The Civil Society Strategy: One Year On

A View from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Last August the government published its civil society strategy. One year on Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy and Public Services at NCVO, looks at what’s happened, whether any progress has been made, and what effect Brexit and changes in ministers have had.

Since its publication last summer, we’ve seen changes in the ministers in charge of civil society policy, as well as a necessary focus on all the departments’ resources and capacity on preparing for Brexit, most urgently for the event of no deal. And politically, as of last month we have a new government in charge.

All this has inevitably meant that the impetus that was initially behind the strategy, as well as its ambitions of setting a roadmap for the future of civil society, has somewhat been lost along the way.

But has this really been noticed? Are charities up and down the country asking themselves ‘what is happening with the civil society strategy?’.

Read the full article…

New Funding for Community Spaces

Grants and loans of up to £50k available from The Co-op Foundation and Department of Culture, Media and Sport

Space to Connect Fund – England only

This is a joint DCMS – Co-op Funding opportunity for community organisations across England looking to improve spaces where people can connect and co-operate. Organisations can apply for grants of up to £50,000.

Please note, there are two strands of funding. The ‘Enhance’ strand for existing projects to scale or secure financial sustainability, closes on 31 July; the ‘Explore’ strand for conception stage projects is open for application till 12 August.

For more information and to apply see: https://www.coopfoundation.org.uk/funding_support/space-to-connect/

Community Space Interest Free Loans – Wales only

Interest-free loans of up to £50,000 are available to help organisations that own or manage a community space in Wales for the benefit of local people and the environment to grow their trading activities and become more sustainable. Funding should help organisations boost their income through viable business ideas so they can benefit the whole community, particularly those facing greater challenges.

For more information, see: https://www.coopfoundation.org.uk/funding_support/cs-funding-uk-2/ 

Endangered Spaces

The Co-op Foundation is inviting community organisations to apply for funding from its new £1.6m partnership with government to help save, improve and protect 2,000 spaces by 2022. Organisations can register interest and will be contacted by Co-op to discuss opportunities.

For more information, see: https://www.coop.co.uk/communities/endangered-spaces 

Funding News: New Fund for Youth Social Action

#iwill Fund for Young People in Kirklees – deadline 12th July

The #iwill Fund is managed by One Community Foundation on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund. Local fundraising is also a key part of the #iwill Programme.

The #iwill Fund is an England wide joint investment that brings together £40 million in funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund, creating a central investment pot. The National Lottery Community Fund believes that when young people are leading social action, communities thrive.

The #iwill Fund in Kirklees will offer grants between £1,000 and £5,000 for projects and activities raising the level and quality of youth social action in an area. Activities must be for young people between the age of 10 and 20, and up to 25 years for disabled young people.
 
Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering and helping young people develop the skills and knowledge that employers looks for.

Example projects may include:

  • A drop in where young people teach others new skills such as coding/bike maintenance/nail art
  • Bite-size events for young people to train an organisation’s staff on the latest social media
  • Growing vegetables with a local allotment or food initiative and then selling them
  • Youth volunteering projects where young people support local residents needing help such as shopping, gardening and street cleaning

The Funding deadline for applications is Friday 12 July.

Applications are made online, please follow this link to the fund page, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the blue ‘apply now’ button.

For help and advice, please contact the Foundation Grants Team: (01484) 468397.

Groups must demonstrate that their programme can meet the following quality principles of great youth social action: