May Funding Opportunities – funding streams available for community groups in Berkshire

Persimmon Community Champions Fund
Each of our 31 businesses and our PLC head office are giving away up to £2,000 every month, that’s a whopping £64,000 a month available
to fund local community initiatives. We have supported thousands of community groups and charities over the years and need your help to ensure thousands more local good causes can benefit. Applying for a donation is really simple. All you need to do is tell us why your group or charity deserves our donation. Included in your application we need to know how much you want us to donate. Remember to include name and location of the initiative so that we can ensure the right business receives your request. Click here to find out more.

People’s Postcode Lottery Society Trust Funds
The aim of the Trust is to support small charities and good causes in the South of England to make a difference to their community for the benefit of people and planet. Charities can apply for up to £20,000. Other constituted community and voluntary organisations can apply for £500 to £2000. Funds are available for various causes such as:

Improving mental wellbeing
Enabling community participation in the arts
Reducing the impact of poverty
Supporting marginalised groups & promoting equality
Improving biodiversity & green spaces
Enabling participation in physical activity
Responding to climate change & promoting sustainability
Increasing community access to outdoor space.
Funding rounds open on the first day of each month. See the guide and apply.

Grants for Charities Tackling a Range of Social Issues
The Dulverton Trust is an independent grant-making charity. We support UK charities and CIOs (charitable incorporated organisations) tackling a range of social issues, protecting the natural world, and preserving heritage crafts. We look to support charities and CIOs working within our funding categories, and prioritise those that are medium-sized (with income between £200,000 and £3 million), have a national footprint and do not receive
a significant proportion of income from government or local authority contracts. We offer both project and core funding. Our grants are typically between £25,000 to £35,000. Click here for further info.

Englefield Charitable Trust
You do not need to apply on a special form but it would help us very much if you can answer the following questions as succinctly as possible in your application email. We receive hundreds of applications a year. We look at each one on its merit but we cannot wade through long and complicated applications, glossy brochures or sets of accounts. A summary is respectfully requested. You will also appreciate that it is not possible for us to acknowledge receipt of every application or to notify unsuccessful applicants. The criteria are broad and include education, sport, community, social welfare and medical support, churches and faith groups, agriculture and conservation, heritage and the arts and the armed forces. Capital grants are preferred but revenue grants will be considered. Grants are generally between £500 and £5,000 and commitments are generally on a one-off basis rather than spread over a number of years. Click here for further details.

Versus Arthritis – Together Fund

Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 are available to support people with long term health conditions (particularly musculoskeletal conditions) to get active.

The funding is to increase the availability of exercise opportunities for people with long term health conditions in local communities, to help aid recovery from the negative impact of COVID-19 and reduce the widening of inequalities in sport and physical activity.

Applications are particularly welcome from groups who also support people from culturally diverse communities, disabled people, and people from lower socio-economic groups. 

Read more

Parkinson’s UK Physical Activity Grants

Grants of up to £2,500 are available to support physical activity projects for people with Parkinson’s.
Physical activity helps people live well with Parkinson’s. It’s important to be active in ways that are fun and enjoyable. Being active can be anything that gets people moving: being in a walking group, joining a Parkinson’s boxing class, or playing Boccia with friends.

The deadline is Friday 10th June 2022.

Read more

Magic Little Grants – deadline 31 October 2022

Localgiving is the UK’s leading independent non-profit online fundraising platform for charities and community groups. They are incredibly excited to announce that Magic Little Grants 2022 is going to be even bigger and better than ever before.

This fund gives local charities and community groups the chance to apply for grants to deliver projects across Great Britain that encourage people to be physically active. For further details please click here.

NFU Mutual Charitable Trust
Grants are available to large charitable groups and organisations in the UK for projects that further the objectives of the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, particularly those that educate young people in rural areas and the relief of poverty in rural areas.
Application deadline: 27 May 2022. Further information here.

The BlueSpark Foundation
Grants to schools, community groups, clubs, societies and not-for-project organisations which support the education and development of children and young people. The majority of grants awarded will be up to £2,000 but a handful of grants up to £5,000 may be considered. For further information please click here.

Ibrahim Foundation

The professional staff works closely with the grants committee, which is comprised of both board members and non-board members representing a broad spectrum. Grants are awarded twice a year for works that help transform the UK. The grants range from £500 – £10,000. Extraordinary projects may receive grants up to £50,000.
Applications are not accepted from the same organization in successive grant cycles.
We do not have areas of focus in grant making. We believe those on the front lines in the community best understand the particular needs and where grants will bear the greatest fruits. We look for situations where small amounts of funds will make significant impact. However, we are particularly interested in the following areas.

  • Community Building grants focus on strengthening communities by engaging residents and stakeholders in a process that builds leadership and capacity from within, while respecting and valuing the rich diversity represented in our geographic region. We support efforts to build social capital; a resource defined as the web of relationships and civic participation that improves our ability to address the challenges and opportunities we face as a community. We also recognize that building a community’s capacity and leadership is a critical precursor to community involvement for those, who, because of language, culture or educational levels ­ have been excluded from participation.
  • When healthy organizations have the support they need, new ideas and imaginative community solutions flourish. The foundation makes selected grants to strengthen nonprofits and promote a vibrant non-profit community. Grants in this area support the mission and infrastructure of the non-profit sector as a whole. We make selected grants to management support organizations that provide services to other nonprofits and build capacity within the field as a whole. Our goal is to help exemplary organizations continue to thrive within a healthy and stimulating non-profit sector.
  • Strong families are the cornerstones of a strong community. The foundation is committed to helping families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency and the skills they need to prosper. Our funding is aimed at strengthening the human services safety net for low-income families and helping families of all kinds exercise their rights, fulfil their responsibilities and realize their full economic and social potential. We support non-profit organizations that help low-income and disadvantaged children and adults meet basic needs for food, clothing and emergency and permanent housing. The foundation also targets organizations addressing family violence, promoting expanded opportunities for persons with disabilities, and serving adults seeking to improve their economic prospects through literacy and employment development.

Ibrahim Foundation – Grant Making Programmes

Deadline: Rolling

Newly Opened: Nationwide Building Society – Community Grant Scheme

UK registered charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives can apply for grants of between £25,000 and £50,000 to support their work in tackling housing issues affecting vulnerable people.
The grants are being made available across 11 UK regions through the £4 million Nationwide Building Society Community Grant Scheme. The program will fund between 50% to 100% of the total cost of projects lasting up to two years to help prevent people from losing their home, help people into a home or support people to thrive within the home environment.
Improving communities is at the heart of everything we do. It’s why we created the Community Boards. To bring our members and colleagues together to find local solutions to the housing crisis and give hope for the future.
If you’re a local organisation with a great housing solution, you can apply for a Community Grant of up to £50,000. Your project will need to support one of our three aims: helping people into a home, preventing them from losing their home or supporting them to thrive at home. We’ll look at all applications and give a shortlist to our Community Board members, who’ll discuss and vote on which projects receive funding in their local area.
Nationwide Grants (

Deadline: The closing date for applications is the 27th May 2022.

Newly Opened: Sported – Barlcays Community Football Fund

Sported have partnered with Barclays to launch the new Barclays Community Football Fund, offering small grants, training, kit and exclusive ticketing offers to make football more accessible in communities across the UK.
Barclays believe in creating opportunities for all through access to football. Through the Barclays Community Football Fund, we want to grow participation in football t every level.
Grants of £500 are available for groups wishing to start offering football, those keen to expand their existing provision to new audiences or those already delivering football to under-represented young people. Alongside the grants, the programme will be offering training and support resources to groups to help reduce inequalities in the participation of football.
The programme will focus on including girls and young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: including racially diverse communities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community.
Barclays Community Football Fund | Sported

Deadline: Rolling

With thanks to Berkshire’s wonderful CVS’s for the information contained in this article; Volunteer Centre West Berkshire, Slough CVS, Wokingham & Bracknell InVOLve and Reading Voluntary Action.

Coop Local Community Fund Applications Open

From the 3 – 29 May, groups in our community will be able to apply for funding from the Local Community Fund. Local groups can find out more and apply at

Projects we will support
In line with our Community Plan, which helps us deliver our vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’, we will support projects that:
• Bring people together to access food
• Help improve people’s mental wellbeing
• Create opportunities for young people to be heard and make a difference
• Help people protect local biodiversity or tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions
Seeking applications from diverse groups
As you’ll be aware, we’re really keen to make our fund as inclusive as possible and look for causes that represent the diversity of our members and communities.
We know that ethnic minority communities, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities can face greater challenges and inequalities than others – so we’d like to support more causes that help tackle these inequalities.

Of course, all projects must align with our missions in the bullet points above, but we’d love to support more diverse groups that help bring our vision to life and make things fairer for our members and communities.

Check out our new ‘How to’ guide
To help people understand more about the Local Community Fund before they apply, we’ve created this helpful guide. Check out our ‘How to discover more about the Local Community Fund’ page on Co-operate, which explains how our fund is different and the range of benefits it provides.

Fantastic opportunity for people living in Hungerford (or surrounding areas) to access help with rising energy costs while reducing climate-damaging emissions.

Although this opportunity is at a very local level for those living in Hungerford (or surrounding areas) we had to share this fantastic opportunity from Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT).

HEAT is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a Lottery Community Fund “Together for our Planet” grant. The money will be used to help the community address the challenge of steeply rising home energy costs while reducing climate-damaging emissions. 
The grant gives us a fantastic opportunity to assist households in Hungerford and the surrounding areas to work out their own tailored home-energy plans. The plans will have the dual goals of heating and running a home with lowered energy consumption and costs and, at the same time, making your home much more environmentally-friendly.
HEAT hopes that during 2022 many residents will become involved in and start feeling the benefits. We will be holding events over the coming months in the lead-up to an all-day exhibition taking place in Hungerford Town Hall on Saturday 24th September.
25 May – Insulation and draught proofing
9 June – Heating control and smart meters
23 June – Solar PV (photo voltaic) energy and batteries
All being held in the Hungerford Hub (library) at 7pm.
You can help us now with this initiative in the following ways:- 
–       If have already had success with your own household energy reduction and climate-friendly actions, HEAT would love to hear from you. We are looking for case studies to feature as part of the programme which illustrate the practical actions people have already taken whether its increased insulation, better heating controls or renewable energy heating. You will also be entered into our Hungerford Energy Hero Awards with the winners announced at the September event. 
 – If you work in or know about companies and organisations with relevant experience or knowledge which you can recommend, or who might be keen to participate in this initiative please let us know.
 – What are the main concerns and questions you or people you know are facing with their household energy use and costs? We are keen to focus HEAT’s events on the most important topics. 
 – Are you able to help? This is an ambitious project for HEAT and we would really welcome your support, in any capacity. Whether you have relevant skills and knowledge or if you can lend a hand organising and/or promoting the events, we would love to hear from you. 
Please email us about any of the above and/or if you are interested in starting on your own Home Energy Roadmap: 

Adult Education Courses for those in Wokingham Borough

Wokingham Borough Connect

We have a variety of adult education courses on offer this term! There’s a mixture of online or in person courses, all are interactive and tutor led. Some courses are free and those courses that have a cost are free for anyone who is in receipt of Universal Credit (work related), Employment Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or are on low income and in receipt of Income support.

Please contact us with any queries as to eligibility.  

Skills for work and life Apply for any of these skills for work and life courses here or contact us via email or call 07785 314603.  
Digital Skills for Beginners 26 April to 23 May, Tuesdays 2pm to 4pm, Wokingham Library Learn to make better use of your PC, laptop, iPad, tablet or smartphone. Gain confidence in using email, internet searching, online safety, online shopping or video calling. These sessions are suitable for absolute beginners and are free.  Apply here.  
Building your confidence to get back into work or volunteering 3 May to 24 May, Tuesdays 1pm to 2.30pm, Online via Zoom Getting into work or volunteering after a break for any reason or for the first time in a new country can be daunting. This course will help you to identify all the strengths and qualities you have that employers want and look at ways to expand your experience through volunteering or further learning whilst building your confidence to take the next steps. Apply here. This is a free course.  
Excel for work 5 May to 26 May, Thursdays 10am to 12pm, Online via Zoom Learn and practice spreadsheet skills in Microsoft Excel. Improve your skills for the workplace in these interactive sessions. Learn how to create formulas and techniques for summarising and sorting data. Apply here. Course cost £30.  
Introduction to being a Teaching Assistant and Working in Schools 4 May to 15 June, Wednesdays 10am to 12pm, School Green Centre, Shinfield Find out more about different roles available in schools and gain an understanding of how to apply for roles. Explore your own strengths and weaknesses in your transferable skills and build your confidence to apply for roles in schools. Apply here. Course cost £45.  
IT Skills for Work 6 June to 27 June, Mondays 10am to 12pm, Wokingham Library Refresh or learn new IT skills, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint to help you at work or on your job seeking journey. Learners will practice file management and by the end of the course you will be able to use simple documents, email attachments and feel more confident with your IT skills. Apply here. Course cost £30.  
English for Speakers of Other Languages Online on Zoom or classroom based Improve your English in a small, supportive group. Build your confidence in speaking, writing, reading and listening and explore helpful topics such as health, work and education. We have a number of classes running, and assess new learner’s levels to place them in an appropriate class – with a choice or online or classroom learning. Apply here for an assessment.  Course cost £45.   Skills for life courses are free for those in receipt of Universal Credit (work related), Employment Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or are on low income  – please contact us with any queries.   Apply for any of these skills for work and life courses here or contact us via email or call 07785 314603.  

Courses for parents or carers   Understanding Primary Education in England 25 April to 23 May, Mondays 10am to 12pm, Wokingham Library 3 May to 24 May, Tuesdays 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Loddon School 4 May to 25 May, Wednesdays 12.45pm to 2.45pm, Highwood School These courses are aimed at parents who would like to gain a greater understanding of the different stages of primary education, and how they can support their child to flourish. Parents will gain an understanding of the curriculum and assessments as well as how support systems work in schools. The course is suitable for parents new to education in England and will also look at events schools celebrate as well as trips and residentials. Apply here. Cost £30.     
Helping your child with English 7 June to 12 July, Tuesdays 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Loddon School 8 June to 13 July, Wednesdays 12.45pm to 2.45pm, Highwood School Helping your child with English courses are ideal for helping you gain an understanding of how your child will learn at primary school and how you can encourage and support learning at home through simple activities. Apply here. Cost £45.  
Family Matters Course 9 May to 13 June, Mondays 10am to 12 pm, Bradbury Centre, Wokingham Aimed at parents and carers of children with autism or associated conditions (including dyslexia, dyspraxia, OCD, anxiety, PDA, ADHD). The course will help with skills around with relationships, financial understanding & to improve mental wellbeing. To book a place on this free course contact ASD Family Help or text/phone: 07733 601755  

Support for community groups Connecting Communities in Berkshire offers a wide range of training courses for adults, designed to support community groups and the voluntary sector places can be booked via CCB.
Low carbon village halls and community buildings 11 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm, online Is your community hall looking to migrate to renewable power and renewable energy systems? The Berkshire Project Officer from the Low Carbon Workplaces grant scheme will help you look at the options available as no two halls are the same. The sessions will also cover energy saving options and smart energy management. Course cost £12.  

Wellbeing in Mind courses Run by Activate Learning for Wokingham Adult Education, Wellbeing in Mind courses are designed for people aged 19+ with issues such as stress, low mood, and mild to moderate mental health issues. Places can be booked on these courses by emailing Wellbeing in Mind. or call 01344 766654.    
Six Steps To Better Mental Health 25 April to 6 June, Mondays 12pm to 2pm, Woodley Hill House In times of profound stress and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to protect our mental wellbeing. The course starts with some gentle inward focus and over the 6 weeks gradually works toward how we interact with the world and others. Sessions cover topics such as compassion & acceptance, self-care & low mood and mindfulness. Free course.  
Mindfulness Seasonal Nature Walk 23 May, Monday 10.30am to 12pm, Woodley Hill House 18 July, Monday 10.30am to 12pm, Woodley Hill House Do you feel lost and disconnected from the world around you? Scientific trials have shown that spending quality time in nature brings great benefits to our health and wellbeing. This includes quietening our busy minds, improving sleep, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system. Take some time out to slow down and relax, on an immersive, sensory walk in woodlands and green spaces around Woodley Hill House. These are free courses.  
Yoga For Wellbeing 6 June to 11 July, Mondays 7pm to 9pm, Woodley Hill House Yoga is a practice of postures and sequences, breathing techniques, concentration and relaxation. It allows you to develop strength and flexibility, self-awareness and balance of body and mind. This is a free course.   
Relax with Ceramics 10 June to 1 July, Fridays 10am to 12pm, Woodley Hill House   Learn a variety of basic pottery and wellbeing techniques exploring themes of strength and fragility. Inspirations come from botanical structures, movement in rural spaces, daylight and a response to Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a free course.  

Employment Outreach Support  Wokingham Borough Council is making the employment support it offers to residents more accessible through a dedicated phone and email line, and by having an outreach team in place that is visible in local communities. Anyone who needs some help with their career can now contact the council’s employment outreach team by phoning 0118 977 8650, Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm. Alternatively you can email them on  The team will either direct callers to a local service or invite them to either a face-to-face, or online/phone appointment to discuss their situation further and ensure they receive the right advice and support.  For further information on support in the borough please visit the Local Support Hub on the council’s website:  

Eligibility You need to: Live or work within the Wokingham Borough, or have a child attending a Wokingham school, AND be over 19 years old (as of 31st August 2021) AND have ordinarily been resident in the UK or EEA for at least 3 years. If you are an EEA National, you need to have obtained either pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme are immediately eligible for courses and are exempt from the 3-year residency requirement. Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa holders in the UK, are eligible to attend all courses except ESOL courses until 30/06/22. There are a number of other exemptions including those for some asylum seekers or refugees. Please contact us on or 0778 5314 603 if you wish to discuss any exemptions further.

Top tips on cutting your energy costs – small savings do add up!

Top tips on cutting your energy costs – small savings add up

Turn your thermostat down.

This is one of the easiest things to do. For each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by 4%-ish, or about £65 a year on average for a typical home. So consider popping on a jumper at home and seeing what temperature your household is comfortable at.

Use LED light bulbs, and turn lights off when you leave a room

LED uses about half the energy of the bigger fluorescent spiral ‘energy-saving bulbs’.

Some worry that constantly turning lights on and off wastes energy but, according to the Energy Saving Trust, you’re better turning lights off when you leave the room, no matter how long for. It reckons you could save £14 a year doing this.

Deal with draughts

Walk around your home spotting window and door draughts. Decent draught-proofing can cut 2% off energy bills, so about £30 a year on average for a typical home. This applies to chimneys too, where you can get a 1.5%-ish further reduction.

Don’t leave your devices on standby

Switching off your devices is better than leaving them on standby, of course, as otherwise, you’re using energy for something you’re not making use of. The Energy Saving Trust has stated you could save as much as £40 a year doing this.

Wash more clothes less, and try not to use the tumble drier

Full loads are much more cost-effective than half loads or washing a few items. The savings aren’t huge, around £10 a year for modern machines, but can be much more with old ones. You could also try doing your washing in a cooler setting – if you reduce your washing temperatures from 40 to 30 degrees, you could cut £12 off your bills a year.

Only boil the water you need in the kettle

The more water you boil, the more energy you use. Be conscious about this when filling the kettle, so you don’t overfill. Simple, but effective, with a saving of £8 a year possible.

Community-led Housing Training offered by CCB

CCB will be partnering with the Collaborative Housing Hub to deliver a training event for communities interested in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable homes in Berkshire. This event, taking place in June, will enable communities to explore the many options they have to take control of the whole process, from understanding local need to owning and managing their own homes.

The term community-led housing means homes built by a community with their own needs at heart. It means the community play a leading role in deciding where homes are built, who they are built for and how they will be managed. Community-led housing is genuinely affordable, meets the need of people with a demonstrable connection to the community and will remain in community ownership in perpetuity, meaning it can’t be sold on for a profit.
The West Berkshire Vision 2036 includes ambitions for “a housing mix with something for everyone”. It recognises that the population is ageing rapidly, that local children are being priced out of the areas where they grow up and recognises a need for more affordable housing. Community-led solutions will be critical to addressing these issues and achieving the ambitions in the Vision.

CCB’s Rural Housing Enabler project led to three community-led housing schemes being built in West Berkshire: Chaddleworth, Hungerford and Woolhampton. In these examples, homes were built for local people and will only ever be available to people with a local connection. These rural exception site developments were made possible by the community demonstrating a need for homes for local people, and finding a plot of land which wouldn’t normally be available for housing, meaning that it could be purchased at a very low price. The homes are managed by Registered Providers and are let at affordable rates.

Community-led housing is more than just rural exception site developments. Community Land Trusts, cooperative housing, co-housing, community self-build and tenancy self-management are typical examples of community-led housing. All these models will be explored at this training event, helping attendees to develop a broader awareness of the options they have to increase the availability of genuinely affordable homes for people in Berkshire.
For more information, please contact Tim Parry at