Community Business Bright Ideas Fund Opens for Final Round

This is the third and final round of the £1.85 million fund which provides business support and grants to not-for-profit organisations that want to set up their own community business in England.

New guidance notes have been published for the final round, and groups should refer to them before they start the application process.

There is one significant change to the eligibility criteria. The community organisation applying must not have been constituted for more than five years at the time of making an application. This is to ensure that only new groups are being considered.

This is also reflected in the level of funding available. Previously grants of up to £20,000 were available for established stage projects, but as this round is focused on new groups, the funding now consists of:

Ideas stage – grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.
Pre-venture stage – grants of between £1,000 and £15,000.
It is anticipated that 15 to 20 projects will be funded. They will join the 70 community businesses that have already received funding over the course of the two-year fund. These include a community transport scheme to link isolated rural villages and give elderly people more independence; an indoor skate park for a forgotten coastal community with few activities for young people and poor health; and a community food club tackling food poverty through pop ups.

The deadline for applications is 1 December 2017.

Further information can be found on the Locality – My Community website.


John Lewis Foundation – helping disadvantaged communities

John Lewis FoundationThe John Lewis Foundation was established in 2007 to benefit communities both within the UK and overseas who produce and source products for John Lewis shops.

The current focus of the Foundation is to invest in disadvantaged communities that support the John Lewis business throughout the world, helping them to acquire the relevant skills required for meaningful employment.

Projects seeking funding should fall into one of the following categories;

  • Education/training
  • Enabling employment
  • Health care/medical facilities
  • Family guidance and support
  • Personal rehabilitation and counselling
  • Affordable accommodation
  • Community/recreation amenities
  • Deprivation
  • Environment/biodiversity

Source: Slough CVS e-bulletin

The Magic Little Grants Fund

1506369301-1520050-159x31x160x31x1x0-localgivinghorizontalwhitesmalLocalgiving has teamed up with Postcode Community Trust to provide a free annual Localgiving membership and a grant of either £250 or £500 to small charities and community groups.

The Magic Little Grants Fund provides local charities and community groups the opportunity to access funding to deliver engaging physical activities, which help to overcome barriers to participation.

To benefit from funding, projects need to meet either of the following themes:

  • Overcoming barriers to participation in physical activities in creative ways
  • Increasing social cohesion through developing access to sports and other recreational activities

Wilko Stores – Helping Hands

communityHelping Hands

Helping our local community is really important to us. That’s why every wilko store has a budget to give a little helping hand to local groups and community projects. You could get wilko gift cards, products or volunteers to help with whatever you’re doing for our community – whether it’s a raffle prize to help with fund raising or tins of paint and extra helpers to do up a community centre – we’d love to help you!

It’s easy to apply, just by 3 steps!

  1. Fill in an application form – this can be found either at your local store or you can download the form below
  2. Hand it in at the help desk at your local wilko store
  3. We’ll be in touch to let you know how your application got on (we review applications at the end of each month. Please give us as much notice as possible prior to your event to avoid disappointment)

Sadly, we can’t help expeditions, political parties, private or fee – paying schools, branches of national charities, profitable organisations or third party private fundraising groups.

However, we CAN help local schools, playgroups and nurseries, parent or family groups, disabled groups, youth clubs, elderly groups, luncheon clubs, community and tenants’ associations plus appeals from the local police, fire service and local councils and many more!

New funding for woodlands – biodiversity in Berkshire & Oxfordshire

box3In 2014, Network Rail Infrastructure Projects committed to a “measurable net positive contribution towards biodiversity in the UK”. The Greater West Programme pledged to be a pilot project to put this principle into practice by compensating for the unavoidable loss of habitats (mainly young semi-natural woodland and some scrub) that has occurred during the electrification programme.

TOE2 is working with Network Rail around the delivery of No Net Loss (NNL) funding in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.  The funding is to be spent on creating or enhancing similar wildlife habitats in the locality, a process known as biodiversity offsetting.  This is a voluntary commitment by Network Rail, not bound to any planning obligations or client requirements.

Trust for Oxfordshire (TOE2) are looking to create new woodland, provide better links between woodlands, and to enhance existing woodland and scrub mosaic, though other habitats could be considered (ancient woodland is not eligible). They believe this is a great opportunity to make a significant difference for wildlife.  They are particularly interested in supporting landscape scale projects and collaborative working where local organisations come together to create larger projects.

Parish councils, local charities and not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and landowners are all eligible to apply. The programme is to be delivered over a four-year period. Stage 1 applications for outline project proposals can be received at any time

If this of interest to you please visit the TOE2 website ( for more details of how we intend to operate the funding programme. If you would like to register your interest in the programme, please contact Lynn Parker on or 01865 407003.