New Big Lottery Digital Fund

The Big Lottery Fund has announced it will open a £15m fund for charities to boost their digital capabilities. The digital fund will operate for two years and will award grants of up to £500,000. The first funding phase will open to applications from 22 October to 3 December and has two funding strands. The first strand is aimed at established charities, with a minimum income of over £500,000 per year, that want to use digital to take a major leap forward. The second strand is aimed at more recently-established organisations that are successfully using digital, but need help scaling this up. The new fund has been developed through a series of one-to-one interviews and workshops in London and Manchester. Details on eligibility and applying can be found on the Big Lottery Fund’s website. Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are delighted to launch our new £15m Digital Fund today. It will help both digital natives and digital pioneers maximise their impact, by putting people at the heart of their digital services.”

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The Balcombe Charitable Trust

October 2017: New call for applications

Sadly, in the current financial environment, the Balcombe Charitable Trust has no choice but to decline
many worthwhile proposals. We must therefore maintain our policy of concentration on a narrow range of work.

We are continuing to look at funding innovative projects working with homeless and/or unemployed or
not in education young people (NEETS) in the UK. We are particularly interested in projects working with
young women.

To this end we are running a trial scheme where we invite competitive proposalstwice per year.

We now wish to award a small number of grants of £5,000 to £25,000.

If your organisation works in this area and has an annual income of between £500,000 and £3,000,000,
you are invited to apply with a short proposal (maximum 1,000 words) plus budget and latest annual report
and financial statements.

Your proposal should be very clear about what you hope to achieve or learn from the project, and how you intend
to evaluate its success.

Your application should be sent by email only to and must be received by midnight
on Sunday 26th November 2017.

Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 12th February 2018.

Please note that for the current funding period we can only accept applications:
* from registered charities
* working in the UK with young people who are homeless or not in education or employment

We are open to proposals for joint funding, but will require full disclosure of other funding organisation/s

We are also willing to consider grants for two- or three-year projects, with the understanding that this will
always be dependent on progress and reporting.

The Trustees
The Balcombe Charitable Trust
Charity registration number: 267172
Contact information:

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Phase Two of the Community Housing fund is now open

The fund aims to give local people a leading and lasting role in delivering local affordable housing.
Jackie Jacob, General Manager for Housing Programmes, at Homes England said: “Community-led housing is about giving local people the lead to solve local housing problems and provide affordable homes in their communities.
“At Homes England, we’re committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing where it’s most needed. It’s great to make funding available for community groups across England to transform how the homes are delivered locally.” Bidding is open to a range of organisations. Both Local authorities and Registered Providers may apply on behalf of community groups to support them through this process.
Bidding for both phases is now open on a Continuous Market Engagement basis via the Homes England Portal. This will remain open to new applications until funding is fully committed or until 31 December 2019, whichever occurs first.
Further details are available in the Prospectus and the Addendum to the Prospectus for Phase Two published on (

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Women’s Mental Health Peer Support Programme

Women’s Mental Health Peer Support Programme Launched (England and Wales)
Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, and Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, have launched a £1.3m programme to support women’s mental health peer support projects. Grants are available to fund a broad range of voluntary, predominantly women’s sector, organisations. All applicants will need to demonstrate a track record of delivering services and programmes developed specifically for women facing complex social issues.
Covering England and Wales, the programme aims to fund between 80 and 90 awards through the following strands:
Women’s Peer Support Hubs: Five capacity building ‘Hub’ grants of up to £50,000 will be available to women’s organisations with specialist expertise of women with, or at risk of developing, mental health problems and experiencing multiple disadvantage.
Peer Support delivery: Around 30 grants of up to £25,000, and around 50 grants of up to £10,000 will be available to facilitate peer support initiatives for women who are experiencing, or at risk of developing, mental health problems and experiencing disadvantage, particularly multiple disadvantage.
England or Wales based Registered Charities, Community Interest Companies (CICs), Charitable Incorporate Organisations (CIOs), or Companies Limited by Guarantee are eligible to apply for grants that represent no more than 25% of the organisation’s annual turnover.
Partnership applications where the lead Partner is one of the above organisations are welcomed.
The closing date for applications is the 15th October 2018.
Useful Links:
Application Guidelines

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Access launches new £40 million development fund for charities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is calling on charities to be involved in a £1m funding scheme to help improve the digital skills of under-represented groups in the technology sector, including women and disabled people.
The Digital Skills Innovation Fund has been created by the DCMS to support those on low incomes and from minority backgrounds, as well as the disabled and women, to gain the technology skills they need for digital roles.
According to the government just 17% of the tech workforce are women and unemployed adults are 5% more likely to lack basic digital skills compared to the national average.
Minister for Digital Margot James said it is vital that charities are involved in initiatives the Fund will back.
“It is crucial everyone is able to take advantage of digital technology, whether it is to learn how to use the internet or develop the skills to work in a tech role,” said James.
“If we want to maintain our position as a world-leading digital economy we need to work with industry, local authorities and the voluntary sector to develop solutions so no-one is left behind.”
Local Enterprise Partnerships, which involve councils and businesses and include charity representatives in many areas, are being invited to bid. Combined Authorities, which involve partnerships of councils, are also invited to bid.
The fund opens for applications on the 27th August and bids need to be received by 28th October. Grants of between £200,000 and £500,000 will be available.

More funding for everyday skills

In addition, the government is to launch a £400,000 Digital Inclusion Fund in September to fund schemes that help older and disabled people acquire digital skills for their everyday life. This includes making the most of search engines, using apps to stay in contact with friends and families and booking GP appointments online.
This is being managed by digital inclusion charity Citizens Online and will fund pilot projects that will get underway in January 2020.
“We know it’s becoming increasingly important that everybody in our society has the skills and confidence to be online; yet disabled people are four times more likely to lack essential digital skills then the general population and 28% of those over 60 are offline,” said Citizens Online Chief Executive John Fisher.

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Homeless Link is a partner in new Enterprise Development Programme.

Are you a charity or social enterprise working in the homelessness or supported housing sector looking to become more business-like or enterprising?
Do have an idea but don’t know how to move forward?
Do you have an enterprising idea but no funding?
If you can answer “YES” to any of these questions, Homeless Link may be able to support you through the new Enterprise Development Programme.

The Enterprise Development Programme, launched on 5th September 2018, is a five year, £40m programme funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and managed by a coalition of partners, of which Homeless Link is one. The programme will support organisations that are thinking of exploring new enterprise models and require financial or business support to make the transition, with the ultimate aim of taking on social investment in the future.

Homeless Link is excited to be the partner for the homelessness and supported housing sector, working with Access on grant and learning pilots beginning September 2018. The support on offer comprises:

Grant Programme – two different types of grant will be available:

Feasibility Grants of between £5,000 to £10,000 to enable organisations to develop an enterprise idea from a very early stage
Development Grants of up to £50,000 for enterprise propositions which require further development or scaling and where there eventually may be potential requirement for investment.
See more details here.

Learning Programme – an Enterprise Learning programme which will be delivered by the Social of Social Entrepreneurs. This involves:

a Leadership Programme: 8+ days of learning for CEOs and directors
Peer Learning and expert support
a match trading grant of up to £10,000
The learning programme is fully funded by Access (including expenses). Places are limited to 20, so please apply as soon as possible as the closing date is the 31st October 2018.
This learning programme will be focused on enterprise. Homeless Link is also launching a leadership programme soon, which will be offering a range of leadership and development support for CEOs and senior leaders in the sector.

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