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 Gov.uk (

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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
FAQs
https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/influence-and-participation-toolkit/women-s-mental-health-peer-support-programme/

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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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