This grant programme is now closed. Funding is no longer available, and this grant programme will not be reopening.
Somerset charities, community groups and social enterprises told us in October 2022 that:
- the people they support are worse off than they were two years ago
- there is an increase in demand for their services
- their own costs, like energy and transport, are rising.
This fund is to help groups that are experiencing these challenges and is supported by funds raised by our Somerset Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal.
What can I use this money for?
You can only use this money to help reduce the additional financial impacts of the cost-of-living crisis on your organisation. This may be a combination of the following:
- meeting rising demand for your service from people experiencing poverty
- covering increased running costs caused by inflation, like heating a building or providing transport
- subsidising services you usually charge for to remove barriers to people who are struggling to afford or access them
You can use this money towards the costs you have between September 2023 and March 2024.
How much money can I ask for?
We are still raising money for this fund but expect to make at least £150,000 available.
You can ask us for between £1,000 and £10,000 but we expect the average grant to be about £5,000.
When can I apply?
Funding is no longer available, and this grant programme will not be reopening.
Who can apply for this money?
You can only apply if you work or volunteer for a group that:
- is based and working in Somerset (but not Bristol, BANES or North Somerset)
- is run by a committee or board of at least 3 unrelated people
- has a governing document or set of rules
- has an appropriate level of free reserves. If this is more than 12 months running costs, then you should have a policy explaining why
- has a safeguarding policy that meets our expectations
- has a bank account in its name, which requires at least two unrelated signatories.
We welcome applications from groups that exist to support people in their local community. We can award money to groups that are not registered charities, but the purpose of the funding must be charitable. This means we can usually give a grant to:
- community groups
- registered charities
- community amateur sports clubs
- community interest companies (CIC) limited by guarantee that have a clear asset lock benefitting local communities
- companies limited by guarantee that are not-for-profit with all surpluses re-invested back into the organisation
- faith organisations, but not for the promotion of religion
- community benefit societies
- local statutory organisations, like parish councils or schools, but not for statutory duties.
Please note that you can still apply for this money if you were awarded a grant from our Warm Spaces Fund. This was our first response to the cost-of-living crisis, and was offered while this larger fund was being prepared. If you did have a grant from the Warm Spaces Fund then you must explain how this request is to meet additional costs.
If you’re not sure if your group can apply, then talk to us first. And if you’re not sure about things like governing documents, accounts and safeguarding then we suggest you first speak to one of the following before applying:
- Spark Somerset – for general community groups and charities
- CCS Community Building Team – for village halls and community centres
- Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership – for sports clubs
Is there anything I can’t use this money for?
We can’t give money to:
- install solar panels or other long term energy saving measures
- direct support to households experiencing poverty, such as household goods or repairs, and food (a separate fund will be made available for this shortly)
- individuals, sole traders or companies limited by shares
- national organisations and groups based outside Somerset
- groups that give money to another group, rather than spend it on their own activities
- groups that have not reported back satisfactorily on grants we have awarded them in the past
- the promotion of religion. But we will give money to faith organisations for projects that deliver wider community benefits
- activities that are about animal welfare.
How likely is it that my group will get some money?
We expect demand for this money will be high, and we know we’ll be unable to support everyone that applies.
As a guide, we think we will only be able to give money to 5 out of every 10 groups that apply.
We’re more likely to give you some money if your group:
- runs on less than under £500,000 a year and has limited opportunities to raise money from elsewhere to meet the additional costs of the cost-of-living crisis
- can clearly explain how this money will help to limit the additional financial impacts of the cost-of-living crisis on your group
- can demonstrate that you are providing support to those who are most affected by this crisis. This will include low-income households. But it may also include some groups that find themselves particularly vulnerable, including people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, minority ethnic communities, people living in rural areas, among others
- is working with other groups in your area to provide a joined-up response to the crisis
- hasn’t received funding from the Somerset Cost of Living Fund before.
When will I find out whether my group has been successful?
Applications will be considered by a Panel in August 2023 and we will let you know if your application has been successful or not by the end of August.
If I’m successful, what reporting will be needed?
You need to spend your grant between September 2023 and March 2024 and send us a short report. You need to complete the report online and the form you’re required to fill in will look similar to our application form. We ask you to tell us how the money was spent, the difference it made, and if you had any problems. We also ask you to send us stories and photos if you can.
How do I apply?
When this grant programme is open, you can apply to this fund by filling out an online application form via the button below. This takes you to a registration page where you’ll need to enter your email address.
You don’t have to complete the form in one go. Instead, you can complete some sections then click ‘save draft’ at the bottom of the page. You can then use the link in your email to return to the form at another time.
You also need to attach the following documents alongside your application:
- your governing document or set of rules
- your most recent accounts
- the names and addresses of the people who run your group, if it is not registered with the Charity Commission or Companies House
- your safeguarding policy
- a bank statement from within the last three months. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your group’s name, the address where statements go, the account number and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
Apart from the bank statement, you don’t need to provide the above documents if you have sent them to us within the past 6 months, unless they have been amended during that time.
Finally, you must read the terms and conditions and click ‘submit’.
Please contact us if you can’t use the online form, or you are unable to attach any of the documents. We’ll support you to make your application in another way.
You are always welcome to call or email Kirsty, Sean or Jess in the Grants Team if you have a question, or if you are not sure this is the right place to apply for money.
Call us on 01749 344949 or email the team at email@example.com