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Community Grants for voluntary organisations

Community grants are approximately £15,000 with an employment focus. They support voluntary organisations to help hardest to reach individuals make progress towards or enter the labour market.

Community Grants

Community grants help unemployed and disadvantaged people progress towards employment through access to learning and training opportunities. Targeted groups include people with disabilities, women, people aged 50 or over, lone parents, Black and Minority Ethnic communities.

Community Grants are awarded from the Skills Funding Agency through grant coordinating bodies. The grant coordinating bodies for 2015-2020 have not yet been announced.

Examples of activities

In the past, community grants have been used for activities that will help an individual progress towards employment and improve employability skills such as;

  • Help with basic skills
  • Taster work experience and voluntary work
  • Information and support relating to training and work
  • Job search assistance, including the provision of equipment and other assistance necessary to secure employment
  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Training, advice & counselling

Can my organisation access community grants?

Not all LEPs ESIF Strategies have identified community grants as an activity for 2014-20, however they will be available in some areas like the Black Country; North East; Northamptonshire; Oxfordshire; South East Midlands, Humber, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.

Other LEP areas have expressed interest to pursue community grants in the future, they are: Cumbria; Greater Manchester; Liverpool City Region; Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Further details about scope and size of grants and timetable applications are yet to be published.

See the list of the grant coordinating bodies for 2014-2015

The value of funding small projects

In January 2014, NCVO published a research paper on what works in delivering locally-focused community projects, in particular the experience of the organisations funded via the Community Grants programme.

Download 'Building capacity in individuals and communities: the value of funding small community projects. Learning from the ESF community grants programme 2011-13'