The Innovation in Communities Project

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This programme is currently open. To apply, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Innovation in Communities Project

1. Overview

LCVS is launching the ‘Innovation in Communities’ project, which will provide support for communities to address local needs by providing or testing effective, new or innovative approaches.

It includes a £500,000 small grants programme, supported by mentoring and advice, as well as Communities of Practice events. These are intended to support groups interested in accessing the grant funding, as well as those more broadly interested in sharing ideas and innovations about how to bring about positive change to local disadvantaged communities.

The project intends to support communities to:

  • Improve places and spaces
  • Support people into employment

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The Government has introduced the fund as it prepares for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, which will replace EU Structural and Investment Funds

This project received £497,000 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, supported by additional LCVS resources.

2. What is involved?

The Innovation in Communities Fund is a new grant programme, combining support from the Community Renewal Fund and LCVS’s own grant-making programme, to create a new £500,000 grant programme.

It forms part of a wider scheme including community of practice events and ongoing mentoring and support.

3. Level of funding available

Bids are invited for grants of between £500 – £7,500 for a 3-month programme of activity. It is expected that between 75 – 80 grants will be issued.

The grant can cover the project delivery as well as a contribution to core and running costs related to the project.

The project can be either extensions of existing projects or a new project.

100% of the grant allocation will be provided once the offer letter is signed and returned by the grantee. Grantees must commit to providing outcomes and impact monitoring data as part of the project.

4. Who is eligible to apply?

This grant is aimed at the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector in Liverpool.

To be eligible your organisation must:

  • Be a constituted not for profit organisation
  • Be an organisation with a track record of successful service delivery
  • Be registered in Liverpool, and operating for the benefit of Liverpool residents
  • Be able to meet one or more priorities as detailed
  • Have a constitution or governing documentation that contains clear charitable objectives
  • For Community Interest Companies, have at least three directors
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation with two or more signatories
  • Be able to provide annual accounts or an income and expenditure breakdown for the past 12 months (or management accounts if your organisation has not existed for 12 months)
  • Provide an up-to-date safeguarding policy for the organisation

The following are not eligible for funding via this programme:

  • Individuals, or organisations applying on behalf of individuals
  • Statutory bodies
  • Organisations registered outside of Liverpool
  • Companies limited by shares
  • Hospitals and health authorities
  • Medical research
  • Universities, colleges or schools
  • Academic research, scholarships or bursaries
  • Organisations set up to support animals
  • The promotion of religion or political views
  • Large capital costs including large scale renovations and the purchase of vehicles
  • The promotion of philanthropy and endowment appeals
  • Retrospective funding or costs that have already been incurred
  • Start-ups/organisations with no track record of successful service delivery

NOTE: ONLY ONE APPLICATION MAY BE SUBMITTED PER ORGANISATION. PROJECTS MUST BE DELIVERED BETWEEN MARCH 1ST – MAY 31ST 2022.

5. Timetable

16th December – Grants programme opens for applications

21st January – Application deadline

w/c 14th February – Successful applicants notified

March 1st – May 31st – Project delivery window

10th June – Grantees must submit evaluation reports/monitoring evidence

 

APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Section A – Organisational details

This is where you can tell us about your organisation, including your main area of work. As with the rest of the form, please note the word count.

Section B – Programme details

In this section we need to know about your project, the number of beneficiaries you will work with, who your beneficiaries are and how your project meets the priority areas and outcomes.

The grants are available for projects that support the following priority areas:

1. Improving places and spaces

  • Improving green spaces/preserving assets – examples include projects to make improvements to natural environments within urban areas
  • Culture-led regeneration – Projects that use culture to attract people to places (this may include feasibility study work or direct project delivery).
  • Net-Zero/local energy projects – feasibility studies into green-viability/clean-energy projects

2. Supporting people into employment

  • Services supporting journeys towards employment – this can include a wide of practical activities to help those who wish to secure employment
  • Projects removing barriers to employment including long-term issues e.g. confidence-building, CV writing, interview preparation.
  • Basic skills development/training/mentoring opportunities that improve people’s prospects.

Community of Practice Events

This project will also involve a small number of Community of Practice events that will provide space to explore and test ideas and find solutions to issues in the community.

The events will be open to funded groups as well as other interested parties. They will also allow applicants/grantees to share experiences and best practice and get to know more about activities on the ground, as well as learn about other funding opportunities to support their projects beyond the funding they have already secured. There are likely to be no more than 3 such events.

These events are subject to Covid restrictions and will be in-person/online, depending on health-related guidance. Dates and times, format and venue are also subject to change, they are currently scheduled for:

COP Event 1: Thursday 16th December 2021

COP Event 2: Thursday 10th March 2022

COP Event 3: Thursday 19th May 2022.

Applicants and grantees will be strongly encouraged to attend the events as part of the programme.

Safeguarding – We want everyone taking part to be able to fully participate in a way that is safe and secure. We will need you to include a copy of your safeguarding policy with your application as well as give us a brief outline on how this policy is implemented. If you need help and support with safeguarding training and renewing volunteer/staff DBS certificates, then please tell us and we will get in touch.

Insurance – We expect all applications to have effective insurance in place to protect themselves and the wider public. We will need you to include a copy of relevant insurance cover with your application.

Section C – Financial information

Please complete the budget section setting out the total cost of your programme.

You can only apply for funding to support the specific outcomes you are addressing in this application.

There is a limit to the proportion of this fund that can be allocated to capital items. We expect applications to contain a maximum request of £500 on capital items. For environmental projects, we may consider higher capital requests, but this will be considered when assessing individual applications against the overall funds available.

All funded activity must take place between 1 March – 31 May 2022.

Please note: Forms can only be submitted via the online link through the LCVS website.

Evaluation – Notes on what to expect

This is a pilot grant programme and evaluation is, therefore, an important element of the programme. We will need you to show how you will demonstrate you have met your project outcomes and detail what tools and methods you will use to gather that information.

Successful applicants will be expected to collect data on the progress of their beneficiaries during the period of the grant so that we can assess the success of the pilot grant programme. Failure to provide monitoring and evaluation data may result in our having to reclaim an amount of any grant made.

We will be using Survey Monkey so that all evaluations are done online. This makes it easier to collate data and ensures a consistent approach.

Alongside general monitoring information, the specific data we will be collecting will include:

  • How many people have you worked with to date/by end of project?
  • Frequency of service user engagement
  • The total number of:
    • People in education/training following support
    • People engaged in job searching following support
    • People engaged in life skills support following interventions
    • Economically inactive individuals engaging with benefits system following support
    • Increase in footfall as a result of support
    • Increase in visitor numbers as a result of support
    • Feasibility studies developed as a result of support
  • How you have spent your grant against the budget detailed in your application (please note, evidence of expenditure may be requested)
  • Please note that as the programme develops, we may have to ask for additional information, but we will try and keep you up to date.

GUIDANCE NOTE: For projects that are intended to achieve:

People in education/training following support

People engaged in job searching following support

People engaged in life skills support following interventions

Economically inactive individuals engaging with benefits system following support

Beneficiaries will need to be aged 16 or over.

To apply, please click here.

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