Funding News - July 2022


Success Stories

National Lottery Heritage Fund - St John's Church, Piddinghoe

Piddinghoe’s 900-year-old church, St John’s has been awarded funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, it has recently been announced.

The Parochial Church Council at Piddinghoe successfully applied for a £34,000 grant to support the exciting revival of church bell ringing in its small East Sussex village.

The current three bells, dating from the 18th century, will be repaired and refurbished while three more will be added. The six bells will be rung ‘full circle’ – creating the tuneful ringing so familiar across the UK.

The £83,500 project, led by a team of four villagers and with additional funding and expertise provided by a local businessman, is designed to build engagement with the church and its bells and will target young people in neighbouring Newhaven.

Thanks to this funding, youngsters from three of the town’s schools – one secondary and two primary - will learn not just about bell ringing, but how to ring bells, beginning with hand bells before moving on to the church bells themselves. They will learn how important church bell ringing was, what it meant to communities, and about all the events that bell ringing marked. Pupils will also explore the churchyard, giving them an opportunity to discover the connections between the names on gravestones and their own family names. This will be recorded in an oral history project.

The project will be filmed and preserved for posterity and the future use of the schools. A permanent, interactive exhibition will be mounted at the Church and another exhibition will be created at the newly-established Cultural Space in Newhaven. Partnerships have been made with other groups of bell ringers and at the end of the project, there will be a festival of bell ringing with other churches in the locality. Music organisations have also expressed their interest in joining this project.

Once planning permission is granted by the Church of England, it is hoped that the project will start in September 2022 and be completed within eighteen months. 

For more information, please email: or phone 07710 485119.

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – 2022 Award Recipients

Every day, millions of people across the UK are making a difference by volunteering.

Each year, outstanding examples of this work are celebrated through the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). Created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, QAVS awards have been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups for many years.

Equivalent to an MBE, QAVS are the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.

Seven local groups, delivering services in East Sussex were recently awarded the QAVS, they are: 

  • Age Concern Heathfield and District - Alleviating loneliness & isolation for the elderly & disabled in the TN21 area
  • Hastings & Rother YMCA - Providing services for young people, families and the community
  • Lunch Positive - Creating a unique place of trust, support, and weekly nutrition for people living with HIV
  • Stay Up Late - Supporting people with learning disabilities to lead great social lives
  • The People Matter Trust Ltd - Releasing jobseeker’s potential through career guidance, support, training and work opportunities
  • Volunteers Network CIC - Strengthening communities in and around Eastbourne by addressing disadvantage and promoting volunteering
  • Wealden Talking News -Helping the visually impaired stay in touch with their community by providing weekly audio recordings

The 2023 nominations are currently open, see our article in the “Awards” section.

For local questions, please contact Juliet Smith DL at:


Information and guidance

Charity Commission - Consultation on Annual Return

The Charity Commission has launched a formal consultation on proposed changes to the Annual Return, designed to ensure the regulator is collecting the right information in the years ahead.

The Annual Return is an online form that all charities with yearly incomes of £10,000 or more must complete within 10 months of the end of their financial reporting period.

The Commission proposes a number of changes, including questions designed to:

  • Better capture and understand charities’ reliance on certain types of income, and on single sources of funding. For example, charities will be asked whether 70% or more of their funding relies on one income stream, and whether 25% or more of their income comes from certain types of income sources, such as corporate donors
  • Gain more information on roles and responsibilities, governance, controls and different organisational structures in charities, as the regulator’s case work indicates that this information can, in certain circumstances, correlate with risk.
  • Help create a more accurate picture of the geographical areas in which charities operate in England and Wales, by asking for information about the premises from which charities operate. Amongst other things, this data will help policy makers and grant-givers identify geographic areas which are comparatively under-served by charitable work. This will allow funders to make decisions that help ‘level-up’ such ‘charity deserts’
  • Better capture staffing numbers and payroll costs in the sector, allowing the public and others to consider charities’ use of resources and their capability to deliver certain types of activity

Charities can respond to questions via an online survey and provide additional information or responses via a dedicated mailbox.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, ending 1st  September 2022.



Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2023

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service will be accepting nominations for the 2023 awards until 15th September and are really looking forward to hearing about the ways in which local groups of volunteers are devising and running services to help change lives in their community.

QAVS was set up 20 years ago to recognise and celebrate exceptional local volunteer groups across the UK.  The standard expected is very high, as the award is an Honour equivalent to an MBE.  However, you’ll see from all the examples on the website that there is no such thing as a typical QAVS awardee. They really do cover a wide, diverse range of activities from theatre groups to food banks, dementia clubs, local radio stations and more. 

See a list of the seven 2022 award recipients in our Success Stories section.

If there’s an exceptional group in your neighbourhood that you would like to nominate then you can do so here. You need to be completely independent from them (groups should not nominate themselves), however all you need to do is to: check the eligibility criteria, complete a simple online form and add some letters of support from two other individuals.  If you don’t know of a group, but are passionate about volunteering, you may want to follow and share social media posts, helping to highlight the wonderful stories of volunteers making real differences to communities across the UK.

For local questions, please contact Juliet Smith DL at:


Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities - Community Ownership Fund Round 2

The UK Government's £150 million Community Ownership Fund, which will run until 2024/25, is currently accepting Expressions of Interest.

Applications will be accepted from voluntary and community organisations from all parts of the United Kingdom who have a viable plan for taking ownership of a community asset at risk and running it sustainably for community benefit.

Groups can bid for up to £250,000 match funding or in exceptional cases up to £1 million for larger sporting assets at risk of loss.

To be eligible for investment from the Fund, the terms of community ownership must be either the ownership of the freehold or a long-term leasehold of at least 15 years with reasonable break clauses. Assets with leaseholds of 25 years and no early break clauses are preferred as applicants will find it easier to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the asset in community hands.

The fund has moved to a two-stage application process with an initial Expression of Interest stage to determine eligibility and bid readiness followed by a detailed application stage which can be made to any of the three bidding that will be available this year.

The first application window is expected to close on 19th August 2022. There will be two more application windows before March 2023.

Tel: 030 3444 0000

NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - Digital Skills Inclusion – Small Grants for Digital Healthcare Inclusion projects

NHS East Sussex CCG Small Grants for Digital Healthcare programme will support voluntary and community organisations in Sussex providing support and access to digital healthcare tools for primary care access pathways (specifically NHS App, online consultations and NHS 111 Online) to their digitally excluded client base. 

Grants will range from £5,000 t0 £20,000.

The programme is part of the CCG’s Digital First Digital Skills Inclusion project, a 2-year strategy to understand the areas of highest need across the county and work alongside voluntary and community organisations to support patients to use digital healthcare tools and learn about their functions and benefits to support self-care and manage wellbeing.

The implied benefits of this project include: 

  • Improving patient’s digital confidence to use digital health care tools & raise awareness of the benefits of these tools to access general practice and manage their own wellbeing
  • Enabling patients to access information about symptoms, conditions and treatments and connect to self-help options (improving patient experience, self-care, and wellbeing);
  • Freeing up time for GPs and allow them to spend more time managing complex needs
  • Reducing the number of unnecessary appointments and calls to reception staff as patient queries may be resolved by the patient themselves
  • Digitally excluded patients will receive support to make the primary care pathways easier to access
  • GP practices will be able to signpost patients in the local area to help and support thus freeing up capacity with the practice
  • Help to understand demand levels for digital support in terms of which groups, what support is required and where the need is in Sussex
  • Good working relationships will be created between GP practices and voluntary and community organisations to encourage joint working
  • Patients will be able to access help and support if they need it

Successful applicants will be awarded at the end of July 2022 and projects will be live between August 2022 and March 2023.

To discuss your project, please contact Susie Goodbrand, Digital First project manager. 

 The deadline for applications is Wednesday 20th July (5pm)

For an application form, please Email:


Trusts and Foundations

7stars Foundation

The foundation makes grants to projects which support young people (16 years and under) who are challenged by abuse or addiction, who are young carers, or who are homeless/without a safe place to call home.

Project grants of up to £2,500 are available.

Applications will be considered from organisations who require funding in the areas of: 

  • Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Child carers
  • Homelessness

Organisations must have a turnover of under £1.5 million and be supporting young people aged 16 years and under.

The grant funding is intended to support young people (aged 16 and under) challenged by abuse and addiction, those who are young carers, and those who are homeless or without a safe space to call home.

Funding is offered across four streams: 

  • Project grants to cover the costs of projects which:
    • Enable young people to have the best start in life and aim high
    • Have a direct impact and respond to a need in an immediate manner
    • Are hosted in geographical areas of deprivation and socioeconomic disadvantage
    • Respond to one or more of the funding priorities of the 7stars foundation
    • Address a lack of provision (due to a lack of funding from alternative sources)
    • Provide immediate support, not just in the short-term but with long-term benefits too
  • Shine Bright funding for regional charities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding enables charities to purchase wellbeing, emotional and mental health support items or educational, creative resources for the young people they support to promote happiness in a time of worry and anxiety. (Beneficiaries are selected and items are purchased/distributed by the charity partner)
  • Direct grants funding to individuals affected by the themes we priorities, supported by outreach/social/care workers or legal professionals. (Applications must be submitted by the supporting professional/organisation)
  • Star Startfunding to tackle child food poverty escalated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Support for breakfast clubs for young people aged 16 years and under, living in urban cities within the UK. (Note: In 2021 this funding was directed solely towards London)

Regarding projects for Child Carers, preference will be given to projects offering long-term impact and/or sustainable support (such as mentoring or outreach programmes) over recreational trips.

 The remaining funding rounds for 2022 are: 

  • 1st June – 31st July for consideration at the September funding review
  • 1st September – 31st October for consideration at the December Funding review
  • 1st December – 31st January 2023 for consideration at the February 2023 funding review


Artemis Charitable Foundation

The Artemis Charitable Foundation offers grants between £1,000 and £10,000 for registered charities to support projects and activities in the following key areas: 

  • Health
  • Education
  • Poverty
  • Environment

The Foundation typically makes one-off awards, however multi-year grants may be considered where a successful partnership is established. Unrestricted funding will also be considered.

Priority will be given to small-and-medium-sized charities with an annual income of less than £2 million, as well as innovative projects that can be scaled up or replicated.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Barchester Healthcare Foundation

The Foundation aims to make a difference to the lives of older people and other adults with a physical, learning or mental disability; supporting practical solutions that lead to increased personal independence, self-sufficiency and dignity.

The aim of this fund is on connecting or re-connecting people with others in their local community. Applications that combat loneliness and enable people to be active and engaged will receive highest priority.

Grants range from £100 to £5,000. In 2021, the average grant was £725.

Although most funding is awarded to individuals, small community groups and small local charities can also apply.

Support is mainly available to individuals who are: 

  • Older people aged 65+
  • Adults with a disability or mental health problem

All applications for an individual must be supported by a third party sponsor, such as a health or personal care professional, social worker, charity or support group representative.

The focus for funding is connecting or re-connecting people with others in their local community. Applications that combat loneliness and enable people to be active and engaged will receive the highest priority.

Funding is intended to help small community groups and local charities with the following: 

  • Activity projects
  • Equipment and materials for use by members
  • Member transport
  • Day trips, outings and group holidays in the UK

Priority will be given to innovative projects that help older people and those with a disability to get active, meet people, and reduce isolation.

Applications may be submitted at any time.

Tel: 0800 328 3328 Email:

Veterans' Foundation

The aim of the Foundation is to help charities and other organisations that support serving and former members of the British Armed Forces, and sometimes their dependants, who are in need.

A potential, qualified beneficiary “in need” is one or all of the following: 

  • At a disadvantage compared with non-armed forces citizens due to their service
  • Someone who is suffering from challenges such as the following: unemployment, homelessness, mental and physical ill-health, injuries, poor welfare, old age, a child's loss of parent, addiction and lack of education
  • Grants should bring benefit to beneficiaries collectively and/or individually; they provide a hand up, not a handout

 The following grants are available:


  • Grants up to £30,000. Trustees will also consider a bid for a spread grant up to a maximum of £30,000 (i.e., £30,000 as £10,000 for each of the next two or three years)
  • Grants up to £40,000 for the exclusive use on salaries over a two-year period may be awarded, i.e., £40,000 as £20,000 for each of the next two years. In some cases, the grant award may be limited to one year and grantees will be asked to reapply at a later date for the second year of funding

The Foundation tends to award more small grants than large grants.

All registered charities and other organisations that support the Armed Forces community (veterans, those serving and immediate dependants), including seafaring veterans who have served on operations, can apply.

Priority is given to charities and organisations who can demonstrate that they are directly involved in the provision of support to those in need, as well as well-run organisations of low to medium wealth.


The funding can be used for projects covering a range of aspects of social care for the Armed Forces community, including but not limited to:


  • Reducing homelessness
  • Increasing employment
  • Providing welfare and medical support
  • Increasing confidence and social interaction
  • Reducing dependence on alcohol and drugs
  • Reducing poverty
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Marriage guidance
  • Care during old age


The grants can be used to cover a range of project costs. The Foundation will also consider funding running costs of eligible organisations, provided sustainability is being considered.


Applications are usually considered four times a year with notification of decisions in around two weeks of the Grants Committee meeting.


The next deadlines for applications are:


  • 26th August 2022 for consideration by September Trustee meeting
  • 14th November 2022 for consideration by December Trustee meeting

Tel: 0333 999 3899  Email:

VocTech Seed Fund

The VocTech Seed Fund provides funding for initiatives that can improve the accessibility and delivery of adult learning through the use of technology.

Early-stage funding will be offered to organisations undertaking projects that have the potential for using digital technology in novel and imaginative ways to develop new services or improve access or delivery of adult vocational learning. The programme will help supported ventures to develop their ideas into robust digital products or services.

The current round of funding will support projects with innovative ideas for solving, real, practical problems in UK adult vocational training.

The funder is currently looking for innovative digital vocational learning ideas which are: 

  • Genuinely innovative in their overall approach, their technology, or the sector or community of learners to which they will be applied
  • Ideas where people are really thinking differently about how to use technology to deliver effective vocational learning at scale
  • Projects that look at any and every aspect of vocational learning, including (but not limited to) design and development of learning tools, new delivery models, evaluation and assessment, accreditation and recording evidence of achievement
  • Projects targeted at extending learning provision to sectors, industries and communities of learners that currently lack good access to vocational learning due to factors including market/sectoral structures, cost, time, distance or language

Successful applicants can each expect to receive grant funding, typically of between £15,000 and £50,000 for projects lasting from three to twelve months.

The scheme is suitable for early-stage businesses, smaller digital innovators and other organisations looking to test new digital approaches on a small scale. It is also suitable for digital innovators currently working in other markets who can see opportunities to adapt their approach to vocational learning. It may be particularly useful to edtech businesses looking to expand their products and series to delivery to the VocTech market, and for businesses with expertise in their field, looking to scale-up using digital technologies.

However, it is open to all organisations, including charities, trade bodies, existing learning providers and employers who would like to test new approaches to using digital technology for vocational learning. Applications can be strengthened by demonstrating a collaborative approach, especially where employers and digital learning specialists are working together.

The funder only supports projects that can demonstrate their impact in the UK.

The funding is for the design, development and early stage testing of novel approaches to digital vocational learning; helping to take those ideas through basic prototyping to the next stage of 'seeding the market' by delivering a first proof of concept prototype and planning a route to market.

This could include: 

  • Design, development and prototyping
  • Refining learning design
  • Small scale testing with users
  • Planning a route to market & strategies for scaling
  • Project Management
  • Evidencing impact & what works

 The funding is for project that: 

  • Focus on adult vocational learning in the UK (adults aged 16 years+)
  • Offer new learning tools, not just new learning content
  • Show real innovation and risk to justify Ufi funding
  • Show a clear understanding of the vocational learning market, have evidence of a defined learning need and describe how they expect the tech will improve outcomes for learners, in addition to the technical advances
  • Show real innovation and risk to achieve a step change beyond normal business development to justify Ufi funding
  • Have plans for testing with relevant learners/trainers/employers and for incorporating feedback from testing into product development
  • Show ambition and vision for how the project could get to market and be eventually scaled up to reach a large number of learners, if the proof of concept proves successful

This programme operates on a periodic basis.

Application are currently being accepted with a deadline of 13th July 2022 (5pm.

A series of pre-application online workshops are being held using ZOOM on 5th July and 11th July.



Funding Diary