this new strategy, Big Issue Group aims to deliver more impact for marginalised individuals, communities and organisations over the next five years, aiming for up to 11 million people to engage with Big Issue Group products and be positively impacted by Big Issue Group services.

The strategy encompasses three strategic pillars: Innovation, Prevention and Investment. BII’s work is focused on the third pillar by creating investment and lending opportunities for sustainable business, focused on delivering positive social and environmental impact.