Grants Available to Community Groups to Provide Advice on Tax and Benefits (Closing date 11th December 2019)
HM Revenue and Customs has secured £1.66 million funding for 2020 to 2021 to allocate to voluntary and community sector organisations to help them provide advice and support to customers who need extra help understanding and complying with their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements, including those who are digitally excluded.
Voluntary and community sector organisations can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £450,000 and bids should include one or more of the following activities:
Advice and support – Providing direct advice and support for HMRC’s customers who need extra help and cannot afford to pay for it.
Digital inclusion – Assisting people who are digitally excluded, to build their confidence and capability to use HMRC’s online services for themselves.
Specialist support and referrals – Providing specialist advice and taking referrals by phone or email from HMRC’s Extra Support team, and assisting customers who need independent advice and support with more complex tax issues, for example complicated PAYE issues, or claims for Special Relief and appeals.
To apply under ‘Specialist support and referrals’, organisations would require the infrastructure and capability to handle about 700 referrals per year, and would be responsible for concluding individual cases.
The closing date for applications is the 11th December 2019 and projects should start in April 2020.
Funding for Community Gardens (Closing date 31st December)
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to community groups in England and Wales to create a garden or similar project (such as an allotment) with a horticultural focus for the benefit of their local community.
These projects should aim to bring a community together by being a space people can share, by the acquisition and sharing of gardening knowledge and skills and by inspiring a love of gardening.
Funding could cover, for example site preparation (including hire of small mechanical tools such as rotavators), hand tools, plants, trees, shrubs, containers and seating.
The funding is being made available through the National Garden Scheme Community Gardens Award and the closing date for applications is the 31st December 2019.
Funding to Make Community Spaces More Sustainable
The Co-op Foundation is offering interest free loans for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces. Community organisations that manage community buildings and outdoor spaces such as parks and community centres; etc which are for the use of the whole community can apply for loans to grow their trading activities to generate more sustainable income.
The Co-op Foundation can offer:
• Interest-free loans of up to £50,000 towards viable business ideas that will benefit the whole community – particularly those facing greater challenges.
• No repayments for the first year, while your trading activities are developing.
• If you are based in a more deprived area, or your work mainly benefits more disadvantaged members of the community, we might also be able to offer some grant funding alongside a loan.
Applicants will need to fill out an expression of interest here.
Applications can be submitted at any time.
Project Development Funding for Churches (Closing date 9th January 2020)
Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to listed and unlisted Christian places towards developing a church building project. This can include Churches, Chapels and Meeting Houses. The funding is being made available through the National Churches Trust’s Gateway Programme.
Applications are excepted from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship, of any denomination, across the UK. The Trust particularly encourages applications from priority areas i.e. North East England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Gateway Grant Programme also offers grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to local church trusts to fund projects that support organisational development, increase their capacity to churches in their area or that deliver new ways of supporting churches in their area.
The first deadline to apply for a Gateway Grant is the 9th January 2020.
Free Trees for Community Groups and Schools (Applications open for delivery in March 2020)
The Woodland Trust has thousands of free tree packs to give away to community groups and schools. The trees are available for planting on an area that is accessible to the public so that it can be used and enjoyed by others. If applying as a school, trees should be planted on either the school grounds, land the school has arranged regular access to or in an area that is publicly accessible.
Applications for a tree pack for a community group need to:
• State that the land is accessible to the public
• Make sure the local community is aware of the plans to plant and is happy for the project to go ahead.
• Be an application for up to 420 trees in each application cycle or season.
There are two delivery periods per year in November and March, when the trees are dormant and perfect for planting. Tree packs can consist of:
• Hedging to make a natural screen or connect existing woodland to help wildlife stay on the move
• Copse to create a mini forest school classroom or a peaceful spot that’s an oasis for birds
• Wild harvest an array of fruits and nuts
• Year-round colour for beautiful blossoms, bright berries and stunning autumn displays
• Working wood to fuel a log burner in 7-10 years, or to carve or weave willow
• Wildwood to establish food and shelter for wildlife
• Urban trees for residential areas with limited communal space
Applications are currently being accepted for trees to be delivered in March 2020.
Greggs Foundation Local Community Projects Fund (Open until 23rd February)
Not-for-profit organisations developing local community projects are being offered the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £2,000. Any not for profit organisation working to reduce disadvantage experienced by the most deprived people in the community such as the disabled, those living in poverty, voluntary carers and isolated older people can apply. Larger organisations with a turnover in excess of £300,000 are unlikely to be successful with those located near to a Greggs shop most likely to receive awards.
The Greggs Foundation Local Community Projects Fund distributes around £1.8 million per year to organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The Foundation supports projects that improve resilience within communities. This can include sessional activities/respite support, equipment for sessional activities, trips and residential breaks. New approaches and innovative ideas as well as sustainable approaches to supporting communities are welcomed. All projects must support a community of interest, i.e. people who are:
• Disabled or suffering chronic illness
• Living in poverty
• Voluntary carers
• Homeless people
• Isolated older people
• Other demonstrable significant need
Successful applicants will have demonstrated improvements against at least one of the following Key Performance Targets:
• Beneficiaries have decreased social isolation
• Beneficiaries report improved health and wellbeing
• Beneficiaries report improved resilience/coping mechanisms
• Beneficiaries have improved life skills
• Beneficiaries have improved opportunities
The fund will re-open for applications on the 1st December 2019 and will have a closing date of the 23rd February 2020.