VCS Warm Spaces and Food Grant Fund

The VCS Warm Spaces and Food Grant Fund is intended to support voluntary and community sector organisations in their work to help residents through the cost of living crisis.

It aims to boost the current offer of warm spaces where residents can keep warm and access other services and increasing opportunities for local communities to develop initiatives that link social activities to food with a particular focus on older, vulnerable adults who are at risk of isolation. In this context, ‘food’ means a healthy, nutritious, substantive meal e.g. breakfast, lunch or dinner.

If you are an individual seeking support, there is information on where to find help locally on the Wandsworth Cost of Living Hub.

Timescales

Due to the short timescales involved in funding and delivering provision, the funding is focused on projects that may be existing, to enable them to expand the current service offer or geographic reach. Other new projects will also be welcomed.

Services will need to mobilise quickly and have a clear exit strategy.

Applications can be received at any time from now, with the deadline being 5pm on Monday 5 December 2022.  We will aim to assess all applications within two weeks of them being received, subject to demand.

Who can apply

We will only fund Small Constituted community organisations, Registered charities, CIOs, CICs or exempt charities. 

  • Smaller constituted community organisations (e.g. resident associations) must have clearly defined aims and objectives and be able to demonstrate that the funding will be paid into a bank account in the group’s name.
  • Organisations will need to demonstrate that they have at least three unrelated Management Committee Members/Directors or Trustees.

Individuals and private companies limited by shares are not eligible to apply.

Priorities

Your project needs to relate to the priority area, and you need to tell us how your particular project will help us achieve this priority. 

Projects will need to demonstrate that they meet an immediate, targeted need and that they have considered an appropriate exit strategy for when this funding ends.

Priority 1 - Warm spaces

To provide access to a network of safe, welcoming community spaces where residents can keep warm and access other services.

This could include groups running activities including existing provision where the applicants can demonstrate they are struggling to fund the costs of these services. However, the applicant will also need to demonstrate how they are supporting a broad cohort of people in need of this type of provision and how they have adapted their services accordingly. 

We are developing a directory of Warm Spaces, and successful applicants would be expected to form part of this offer. 

Priority 2 - Social opportunities including food for older people

To increase opportunities for local communities to develop initiatives that link social activities to food. In this context ‘food’ means a healthy, nutritious, substantive meal e.g., breakfast, lunch or dinner. This priority is part of a wider initiative to mitigate the impact of social isolation and the cost of living amongst vulnerable older people by increasing opportunities for residents to socialise in environments that also offer low-cost and nutritious food.

Applicants are encouraged to consider periods when other services may not be available e.g. evenings, weekends, and holiday periods.

This grant can be used to fund new projects and is intended also to fund additional capacity of existing services/projects enabling organisations to meet additional demand driven by the cost of living experienced by residents and their users. Organisations will need to provide evidence of the existing service or project they seek to add further capacity to and evidence how they know that there is a demand/need in their community for these additional or new services.

Grant amounts

You can apply for a grant of between £2,500 and £15,000. 

Grant funding needs to be spent within 12 months of the grant award, as a maximum. It is expected that funded activity will be able to begin within one (1) month following Grant Agreements being accepted.

Depending on the amount of grant requested and the size of your organisation, we may ask you for more information to support your application.

Applications would be considered towards a range of different cost items that can be clearly linked to the grant priorities.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Venue hire and associated costs
  • Transport for vulnerable groups to/from warm spaces or in relation to food provision
  • Food and refreshment costs or food storage
  • Costs to support delivery of social opportunities linked to substantive meal provision
  • Activity costs linked to the delivery of the service
  • Energy costs linked to the delivery of the service
  • Staff costs linked to the delivery of the service
  • Capital costs and equipment

Note: You must apply to register your charity with the Charity Commission if either: your organisations total annual income will be at least £5,000 per year, or it is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). View further information about charity structures on GOV.UK.

How to apply

Download the guidance notes and read them before applying. They offer a guide to answering the questions in the application form and an outline of how to meet the criteria. The notes also provide information about where to find information about current needs and services within the borough.

Return the completed form to applywgf@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Meet the funder event

Join the Grants team to hear about the fund and ask questions on Wednesday 16 November from 2 to 3pm.

Register your attendance for this free event.

Deadline

Applications can be received on at any time, with the aim to provide a decision within approximately two weeks of receipt. The final deadline is 5pm on Monday 5 December 2022.

Please ensure all applications are legible, completed and are sent with all the required supporting documents.

Contact

If you would like further information and guidance, please contact Bruce Murdoch, Senior Grant Development Officer on 020 8871 6203 or bruce.murdoch@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk.