BlueSpark Foundation

Grants are available for schools, community groups, clubs, societies or other organisations in England to improve the education and development of children and young people through educational, cultural, sporting and other activities.

Current Status Open for Applications
Maximum value: £ 5,000

Objectives of Fund

The funding is for relatively small-scale projects which might not happen at all or would only happen on a lesser scale without the support of BlueSpark.

The Foundation aims to help children and young people reach their full potential by supporting projects which have the following objectives:

  • Encouraging independence
  • Developing team working skills
  • Developing self confidence
  • Promoting creativity and individuality
  • Encouraging aspiration
  • Enhancing educational achievement
  • Widening educational horizons

Value Notes

Funding is at the discretion of the Trustees. ‘Many grants will be under £2,000, most will be under £5,000 and only in a few cases will grants exceed £10,000.’

Who Can Apply

Schools, community groups, clubs, societies and other organisations based and working in England can apply as can individuals and groups of individuals.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for projects that take place in England, and ideally, each project should be within a reasonable distance of the home or workplace of one of the Trustees or (if applicable) the sponsoring Ambassador. This is to facilitate face-to-face dialogue between BlueSpark and those organising the project and to make the project “visible” to BlueSpark.

Particular consideration will be given to projects which the Trustees consider will help the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.

Projects which the Foundation supports include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Academic education
  • Art and design
  • Community projects
  • Debating
  • Drama
  • Educational excursions
  • Enterprise projects
  • Music
  • Public Speaking
  • Sport
  • Vocational training

The funding for a project must be crucial to the project rather than marginally incremental to its funding.

The funding can be used for:

  • Educational materials
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • IT equipment
  • Drama tuition
  • Music tuition
  • Art and design equipment
  • Educational training courses
  • Vocational training courses
  • Educational excursions
  • Competitions
  • Educational events
  • Seed funding for enterprise projects
  • Drama production costs

The funding can be used for a number of different things, including but not limited to:

  • Physical assets (such as iPads, sports equipment, or lighting for stage productions).
  • Services or facilities (such as sports coaching or music or drama tuition).
  • Provision of experiences (such as theatre visits).

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted at any time.

Groups should use the online application form which is available on the BlueSpark Foundation website.

Useful Links

Awards for All – England

Grants are available for voluntary groups, schools, local authorities and health bodies in England to carry out projects that will improve their local community.

Current Status Open for Applications
Maximum value: £ 10,000

Objectives of Fund

The Awards for All programme aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need.

Value Notes

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available.

The Awards for All programme will not give more than £10,000 (in one or more grants) to an organisation in any one year period.

Match Funding Restrictions

Grants can be used to pay for some or all of the project costs.

Who Can Apply

Awards for All welcomes applications from:

  • Voluntary and community organisations, including:
    • Registered charities.
    • Constituted groups and clubs.
    • Not-for-profit companies and community interest companies.
    • Social enterprises.
  • Schools.
  • Statutory bodies.

To be eligible for funding applicants must have:

  • Two unconnected people on the board or committee.
  • A UK bank account in the name of their organisation.
  • Annual accounts (unless the organisation is less than 15 months old).

The Big Lottery Fund is ‘keen’ to support smaller organisations and will consider their income when making a decision.


Grants are not available for:

  • Individuals.
  • Sole traders.
  • Organisations aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution.
  • Organisations based outside of the UK.
  • Applications made by one organisation on behalf of another.
  • Alcohol.
  • Contingency costs, loans, endowments or interest
  • Electricity generation and feed in tariff payments.
  • Paying someone else to write an application.
  • Political or religious activities.
  • Profit making/fundraising activities.
  • Recoverable VAT.
  • Statutory activities.

Eligible Expenditure

The programme will fund projects/activities that meet one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities.
  • Improve the places and spaces that matter to communities.
  • Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.

Communities should be involved in the design, development and delivery of projects.

Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Training costs.
  • Volunteer expenses.
  • Staff costs.
  • Small capital projects.
  • Transport.
  • One-off events.
  • Equipment.
  • Utilities/running costs.

This is not an exhaustive list. Applicants are advised to contact the Big Lottery Fund with any queries about their project’s eligibility.

How To Apply

Applications may be submitted at any time.

Application packs are available from the Awards for All website.

If an organisation is offered an award, it will be required to provide certain documentation before the award can be paid. The nature of the documentation required will depend on the type of organisation.

The application assessment period normally takes three months so applicants should time submission of their applications at least three months before their project is planned to start.

Useful Links

Andy Fanshawe Memorial Trust

The Trust exists to fund projects that allow disadvantaged young people in the UK to take up opportunities to develop an existing interest in the great outdoors and outdoor activities.

Current Status Open for Applications
Maximum value: Discretionary

Objectives of Fund

The Trust offers funding to support programmes and projects, usually run by schools or youth groups, in the UK that encourage disadvantaged young people to further develop an existing interest in outdoor activities such as walking, climbing, cycling, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and residential courses at outdoor centres.

Value Notes

No minimum and maximum levels of support are outlined by the Trust.  Instead, each project will be judged and awarded on merit.

Match Funding Restrictions

Preference is given to applicants who have done some fundraising.

Who Can Apply

Generally, the Trust funds organisations, such as schools and youth groups, in the UK rather than individuals, but the Trust does occasionally fund an individual whom the committee feels would benefit from support. To be eligible, individual applicants must have a referee.


Funding is not available for the following:

  • Taster sessions or one-off residential trips.
  • Environmental organisations, unless there is a strong outdoor element to the application.
  • Foreign trips.
  • Capital projects.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available for projects that allow disadvantaged young people to take up opportunities to further develop their interest in the great outdoors.

Eligible outdoor activities include walking, climbing, cycling, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and residential courses at outdoor centres.

How To Apply

Applications can be made at any time and should be submitted via email, if possible, but written applications are acceptable.

Applications should include the following:

  • Who is applying?
  • What does the project propose to do, and where?
  • Who will benefit?  Why do they deserve the Trust’s support?
  • What fundraising has been done or is planned?
  • What is the overall budget?
  • How much is being applied for?
  • What are the plans for supporting the individual or group to continue this type of activity and further develop their skills or interest? What has been done before?

If an individual is applying for a grant, a reference should be obtained from a teacher or care-worker.

Useful Links

Armed Forces Covenant Fund

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) established the enduring £10 million Covenant Fund in August 2015 to support the armed forces community through the Armed Forces Covenant. The Fund was based within the Ministry of Defence until last month when it was moved to the independent Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the Government and the armed forces. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to current and former members of the armed forces and their families, and it sets out how they should expect to be treated.

This year’s funding is focused on community integration projects and local delivery of services that support the Armed Forces community in the UK.

Grants of up to £20,000 are available for projects that respond to the local needs of the armed forces community and improve recognition of the Armed Forces Covenant, and that:

  • Help integrate armed forces and civilian communities across the UK, and/or
  • Deliver valuable local services to the Armed Forces community.

Proposed projects must identify one of the following as their main focus:

  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Education and employability.
  • Events and commemorations.

Registered charities, community interest companies, local authorities, schools, and Armed Forces units with a UIN (Unit Identification Number) can apply as long as they:

  • Have experience and a track record of working with the Armed Forces Community, as well as a real understanding of the issues facing the Armed Forces Community.
  • Can provide evidence of real engagement and partnership working – with either an Armed Forces charity or an Armed Forces unit.

Applicants must be willing to work closely with their Local Covenant Partnerships to ensure that their project is properly connected locally, responds to recognised need and does not duplicate other provisions.

Applicants who are successful with their Local Grants application may also be able to benefit from the Covenant Fund’s Digital Development Programme.

Local Grants Programme applications are assessed four times per year.

The deadlines for application are 29 July, 30 September and 17 December 2018.

It is expected that there will be other funding programmes for 2018/19.

Further details can be found on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.

Source: Ministry of Defence, 03/05/2018

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UK Aid Match Invites Applications from Charities

A new round of the Government’s UK Aid Match funding programme has opened with £20 million available to match fund public donations.

UK Aid Match brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The way it works is that for every £1 donated to a UK Aid Match charity appeal, the Government will also contribute £1 of UK aid.

The Department for International Development (DFID) programme is designed to provide opportunities for the UK public to engage with international development issues and have a say in how UK aid is spent, while supporting projects that reach the poorest people in developing countries.

Proposals are currently being accepted from UK registered charities working in the areas of: disability, health, women’s empowerment, youth employment, prosperity, modern slavery, girls’ education, and oceans and plastics. This is the first time that charities tackling plastic waste in the world’s oceans can match fund their projects through this programme.

Each charity appeal must run for up to three months and raise up to a maximum of £2 million, subject to a due diligence assessment.

DFID will only match fund public donations which are given in response to the appeal.

The grants will be awarded to organisations for projects in countries ranked in the bottom 50 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) and in countries assessed as highly or moderately fragile.

Projects with a proposed total value of more than £2 million can operate in up to two countries. Any project under £2 million should only work in one country.

Commenting on the new round, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“This is a very exciting step for UK Aid Match as, for the first time, we are asking for proposals to tackle the huge problem of ocean plastics. This is a clear sign of the British public’s passion and energy to fight against global plastic waste.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative solutions, which charities will bring to this global issue. I am sure the UK public will continue to show their incredibly generous support for the UK Aid Match scheme.”

The UK Aid Match programme is provided by the Department for International Development and managed by MannionDaniels.

The deadline for concept notes (Phase 2 of Round 2) is 25 May 2018.

Full details can be found on the UK Aid Match website.

Source: DFID, 02/05/2018

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Prince’s Countryside Fund Launches Spring 2018 Round

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is currently accepting applications to its Spring Round from charities and other not-for-profit organisations that are helping rural communities across the UK.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has been established to support the sustainability and protection of farms and rural communities throughout the UK. The aim of the funding is to have a long-term positive impact on rural communities, helping those that live and work there sustain the countryside by tackling key rural issues. Each year, the Fund provides more than £1 million in grants across two funding rounds (one in the spring and the other in the autumn).

Not-for-profit organisations, charities, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, companies limited by guarantee, and unincorporated associations based and working within the UK can apply for grants of up to a maximum of £50,000 (inclusive of VAT) to a maximum period of three years

The funding is for projects that meet the Fund’s objectives, which are:

  • Improving the prospects of viability for family farm businesses. Projects should focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm businesses and other rural enterprises with the aim of halting the decline of the rural economy.
  • Sustaining Rural Communities and driving Economic Vibrancy. Projects should provide innovative solutions to deliver assets and services that keep rural communities together and develop a more sustainable rural economy.
  • Supporting Aid Delivery in Emergency and Building Resilience. Projects should support farm businesses, rural businesses and communities to plan for and recover from natural disasters such as flooding or animal disease. Groups that are considering applying under this theme should contact the Fund’s Grant Manager to discuss their proposed activity in more detail.

The deadline for Spring applications is 14 June 2018 (5pm).

Full details, including the current guidelines and an online application form, can be found on The Prince’s Countryside Fund website

Source: The Prince’s Countryside Fund, 30/04/2018

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Fund to Help Parents Improve Children’s Early Language Skills

The Department for Education has announced two new multi-million funding schemes that will provide support to help parents improve their children’s early language and literacy skills at home before they start school.

The two schemes have been created to help close the gap in communication skills between disadvantaged children and their peers when they start school.

The Education Endowment Foundation will run a £5 million scheme to trial projects in the north of England, looking at what works best in improving children’s communication skills at home before they begin school, a key part of the Government’s ambition to give every child the best start in life.

Commenting on the funding, Education Endowment Foundation CEO, Sir Kevan Collins said:

“Parents care very much about the future of their children, whatever their background or wherever they come from. But it can sometimes be difficult to get them involved in their child’s learning and we know little about how to do this well.

“By testing different ways of tackling issues like the early years ‘word gap’, this new fund will give us much needed information about how we can give parents the tools they need to give their child the very best start in life.”

Separately, the Department for Education is committing £8.5 million to a new Early Years Social Mobility Peer Review Programme with the Local Government Association, which will see councils working together to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. The programme will be piloted over the summer, with the full programme rolling out from Autumn 2018. Organisations that are interested in taking part in the programme, or becoming a peer reviewer can find further details on the GOV.UK website.

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Source: DfE, 30/04/2018

Fund to Support Bright Disadvantaged Young People

Education Minister Nick Gibb is inviting organisations to manage a new £23 million programme to support the brightest pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential.

The £23 million Future Talent Fund programme will test new and innovative ways of helping the most talented disadvantaged pupils to remain on their high performing trajectory and prevent them falling behind their more affluent peers.

Commenting on the new fund, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

“Through this Future Talent Fund we will test new and innovative approaches so that we can find out what works best to ensure the brightest pupils from the most disadvantaged families can excel in their education.”

The Government reports that the £23 million programme will deliver at least 30 trial projects between January 2019 and July 2020 following two bidding rounds. The scheme will champion best practice and encourage evidence-led interventions, including those that could be funded by schools using their Pupil Premium funding.

In the Autumn, a variety of organisations will be eligible to apply for the funding. This will include state-funded schools and multi academy trusts, charities and research organisations, independent schools and universities.

Projects supported by the fund must be delivered in non-selective, state-funded secondary schools in England and will cover at least one of the following strands of work:

  • Curriculum: such as broadening or deepening what is covered in the curriculum.
  • Pedagogy: for example, individualised teaching, the use of digital technology or feedback.
  • Parental involvement: which could include aspiration interventions, engagement through technology or behavioural insight techniques.
  • Mentoring and tutoring: including academic mentoring, community based mentoring, school based mentoring, one-to-one tuition, group tuition or peer tutoring.
  • Transition between key stages: such as summer schools or transition practices in schools.
  • Enrichment activities: which could include after-school classes, extra-curricular activities or visits.

Further information on the Department for Education can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Source: Department for Education, 30/04/2018

The Skelton Bounty is now open to applications

Applicants can apply from within the geographical County of Lancashire, as it existed in 1934.

The fund supports “Lancashire” charities, particularly favouring:
Equipment for organisations supporting the elderly and people with disability and for youth groups, and holidays for disadvantaged children and carers.

The trustees prefer to make grants of a capital rather than a revenue nature. They are inclined to favour specific capital projects of proven viability rather than making contributions to general expenditure. It is their preferred policy to make relatively modest grants to a wide number of applicants rather than large grants to a small number of applicants.

Grants are only made to legally constituted, registered charities. Grants are not made to individuals. Applications from charities in successive years are not viewed favourably. The Governors do not usually fund large building appeals or revenue expenditure and grants tend to be to a maximum of £3,000

When to apply: Completed applications must be received before 5pm Thursday 31st May 2018

Applications are considered at the Trustees meeting in July.

Forms and guidance are available from 
Skelton Bounty



151 Dale Street


L2 2AH


Email: [email protected]

Telephone No.: 
0151 227 5177

‘Tackling Violence against Women and Girls’ Fund

Comic Relief is inviting proposals from not-for-profit women’s organisations that are working to end violence and abuse experienced by women and girls in the UK.

This new £4 million initiative is being funded by Comic Relief and the UK’s Devolved Administration with grants of between £60,000 and £120,000 for between one and years being made available. It is anticipated that up to 40 grants will be awarded. Grants exceeding £120,000 may be awarded to organisations bidding in partnership with others. The funding can be used for core and/or project costs.

To be eligible, proposals must be exclusively focused on women with multiple and complex needs and aims to:

  • Enable organisations to better support women within the target groups.
  • Showcase how women’s lived experience can inform the design and delivery of services, practice and policy.
  • Provide opportunities for projects to try out new ways and models of working, for example by acting earlier, building community assets or using digital approaches.
  • Enable cross sector partnerships to work together to provide high quality support.
  • Support approaches that can provide learning for other organisations and stakeholders across the sector.
  • Improve access to support for women with complex needs in less well-served communities, such as BAMER, older women, LBTI, disabled women.

Applications will be considered for a broad range of work that demonstrates an understanding of the gendered causes of violence against women, and that tackles causes and/or consequences. This may be through preventative/early action measures, crisis intervention, and research and policy work as well as longer-term support.

Comic Relief and its partners understand that change happens at many different levels and is therefore interested in supporting organisations that work with individuals, other organisations, communities and society at large.

Commenting on the new fund, Comic Relief’s Head of Investment, Sue Wicks said:

“We know that women’s organisations provide vital and specialist support to the many women harmed by violence, and are on the frontlines of efforts to reduce this violence in our communities, through work with schools, families, courts and the media.

“This new initiative will fund work to support women and girls who usually slip through the net, while also improving long-term awareness and support.”

It is expected that this will be a ‘highly competitive funding initiative’.

The deadline for applications is 2 July 2018 (midday).

Full details can be found on the Comic Relief website.

Source: Comic Relief, 19/04/2018

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