Small grants fund 2021-22

Reading Borough Council has allocated £100k for small grants to the voluntary and community sector for the year 2021/22.

The Council is inviting applications for funding for community-led activities that support thriving communities: addressing the impact of poverty and supporting mental well-being in Reading’s most deprived neighbourhoods and communities.

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.

The deadline for applications is the 25 July 2021. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 6th August 2021.

If you have any queries please contact Clare Muir, Policy and Voluntary Sector Manager email: / tel: 0118 9372119

Background information

We have pledged in our Corporate Plan, that we will focus on the needs of the most vulnerable, ensuring young people, older people, those with long term health conditions or disabilities and those most affected by Covid-19 get the help they need to live successful, independent lives in vibrant, thriving communities.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019 shows that there are 5 areas of Reading that are in the 10% most deprived areas of the country. These are located in Whitley, Church, Southcote and Norcot wards.

We also know that nationally, ethnic minority populations, especially Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents, are more likely to live in areas of deprivation. In Reading the areas with the highest populations of Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents are in Battle, Katesgrove, Park and Minster wards, which do not show up as the highest deprivation areas in the IMD so there is possible hidden poverty in these areas.

Scope of the Grants Programme

What you can apply for

Grants of up to £5,000 – increased to £10,000 for joint bids proposing a co-ordinated approach by more than one organisation, to support the infrastructure and/or additional capacity needed by organisations to expand existing service, deliver services in a different way or to develop new services.

Who can apply

The grants programme is aimed at Community groups based in the Reading borough:

  • charitable organisations
  • voluntary organisations
  • community groups
  • faith groups
  • sports groups
  • arts groups
  • cultural organisations
  • uniformed groups (scouts, guides etc)
  • not-for-profit social enterprises

What will be funded

You know your communities best. We want this grants programme to support activities that are right for your community but they should be activities that benefit people beyond the life of the project, in terms of skills gained; increased knowledge, confidence, self-esteem, independence; relationships built, self-help groups established etc. This could be through:

  • Play, sport/ physical activities, music, dance, drama activities
  • Social activities
  • Food growing, cooking
  • Learning or training activities
  • Mentoring/coaching
  • Activities that bring different age groups or cultures together

The activities/initiatives should be focused on areas of greatest need. (see Background Information)

Grants will be awarded for purposes such as:

  • Local ‘one off’ and small projects
  • Running an event
  • Minor start-up costs (get new idea/project ‘off the ground’)
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Sessional costs

Funding will only be given to a project or activity that addresses an unmet need of Reading residents and is not funded or able to be funded through other sources. Applicants will be expected to disclose their other funding sources.

What we are looking for

We are keen to enable communities to help themselves and to support projects or activities that contribute to sustainable outcomes.

We are interested bids to put new ideas into practice or to respond to emerging needs within the community.

We are particularly interested in bids that propose use of community buildings in the area where activity will be taking place. To explore opportunities for using community buildings for your project please contact Jo Anderson (email: / tel: 0118 937 4258

What applications should include

Applications will be required to:

  • Show evidence of need (data, research, community feedback, examples)
  • Describe what the grant will be used for and how many people are expected to benefit
  • State how it will make a difference/how this will address the need
  • Provide a realistic delivery plan

Funding conditions

The funding will be required to be spent within the financial year of the award.

Monitoring – Successful applicants will be expected to provide an Interim report on their project after 6 months and a full report at the end of the project (12months).