Community Grants Fund – application guidance notes

COMMUNITY GRANTS FUND – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Applications have now closed

Charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations have been invited to apply for grants of £5,000 to support work that aligns with our Improving Lives 2025 strategy, which aims to support people’s health and wellbeing and economic resilience.

Applications received before the closing date of 15 February 2021 will now be assessed by a team of colleagues drawn from across the Group with funding being distributed to the chosen organisations by the end of March 2021.

Further information

Download these guidance notes as a PDF file


Background information

One of the largest housing groups in the Midlands and East of England and operating across 50 local authority areas, Longhurst Group provides over 23,000 homes and delivers a wide range of care and support services.

We’re proud to say that we already make a positive difference to thousands of people’s lives, but we want to do even more. That’s why, in 2019, we launched our Improving Lives 2025 strategy; a long-term business plan that will guide the work we do over the period of the strategy and beyond.

Integral to our 2025 vision are the two pillars of mental and physical well-being and economic resilience. These two areas inform everything that we do, providing a common theme for how we improve the lives of our customers and the communities we serve.

For more information about our improving lives strategy, please visit longhurst-group.org.uk/improving-lives

To support the delivery of this strategy, our Community Investment initiative was established to develop a programme that underpinned these two key pillars. The Community Grants Fund is just one way in which we aim to support our customers and local communities.

These guidance notes are provided to assist you in completing your application for funding through the programme. Please read through the notes to ensure you meet the funding criteria before applying. ​

Download these guidance notes as a PDF file

Application process

There is a strict word count for each section and any information that exceeds this limit will be discounted.

Only one application from each organisation will be considered, and only one application can be submitted each financial year.

Please ensure that all applications are completed fully as only those that meet the criteria will be considered. 

There will be a two-stage assessment process. All applications will initially be assessed to ensure that they meet the due diligence and eligibility requirements, with those that meet the necessary requirements going on to the second stage assessment. 

Applications will be assessed by a panel comprised of colleagues from across the Group, who will score them, based on the information provided.

All organisations will be informed of the outcome of their application in writing.  Please note that all funding decisions are made at the discretion of Longhurst Group and are final. Unfortunately, we’ll be unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide copies of the relevant documents as detailed in the due diligence section of the application form and returned with a copy of the signed Grant Agreement and payment information.

This must be submitted by Wednesday, March 10, to allow funding to be released before the end of March 2021.

For support with completing your application or any questions, please contact communitygrants@longhurst-group.org.uk

Applications open: Monday, February 1, 2021 at 9am

Applications close: Monday, February 15, 2021 at 9am

Decision due: w/c Monday, March 1, 2021.

Please note, the application form cannot be saved intermittently and therefore must be completed in a single visit.

Application form checklist

Information that you will need to complete your application

  • Your charity or company number if you’re a registered charity or company
  • The year your organisation was established
  • The total annual income for the last financial year
  • The total number of staff, including management committee
  • Information on how your project/activity meets our eligibility criteria including funding priorities and priority groups
  • Your plan of how the funding will be used, including aims, objectives, demonstrable need, outcomes, and number of beneficiaries
  • Your budget plan – detailing how the money will be utilised. Please download and complete the Expenditure Supporting Document to upload with your application.

Supporting documents that you will be required to provide if your application is successful

  • A copy of your Governing Document
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts, record of income and expenditure or, for groups in operation less than a year, a spending plan and three most recent bank statements
  • A copy of your Safeguarding Policy for working with children under 18 and/or vulnerable adults
  • A copy of your Health and Safety Policy
  • A copy of your organisation's in-date Employer and Public Liability insurance documentation
  • A list of members of the organisation's management committee / board of trustees
  • A copy of your Risk Assessment and COVID-19 Secure Delivery Risk Assessment
  • A copy of bank statement in the name of the constituted group. 

Eligibility criteria and key questions

How much funding is available?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

Who can apply?
  • Small to medium-sized charities, not-for-profit and social enterprises – defined as having an annual turnover of less than £1m per annum – that provide essential services to vulnerable people and especially those that are facing increasing demand or are at risk of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • The project/activity must benefit a local community in which Longhurst Group operate. A full list of local authorities in which the Group operates are included in Appendix A. Priority will be given to those in our identified key areas.

In addition, organisations must also meet the following criteria for their application to be considered:

  • Have at least three unrelated management committee members
  • Have a governing document
  • Have an organisational bank account in the name of the constituted group with at least two unrelated signatories
  • Have a record of income and expenditure or a set of accounts
  • Have a safeguarding policy if it works with young people under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults
  • Have a health and safety policy
  • Have appropriate public and employer liability insurance
  • Have a risk assessment for delivery of funded project/activities and includes COVID-19 secure delivery
What can the funding be used for?

The grant can be used to support new projects/activities and/or support existing projects/activities.

An example of eligible costs is given below:

  • Staff salary costs associated with project/activity delivery
  • Maximum of 15 percent of total project costs towards overheads
  • Small capital costs for goods items less than £200 per single item
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Publicity and marketing of project.
What will not be funded?

The following will NOT be funded by this programme:

  • Activities that make profits for private gain
  • Campaigning activities - this fund is to support vulnerable people through the direct delivery of projects/activities
  • Religious activities. However, we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and doesn’t include religious content
  • Statutory organisations
  • Political or lobbying activities
  • Loan repayments
  • Debt repayments to HMRC or other crown debts
  • Large goods items of over £200
  • Costs considered to be unreasonable for the proposed activity
  • A second application from the same organisation.
Funding priorities

Our Community Investment programme exists to deliver the Group’s Improving Lives 2025 strategy and will support projects and initiatives that support our two key pillars of Health and Wellbeing and Economic Resilence.

To achieve this, a strategic outcomes framework has been developed to determine the Community Investment team investment decisions and key priorities.  Therefore, any project or activity that we invest in must underpin at least one of our two pillars and meet one of our strategic outcomes as detailed below.

Health outcomes

  • To provide support and assistance to individuals with poor mental health
  • To provide support and assistance to individuals living with long-term health conditions and physical disabilities.

 

Wellbeing outcomes

  • To improve feelings of security and safety within the community
  • To reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • To improve levels of satisifaction with the home or place where people live (for example, environmental projects, regeneration initiatives.

Economic Resilience objectives

  • To reduce levels of financial hardship and the alleviation of stress caused by the effects of debt, hardship or the threat of homelessness.
  • To provide support and assistance to ensure individuals and their families can maximise their income through training, skills development and employment.
Funding priority groups

The funding must support activities aimed at one or more of our key priority groups identified below:

  • Older people
  • Those who are affected by poor physical or mental health or living with illness or disability
  • Those experiencing homelessness
  • Those experiencing debt
  • Those experiencing poverty, including in-work poverty
  • Those who are unemployed
  • Those effected by domestic violence
  • Those experiencing isolation and loneliness
  • Those that are carers
Project monitoring

Successful applicants will be required to maintain regular contact with the Group and will be required to provide information regarding project expenditure and outcomes throughout the duration of the funding period.

A Community Investment lead will be allocated to each funded project who will support with the monitoring and evaluation of the project to help demonstrate the impact the grant funding has had.  

Key themes will include:

  • To what extent has the project met its stated aims and objectives
  • How many people have benefited from the project/activity?
  • What were the outputs achieved?
  • What were the outcomes achieved, including wider impact and unexpected outcomes?
  • Provision of one case study

For support with completing your application or any questions, please contact communitygrants@longhurst-group.org.uk


Appendix A: Localities for delivery

Key locality areas for delivery include the following local authority areas:

  • Birmingham
  • Boston
  • Derby
  • Charnwood
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Peterborough
  • Rutland
  • Walsall

Consideration will also be given to projects in the following local authority areas:

  • Amber Valley
  • Bassetlaw
  • Blaby
  • Bromsgrove
  • Broxtowe
  • Cannock Chase
  • Dacorum
  • Daventry
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • East Lindsey
  • East Staffordshire
  • Erewash
  • Fenland
  • Gedling
  • Harborough
  • Hinckley and Bosworth
  • Huntingdonshire
  • Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Leicester
  • Lincoln
  • Mansfield
  • Melton
  • Newark
  • North Kesteven
  • North Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth
  • North West Leicestershire
  • Oadby and Wigston
  • Rugby
  • Rushcliffe
  • South Cambridgeshire
  • South Derbyshire
  • South Holland
  • South Kesteven
  • Warwick
  • West Lindsey

    
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