Reading Community Health Champions Projects Grants

The Community Health Champions project builds on the success of the Community Vaccine Champions (CVC) programme which ran throughout 2022. The CVC project aimed to increase vaccine uptake across communities in Reading by sharing evidence-based health information through the network of community vaccine champions, working with communities to understand what the barriers were to accessing their vaccine and running a calendar of pop up events, bringing the vaccine to communities across the borough. You can read the full project evaluation to find out more. At the end of 2023 we launched the Community Health Champions project which builds on the learning and model used for the Community Vaccine Champions.

However, the aim of the Community Health Champions project is to strengthen community action, improve health and wellbeing beyond just vaccination and focus on health inequalities. More information on Community Health Champion can be found below.

Find out more about Community Health Champions.

As part of the project, Reading Borough Council and Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE) are inviting local organisations who are supporting Reading residents with their health and wellbeing to apply for this project grant. We are keen to support local organisations working with those in our community who are at a greater risk of experiencing poor health outcomes and health inequalities, including those groups who experience barriers to vaccination.

Funding size

The funding size for the project is £44,000. The period for the grant is from April 2024 to March 2025 with a focus to fund community based health and wellbeing events and support across Reading borough. The funding can be used to pay for the infrastructure and/or additional capacity needed by voluntary and community organisations to expand their existing work or to deliver new projects.

Funding criteria

The project is inviting applications for funding that support the following project grant criteria: 

  • Projects which strengthen community development by empowering individuals in the community to identify their strengths, support other members of the community and consolidates community relationships.
  • Projects which encourage individuals in the community to harness their skills, resources and knowledge to support other members of the community and reduce health inequalities.
  • Projects which include working with Community Health Champions to identify community needs and developing initiatives or support to meet those needs
  • Projects which address misinformation about health and wellbeing in our local communities, including working to build trust between our communities and statutory organisations, including health partners.
  • Projects which encourage and support residents to access appropriate health and wellbeing services and accurate health and wellbeing information
  • Projects which look to explore, understand and evidence health inequalities in the communities of Reading
  • Projects which support Reading residents to access vaccines or information about vaccination, including the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, the flu vaccine and Covid-19 vaccines.

Funding requirements

If your application is successful:

  • Your organisation is expected to recruit at least one voluntary Community Health Champion (CHC) within their organisation. The Champion could be an existing paid member of staff, a volunteer, or a service user/participant. Training and support will be provided to any recruited CHCs by the CHC team.
  • Your organisation will also be offered the opportunity to host NHS Health Check pop up events as part of the Community Wellness Outreach (CWO) project. The aim of the CWO project is to bring NHS Health Checks and health and wellbeing support to the communities of Reading.

Application deadline

The deadline for application was Friday 5 April 2024 at 5pm. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 12 April 2024 at 5pm.

What can you apply for?

Your organisation can apply for grants up to £10,000 to support the infrastructure and/or additional capacity needed by organisations to expand an existing service, deliver services in a different way or to develop new services which meet the criteria of the project grants. You can apply as a partnership (joint application with another organisation) or as a single organisation.

Who can apply?

This grants programme is aimed at voluntary and community groups based in Reading Borough including: 

  • Charitable organisations 
  • Voluntary organisations 
  • Constituted community groups 
  • Faith groups 
  • Sports groups 
  • Arts groups 
  • Cultural organisations 
  • Not-for-profit social enterprises 

What will be funded?

  • The funding is available to support the infrastructure and/or additional capacity needed by voluntary and community organisations to expand existing services, deliver services in a different way or to develop new activities which contribute to aims of the project grants. Funding can be used towards running costs such as hall hire or staff capacity. 
  • You know your communities best. We want this funding to support activities that are right for your community. They should be activities that benefit people beyond the life of the project, for example, in terms of skills gained; increased knowledge, confidence, relationships built. The activities/initiatives should be focused on areas of greatest health inequality.
  • We are particularly interested in bids that work with groups of people with a higher risk of experiencing poor health outcomes and health inequalities including those who experience barriers to vaccination.Projects that will be run in local community centres and will therefore be providing additional support to the local community will be considered favourably. Grants can be awarded for purposes such as: 
    •  Local ‘one off’ and small project
    • Running events
    • Minor start-up costs (for example, to get a new idea/project off the ground)
    • Running costs such as hall hire and staff capacity
    • Purchasing equipment
    • Sessional costs (including staffing costs)
  • Funding will only be given to projects or activities that address the grant criteria listed above and are not funded or able to be funded through other sources. Applicants will be expected to disclose their other funding sources as part of the application process.

This list is not exhaustive. If you are unsure if your project fits the project criteria or funding requirements, then please do get in touch at or call:

Olayemi Babajide, Community Health Inequalities Officer Tel: 07811692586 
Dayna White, Neighbourhood and Partnerships Manager Tel: 07773669354  

What should applications include?

Applications will be required to: 

  • Show evidence of need in relation to the criteria outlined in the introduction (data, research, community feedback, examples) 
  • Demonstrate strong connections with residents and groups from the area of need described 
  • Demonstrate the reach and scale of your project- estimates of how many residents will benefit 
  • Describe the details of how the grant will be spent  
  • State how the work will make a difference and how the described needs will be addressed 
  • Provide a realistic delivery plan demonstrating how the majority of the work will be completed by the end of March 2025. 

Funding conditions

  • The funding will be required to be spent by 30 March 2025
  • Successful applicants will be expected to provide a brief report on their project once a quarter and a final report in April 2025 or once the project has finished, if this is before the end of March 2025. How to make the reports will be provided to the successful applicant.
Last updated on 08/04/2024