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Grants for community green spaces, & more funding news

Melanie May | 13 November 2023 | News

A community group in Manchester. Copyright: Hubbub
A community group in Manchester. Copyright: Hubbub

Funding news update with opportunities for community green spaces, frontline charities working in community, welfare, youth, and environment, and more.

Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) extends Small Grants programme deadline

VSSN’s Small Grants programme funds new ideas to run seminars, workshops, roundtables, webinars, arts, podcasts, film/animation, and other activities linked to research, learning & teaching.

The focus is to bring researcher, practitioners and/or policy makers together to facilitate a dialogue on a voluntary sector or volunteering related issue, and VSSN encourages applications that offer opportunities for ongoing discussion.


Recruiting and managing millennials, a course by Bruce Tait.

Grants of up to £750 can be applied for, and the proposed activities must be undertaken and the grant spent within 12 months of the notification of the award.

The deadline for applications has been extended until Friday 17 November.

New £300,000 “Nature Hubs” grant fund launched to support community green spaces

Environmental charity Hubbub has launched a new fund to support green spaces that benefit local communities.

Local community groups across the country can apply for a grant of up to £6,000 from the Nature Hubs fund to help enhance or create a green space that can be accessed by the local community to visit, relax and connect with nature in.

Applications must relate to any one or more of these four themes: increasing access to green space, upskilling the community, bringing people together and building climate resilience. This could be a community allotment which provides local residents with opportunities to grow their own produce; a green space to help with urban cooling; an area to support biodiversity and attract pollinators; or a space to engage the community on sustainable lifestyles.

Applications are open until 11 January 2024 to apply. Successful organisations will receive their funding by the end of February 2024 to coincide with the start of the next growing season.

Art Fund celebrates 120th anniversary with new £1.2 million pledge

Art Fund is celebrating its 120th anniversary, and to mark it, the charity is launching a fundraising campaign to help it support initiatives that bring more people into museums and connect museums with their local communities.

The campaign is to raise enough so it can spend £1.2mn in 2024/25 towards these activities, alongside its other support.

The next year will also see it offering further support for commissions, bringing art into more public spaces and building on the success of its The Wild Escape project to run further initiatives designed to bring young audiences into museums.

Co-operative Bank donates £100k to local causes to celebrate 20 years of Customer Donation Fund

The Co-operative Bank, is celebrating 20 years of its Customer Donation Fund by donating £100,000 in 2023 to local causes across the UK, from refugee support groups to climate co-operatives. This brings the total donations to £1.1 million since the fund was established 20 years ago.

The Customer Donation Fund is a key part of The Co-operative Bank’s commitment to supporting local communities and charitable causes, providing grants to Community Directplus account customers for projects across the UK. Each account holder is able to apply for up to £1,000 from the fund, with applications assessed twice a year. The closing dates for applications are in March and September with applications assessed in April and October.

Community Directplus accounts are for registered charities, community interest companies, community benefit societies, co-operatives and credit unions.

Grant Applications Open for 10th Annual Weston Charity Awards

Applications for the Weston Charity Awards 2024 are now officially open through a collaboration between The Garfield Weston Foundation and charity partner Pilotlight. 

The Weston Charity Awards celebrate and support frontline charities working in community, welfare, youth, and environment. This year is their 10th anniversary.

Through the Weston Charity Awards, unrestricted grants of £6,500 are available for up to 22 charities to develop a strategic sustainability plan and accelerate innovative growth. Successful charities also gain free access to the Pilotlight 360 programme – a ten-month package of leadership coaching worth an estimated £16,000. 

Alongside grants, award winners receive an unrivalled package of leadership mentoring from four senior professionals across diverse private and public sector organisations. These empathetic “Pilotlighters” offer in-depth expert coaching on everything from creative operational efficiencies to sustainable long-term business strategies that take an organisation to the next level. Winning charities also access:

Registered charities over two years old (with at least one paid full-time member of staff in a leadership position) and an income of less than £5 million per year are eligible to apply. The application deadline is 5pm on Wednesday, 10 January 2024.

Free Zoom sessions for more information are running at 2 pm on Wednesday afternoons:

·       15 November – Maximising your application to the Weston Charity Awards. 

·       22 November – Weston Charity Awards: Your questions answered.

·       29 November – Weston Charity Award insights for environmental charities.

·       6 December – Everything you need to know about the Weston Charity Awards

·       13 December – Weston Charity Awards: The impact of winning (hear from past award winners).

·       3 January – Weston Charity Awards: Your questions answered.

Webinar to be held on The Clothworkers’ Foundation Open Grants Programmes

The Clothworkers’ Foundation has recently expanded the eligibility criteria for its Open Grants Programmes.

It now offers capital grants for digital infrastructure projects and will consider applications for products and software (such as websites, databases and apps). Full guidance on digital infrastructure applications can be found here.

It is hosting a webinar on this topic on Thursday 7 December (10-11am), which will include a presentation delivered by The Clothworkers’ Foundation grants team, and a question and answer session.

Register to attend here.

Black and minoritised ethnic led charities receive £3mn in funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation 

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has awarded 39 unrestricted grants to small charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) led by and working with people who face injustice because of their race or ethnicity. 

Awarded as part of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales’ Racial Equity Programme, 35 small charities and four CICs have been given a three-year, unrestricted grant of up to £75,000. Funds will be used to support those who experience racial inequity to overcome poverty and reach their potential. Racially minoritised communities have been most significantly affected by the pandemic and cost of living crisis. 

Alongside unrestricted funding, the Foundation will work with each charity to provide organisational development support tailored to charities’ needs, helping to build and strengthen skills to help charities meet and adapt to challenges and secure funding elsewhere. 

Since 2020, the Foundation has given more than a quarter of its funding to charities led by and for communities affected by racial injustice. This funding programme was co-designed and funding decisions were made by members of frontline racial equity services alongside Lloyds Bank Foundation trustees. 

The Road Safety Trust announces funding for two projects seeking to improve safety for older road users

The two projects awarded funding through The Road Safety Trust’s Small Grants Programme will focus on improving safety for older road users.

The Small Grants Programme funds local projects with a practical focus that ‘show a proposed link to reducing casualties’. In total, six projects have been awarded funding through the 2023 funding round, which ran earlier this year. Each successful project has been awarded between £10k and £50k, running for a period of up to two years.

Road Safety GB will increase the roll out of an evaluated and DVSA recognised training course aimed at Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs), supporting a recommendation suggested by the Older Drivers Task Force.

The funded project aims to expand the reach of this practical road safety intervention to a further 300 ADIs. This will be achieved by running and evaluating an anticipated 20 courses across the project time span. Road Safety GB will also facilitate access to ADIs for local authorities and national older driver scheme providers by implementing a web-based ‘Learning Hub’. This will provide contact details of certified ADIs who have attended the training course, split by RSGB region.

The second project will be delivered by the Leeds Older People’s Forum. ‘Driving Change Together’ will work closely with older people in Leeds to understand ‘what works’ to encourage older drivers to assess their driving ability as they age and consider safer alternatives whilst maintaining a social and independent life.

The Small Grants round is now closed and will open again in Spring 2024.