Funding Opportunities

FUSE Programme Applications Now Open

iSE provides new-start social entrepreneurs with support and development opportunities to build sustainable social enterprises.

 The FUSE programme is for near trade or at early-start stage social entrepreneurs in the West Midlands that want to fast-track their idea, grow networks, develop collaborative opportunities and develop sustainable social businesses that create measurable impact. This programme is fully-funded and delivered in group-led sessions through practical masterclasses and peer support.

The programme runs for 6 months and provides:

  • Monthly masterclasses covering key elements of start-up coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Peer support
  • Access to opportunities, developing sector connections and networks

The June 2020 FUSE programme is open to applications now. Applications close on the 5th of June and the programme will begin on 16th June 2020.

Focus for 2020 will be start up social enterprises in the health, social care and well-being field and in particular applicants that want to develop solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. We want to support individuals and groups with ideas that innovate and address the needs of people and communities as we emerge into our ‘new’ world.

Applicants will need to prove they have the makings of a sustainable social enterprise including income generation through trading rather than relying on grant funding.

Due to the coronavirus the programme that normally operates face-to-face has now been adapted to virtual sessions using Zoom. It will be delivered in six sessions over six months, the majority taking place on Tuesday evenings 6pm-8pm (exact time tbc).

How to apply:

Request an application form by email to elizabeth.forrester@i-se.co.uk

In your application you will need to show clearly:

-What your social enterprise will do

-Your strategy for income generation

– Your desire to be a CIC or a “social enterprise”

-How you will achieve social impact

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

C-19 Bright Ideas Support Fund for Current Grantees

A total of £290,000 is being made available through Power to Change’s C-19 Bright Ideas Support Fund to support current Bright Ideas grantees.

Only community businesses who receive a unique invite link are eligible to apply.

Groups that have received or are currently applying for any other COVID-19 related funding from Power to Change, are NOT currently eligible for this fund.

Community businesses accepted on to the scheme will receive up to five days of business development support from a community business advisor and a grant of up to £5,000 unrestricted funds to support any changes that will help mitigate the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19 on their business or community.

The funds must be spent within six months of receipt of an award and will cover the cost of activities that are immediately needed to address the impact of the current crisis.

Further information can be found in the C-19 Bright Ideas Support Fund guidance notes on the new myCommunity website.

A free webinar will be held on 4 June at 2pm. Registration is required.

Applications will be accepted from 28 May until midnight on 19 June 2020.

Click here to find out more.

Fund Launched for Infrastructure Organisations Working to Address Youth Unemployment

In response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, the Youth Futures Foundation is providing resilience funding for infrastructure organisations in England that support the needs of frontline organisations which are delivering effective solutions to youth unemployment.

Grants worth up to 30% of the organisation’s income are available for:

  • National infrastructure bodies that strengthen the youth and/or employment sector across England for all young people.
  • National or regional infrastructure bodies that strengthen the youth and/or employment sector specifically for young people from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds, including those of Gypsy, Roma & Traveller Heritage.

The grants can be used as unrestricted funding, including covering core costs.

There will be two funding rounds and organisations that have an urgent funding need due to coronavirus/COVID-19 should apply during the first funding round in order to access support more quickly.

The first deadline for applications is midnight on 18 June 2020 for a decision by the end of July.

Click here to find out more.

Self-Employment Support Scheme Extended and Furlough Scheme Amended

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEIS) is being extended, in a move the Government says will give more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus in the coming months.

Those eligible under the SEISS will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The Chancellor has also set out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will continue to support jobs and business as people return to work, following the announcement of an extension of the scheme on 12 May.

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work.

From August 2020, the level of government grant provided through the CJRS will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. For June and July, the Government will continue to pay 80% of people’s salaries. In the following months, businesses will be asked to contribute a share, with individuals continuing to receive that 80% of their salary, covering the time they are unable to work.

The updated SEISS and CJRS schemes will continue to operate UK-wide. The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July 2020. Applications for the second grant will open in August.

Claims for the CJRS will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme and previously furloughed employees from July onwards and the scheme will close to new entrants on 30 June 2020. From 1 July, employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with previously furloughed employees.

Click here to find out more.

Funding to Support Older People Most Vulnerable to Impact of Coronavirus Crisis

Applications are now being accepted for a new Fund that aims to support charities that are making a real and immediate difference to vulnerable older people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and beyond.
Registered charities that have at least one paid member of staff (part-time is fine) and an annual income of £1 million or less can apply for grants of between £5,000 and £15,000.
The funding is for work in one of the following two priority areas:

  • Supporting older people living in particularly complex and challenging situations:
    • Providing targeted, practical services for older people who are managing additional difficulties in their lives.
  • Supporting older people in danger of being out of sight and out of mind:
    • Making connections with older people who are very isolated and most at risk of missing out on the help available from government or charities that serve a very wide client group.

A total of £2 million will be awarded in grants over four funding rounds, with £500,000 available during each round.

The first deadline for applications is 4 June 2020 (9am).

Click here to find out more.

Funding for Creative Projects for Armed Forces Communities in Isolation
Grants of up to £10,000 for six-month projects beginning no later than mid-October 2020 are available to support creative and engaging projects, that can be delivered under social restrictions, for people from Armed Forces communities who are isolated as a result of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible, projects need to:

  • Provide a fun or engaging experience for people from the Armed Forces community or
  • Reduce isolation and encourage social interaction between people from Armed Forces communities and
  • Be delivered successfully while whatever social isolation measures the Government recommends are still in place.

The funding can pay for most things needed by the project, whether it’s people’s time, costs of delivering work online or buying/hiring equipment.
To be eligible, organisations must be a registered charity or Community Interest Company (CIC) and able to show that they have three or more unrelated Trustees/directors; a school; or an Armed Forces unit or base.
This is a single round programme funded through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

The applications deadline is noon on 30 June 2020.

Click here to find out more.

Funding Available for Tree-Planting Projects in UK

Each November, the Tree Council organises National Tree Week at the start of the tree planting season. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of trees and to encourage tree planting and good management.

Applications are now being accepted from schools, community groups, members of Tree Warden Networks and parish and town councils that want to undertake well-planned tree and hedge planting projects which involve young people aged up to 21.

Projects have to take place this winter (November 2020 – March 2021), preferably during National Tree Week (28 November – 6 December 2020). If funded projects cannot go ahead at any time this winter due to social distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, then the delivery deadline of the grant will be extended to the following year.

This year, the Tree Council will fund 100% of the cost (excluding VAT) of strong applications from £300 to an increased upper limit of £1,500.

The grants can be used for:

  • Buying trees, hedges and fruit trees.
  • Reasonable costs of supports and aids – stakes, ties, cardboard guards (not plastic ones), mulch, fertiliser and peat-free soil amelioration products (only where conditions make this necessary).

Click here to find out more.

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis.

COVID-19 Extraordinary Funding for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support Services
The Ministry of Justice is providing extraordinary COVID-19 funding which is being made available locally through Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.
The funding is intended to meet the additional costs that charities and other not-for-profit organisations have faced as a result of adapting their services during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and to cope with the associated increases in demand. The funding can be used to address costs associated with COVID-19 from 24 March 2020, the first day of lockdown to 31 October 2020.
For example, funding may be used to:

  • Address short term income disruption.
  • Meet essential costs of sustaining current activities, such the purchasing of assets to support the move to remote and digital working, and additional staff to cover those unable to work for reasons related to the pandemic.
  • Address increased demand.

The £25 million will be distributed via PCCs will be allocated as follows:

  • Domestic abuse services that are already commissioned by local PCCs (£10 million).
  • Sexual violence services that are already commissioned by the PCC, and those that are not currently funded by the PCC (£5 million).
  • Domestic abuse services that are not currently commissioned by the PCC (£5 million).

Further details, including the level of grant, will be provided by each Police and Crime Commissioner.
Groups should contact their local PCC for details.
Eligible organisations are urged not to delay applying for the funding, as there is a short window of opportunity for bids to be received.
The applications for funds made via PCCs have to be submitted by 1 June, though some PCCs have set an earlier deadline of 29 May 2020.

Click here to find out more.

Government Launches £40m Clean Growth Fund for Green Start-ups

The Government is launching a new effort to support green start-up companies across the UK by joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to boost the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.
The Clean Growth Fund will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050 and will be accessible to UK-based companies driving green technology across the power, transport, waste, and building energy efficiency sectors.
Examples of potential projects the Fund could support include:

  • Energy storage and smart grid systems to bolster resilience in the power system.
  • Renewable heating and ventilation technologies across homes and commercial buildings.
  • Bio-fuels and bio-energy systems.

With £20 million of government investment matched pound for pound by one of the UK’s largest fund managers, it is anticipated the programme could reach £100 million by autumn 2021 through private sector fundraising.
The Fund is seeking to make investments at early stage, seed or Series A rounds in innovative clean growth, low carbon start-ups. It will invest in businesses with a prototype product or service demonstrating a clear contribution to reducing greenhouse gases, together with compelling evidence of market demand.
The Fund is now seeking wider private sector investment and will aim to balance its portfolio across clean growth sectors. Investment parameters for the Fund focus on clean growth technologies, hardware, products and services in sectors including power generation, waste, energy networks, buildings management, industries, bioenergy and alternative fuels.
Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said:
‘The need for innovative and ambitious ideas across green industries has never been greater. I am pleased that with the help of this fund, promising clean growth start-ups will be able to step up to accelerate the UK’s recovery, while supporting our path to Net Zero by 2050.
‘This pioneering new fund will enable innovative low-carbon solutions to be scaled up at speed, helping to drive a green and resilient economic recovery.’

Further information on eligibility criteria and the investment approach is available at the Clean Growth Fund website.

Housing Plus Group launches community grants initiative
Community groups in Staffordshire and Shropshire that are helping local people through the coronavirus outbreak are being urged to apply for a grant of up to £2,000 from Housing Plus Group.

The money can be used for any project or initiative that directly benefits customers of the Group, which includes South Staffordshire Housing Association, Severnside Housing, Stafford and Rural Homes, Severn Homes and Care Plus.

Kathy Jones, Operations Director of Housing at Housing Plus Group, explained: “We know that there’s a lot of fantastic work being done by voluntary organisations and individuals across the areas we serve, and we want to help ensure they have the resources they need.

“As we’re a values-based organisation, the housing associations within the group recognise the importance of being much more than just a great landlord and are committed to building stronger, more sustainable communities by investing in homes, live and communities.

“To achieve these aims we’ve already forged strong links with many individuals, groups and voluntary organisations who work tirelessly to help some of the most vulnerable in their community.”

The grants can be used for a range of activities – from organising food deliveries to housebound individuals and tackling loneliness, to improving health and wellbeing and promoting positive online activities for young people. They are being funded through a long-standing partnership with a leading builders’ merchant and key supplier to theGroup, Jewson.

Richard Gilbert, General Manager at Jewson Partnership Solutions, said: We’re committed to helping find ways in which we can support our local communities.

“As we are currently all experiencing unprecedented and very uncertain times, it’s great to hear that the community fund we support is being used to help our country in the fight against COVID-19 at a local level.

“We wish Housing Plus Group all the best with finding projects that can help bring some much-needed joy and support to communities in Staffordshire and Shropshire.”

To be considered for a grant, projects must benefit Housing Plus Group customers. Online application can be found at www.housingplusgroup.co.uk/HPGcovid19grant.

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