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Funding opportunity & news round up

Melanie May | 9 May 2023 | News

Volunteers gardening - Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Volunteers gardening – Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

New initiatives from Proper Pubs and World of Books, plus news on green spaces funding, and the Growth Impact Fund’s first investment.

Proper Pubs partners with Carling & ActionFunder to launch community fund

Proper Pubsthe community wet-led division of Admiral Taverns, has partnered with Carling and ActionFunder to launch a community fund with £60,000 available to donate to a host of charity schemes across the UK, focusing on groups that run physical activities or provide mental health support to the nearby area.

Five Proper Pubs were selected to take part and a voting system was created for locals to have their say on the most deserving charities. The chosen initiatives range from local sport clubs to learning centres that all support their neighbourhoods and encourage the community to come together.


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

Thanks to the community fund, one pub – The Brown Cow in Manchester – was able to donate almost £28,000 across three local groups including Healthy Me Healthy CommunitiesAngels of Hope for Women, and the Ryder Brow Community Allotment Society.

The fund builds on Carling’s support for communities across the UK through its Made Local Fund, investing in regional projects across the UK. The brand has supported local projects up and down the country, from grassroots sports and accessible gyms to arts centres and community hubs.

Proper Pubs has approximately 170 community pubs across England, Scotland, and Wales, and is a strong supporter of mental health initiatives, including through its partnership with Chasing the Stigma.

Growth Impact Fund makes first investment

The Growth Impact Fund, a social impact investment fund developed by Big Issue Invest (BII) and UnLtd, has made its first investment aimed at tackling the underrepresentation in the workplace of people from neurodivergent backgrounds.

The Fund has invested £300,000 in neurodivergent talent platform Neuropool, which aims to get more than 10,000 neurodivergent people into employment by 2030. The company was established by Jack Dyrhauge, an Autistic / ADHD entrepreneur, and builds neurodivergent talent pools for brands like Universal Music Group, the Financial Times and universities like the university Bath and Bristol.

The Growth Impact Fund completed the first close of fund raising of £8.2mn in December with support from a range of organisations including Bank of America, Big Society Capital, Great Manchester Authority, and charitable foundations. It aims to raise up to £25mn.

Sarah Faber, Investment Director for the Fund, at Big Issue Invest, said:

“We have attracted some very committed institutions and individuals to support the Fund. Everyone agrees that something is needed to rectify inequalities in social investment, and by doing things differently we hope that we can scale up some amazing entrepreneurs, making a difference to their communities who might not have been supported otherwise.


“We are very excited by what Neuropool has achieved so far, and we think with the Growth Impact Fund’s support it can scale much more quickly.”

Social enterprises interested in the Growth Impact Fund can visit to learn more and register their interest, or email en**********@bi************.com.

£1.2mn Greener Communities Fund for NHS charities to support public health and wellbeing 

Nearly £1.2million has been allocated to create and improve green spaces across the UK, through to a new Greener Communities Fund from environmental charity Hubbub and NHS Charities Together, funded by proceeds from the Starbucks 5p cup charge. 

Grants of between £29,000 and £200,000 are being given to ten chosen NHS charities for up to two years, to fund projects with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of the public, including NHS staff. The projects will create or improve community spaces and increase access to nature for people who have had limited access to green spaces, such as hospital patients and visitors, people living in urban communities or specific community groups. The selected projects include: 

The selected projects are all able to demonstrate clear social and/or health benefits, such as improved mental health, reduced social isolation and access to healthy diets, as well as a positive impact on the local environment. 

The fund was open for expressions of interest from NHS charities from 7 December and shortlisted projects were invited to submit full applications in February 2023. The winning projects will be selected by a grant panel including representatives from Hubbub, Starbucks and NHS Charities Together. 

World of Books launches WOB Foundation

World of Books has launched a foundation that supports literacy and the circular economy.

The WOB Foundation will be supporting charities close to its sites in Coventry and Goring-on-Sea with plans to support initiatives around the world in time.

It will focus on supporting charities that work with disadvantaged groups that find it difficult to access books, in places like schools, prisons, youth clubs, libraries, women’s refuges, asylum centres, as well as those that support creative writing. For charities that support the circular economy, the foundation will focus on tangible and measurable programmes that evidently improve the environment.

Initial funding has been donated by its investors and advisors, and going forward WOB Foundation will be run on a voluntary basis and will secure donations from customers and employees with all financial contributions going to the chosen charities.