The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need 24/25 - hold an umbrella over someone's head

National Garden Scheme supports 95 community garden projects, plus more funding opportunities

Melanie May | 28 March 2024 | News

Nottinghamshire's Rhubarb Farm, which has received funding from the National Garden Scheme
Nottinghamshire’s Rhubarb Farm, which has received funding from the National Garden Scheme

A round up of funding news, including the National Garden Scheme’s latest raft of grants, plus funding for housing models supporting youths facing specific injustices, and local opportunities.

£40k available to deliver housing models supporting youth affected by care, mental health, & school exclusions

Social justice charity Commonweal Housing is offering up to £40,000 in grant funding to UK not-for-profits to devise new housing and support models targeted at specific injustices facing young people. 

The Call for New Ideas programme is designed to help develop multi-year housing pilot projects. Funding is available for up to four organisations that propose the most imaginative models, with each able to apply for between £5,000-£10,000. 


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Upon receipt of the funding, organisations use the money to undertake further research to establish the viability of their proposed housing and support solution. If the feasibility study proves successful, Commonweal works with its partners to develop the idea into a housing pilot project running for up-to 10 years, which the applicant organisations manage and operate, with Commonweal purchasing properties to test the model in full. 

Now in its fifth iteration, this Call for New Ideas focuses on injustices facing young people with difficult transitions into adulthood – one of Commonweal’s three policy focus areas.

The Call for New Ideas is exclusively focused on models aimed at supporting young people over the age of 18 who have had:  

Applications are now open and close at 5pm on Friday 19 April. Prospective applicants can get in touch with Commonweal Housing to discuss potential ideas and ask any questions at ap***@co********.uk. Full information and an application form can be found here.

The Fore launches summer funding rounds for charities based in North West England & Cornwall

The Fore – a not-for-profit venture philanthropy fund supporting small charities and social enterprises – has launched its Summer Funding Round for North West England and Cornwall, marking the seventh year of grant distribution in these areas.

Up to three local organisations will each be offered an unrestricted grant of £30,000, plus free access to a pro bono network of over 2,000+ professionals, skills training, peer to peer networks and impact measurement support. The programme is open to charities, charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), community interest companies (CICs), and community benefit societies (CBSs) based in these two regions, across any sector, with an annual turnover of under £500,000.

Interest in applying for the 2024 funding round can be registered on this page from 12pm on Thursday 28 March until 12pm on Thursday 4 April. Grant decisions will be announced in July. An eligibility test can be found here.

Harmony Energy Income Trust Launches Pillswood Battery Community Fund for 2024

Harmony Energy Income Trust (HEIT), an investment company that invests in commercial-scale energy storage and renewable energy generation projects, has launched its £10,000-per year Pillswood Community Benefit Fund for 2024, to support the local community near its Pillswood battery project in Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

HEIT is inviting groups to apply to the Pillswood Battery Community Fund via BizGive, for grants starting from £1,000 per project, that positively impact the local area within a 5-mile radius of Cottingham. Applications are accepted until 30 April 2024. For further details on the fund and how to apply, click here.

Applications open for Youth Climate Action Fund grants in Northern Ireland

A new Northern Ireland specific grant round is now open for the Energy Saving Trust Foundation’s Youth Climate Action Fund, which is part funded by Airbnb.

In collaboration with Ulster Wildlife, the Foundation is seeking applications from charities and organisations facilitating youth-led projects focused on empowering young people to take action on the climate emergency. 

Organisations can apply for grants of up to £40,000 which will be received over two years. The funding will provide successful applicants with access to a framework of resources and training to deliver high quality work with young people, utilising the existing Environment and Sustainability Curriculum – Sustainable Youth.  This framework was developed by Ulster Wildlife on behalf of the Education Authority Youth Service in Northern Ireland.

To be eligible to apply an organisation must have an annual income of less than £1 million and be based in Northern Ireland.  

In the last 12 months, the Foundation has awarded 18 grants to organisations in England, Scotland and Wales. These include for projects working with D/deaf, LGBTQ+ and refugee young people as well as those not in education or training.

The deadline for Expression of Interests is 12 April.  Successful organisations will be announced in July 2024. Application forms and more information can be found on Energy Saving Trust’s website. 

London Array Community Fund opens for 2024 applications from Thanet-based organisations

The annual £40,000 London Array Community Fund is now open for applications from small charities and community groups in Thanet.

Grants of up to £5,000 are now available for applicants working within one or more of five key areas: (1) Environment, (2) Children, Young People and Families, (3) Elderly and Isolated, (4) Employability, Skills and Enterprise and (5) Vulnerable Adults.

For 2024, the application process has been simplified with online application available via the Kent Community Foundation website with a closing date for applications of 30 April.

Although London Array Wind Farm has supported local community organisations ranging from Thanet Wanderers to Arts in Ramsgate and local baby bank Mama to Mama since 2013, they have now changed the way that applications to the fund will be administered.  From 2024 onwards Kent Community Foundation will manage applications and the distribution of the majority of the funds on their behalf.

Interested applicants can apply online via the Kent Community Foundation website, and should specify London Array Community Fund when applying.

National Garden Scheme announces almost £250,000 in funding for community garden projects

To mark next week’s Community Gardens Week (April 1-7) the National Garden Scheme has announced the distribution of £247,502 of funding to 95 community garden projects across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Funding will be distributed throughout 2024 with project updates expected in early 2025. The 2025 Community Gardens Award application process will begin in the autumn with full details available on the National Garden Scheme website.

Those funded in this latest round include:

Rhubarb Farm, Nottinghamshire, which is a 2-acre horticultural social enterprise that provides training and volunteering opportunities to 60 ex-offenders, drug and alcohol misusers, older people, school students, people with mental and physical ill health and learning disabilities. The project received a grant for £1,352 and now opens its gates through the National Garden Scheme on dates in May, June, July and August.

Ponthafren, Montgomeryshire, whichis a registered charity that provides a caring community to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for all. It has an open door policy so everyone is welcome. The charity received a grant for £2,612 from the National Garden Scheme for raised beds and a polytunnel and water butts for grey watering. The venue now opens for the Scheme on 27 and 28 July and by arrangement.  

TWIGS Community Garden, Wiltshire, which provides a therapeutic environment where people experiencing mental health issues can gain new skills and confidence through activities that include gardening, conservation and crafts. They received a grant for £3,887 to design and build a new garden space that all people struggling with their mental health can focus on the positive benefits of growing and tending plants. This garden will also be used to work with people experiencing grief and depression resulting from bereavement issues. The garden opens for the Scheme in 2024 on 19 May and 21 July.

The Community Garden Grants form part of the wider National Garden Scheme’s Gardens and Health programme which in 2023 saw the total funding for Gardens and Health projects exceed £3 million.