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A - Z Guidance

Essential For All Applicants

BBC Children in Need requires all organisations to meet our minimum standards for grantmaking. We expect all grant applications to reflect these core principles (click each subject below to open a detailed answer):

We fund projects focused on differences made to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people. You must provide clear evidence that disadvantaged children and young people:

  • Will be the primary beneficiaries of the project.
  • Will experience positive changes in their lives from the activities or services provided.

We expect projects to focus on addressing issues of disadvantage affecting children and young people. We define disadvantage as:

  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect.
  • Any kind of disability.
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties.
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation.

When making an application, you need to:

  • Show that a clear majority of children to benefit from a grant are experiencing disadvantage.
  • Tell us about the children and young people your project is working with.
  • Describe how the disadvantages they experience affect their lives.
  • Describe how you reach the disadvantaged children and young people who can benefit most from the project.
  • Tell us how you will target the hardest to reach children and young people.

You must provide evidence that you will protect children and young people when they are in your care and support them to develop. You will need to show the following points within the application and during your assessment:

  • Your organisation has its own Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy and procedures. Your policy should be in your organisation’s name. Everyone, including the children and young people, should know about your policy and procedures, and use them in their day to day work. You should have a named person responsible for safeguarding within your organisation.
  • All staff, volunteers and management committee, working directly with children and young people, have appropriate and regular disclosure checks.
  • All staff, volunteers and management committee members receive safeguarding children training. It should be relevant to their role, cover your organisation’s policy and updated on a regular basis.
  • You take appropriate steps to make sure the children and young people in your care are safe. This could be by doing risk assessments or making sure that supervisors hold relevant qualifications. Your Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy has clear steps to take in the event of an incident or disclosure. This should include who to inform and how to contact them.

These measures help to make sure that the child or young person in your care has a good experience when taking part in your project.

If you reach the assessment stage, we will explore your approach to safeguarding further.

Children and young people are at the centre of our work. All children have the right to protection from harm. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people we work with. We commit to practice which protects them.

We are not and cannot be an expert in safeguarding. We work alongside the NSPCC and other leading organisations to promote best practice in safeguarding children and young people.

The NSPCC website has resources on safeguarding children and young people in the voluntary and community sector. Pay particular attention to their:

We also recommend that you look at Everyone’s Business: Safeguarding for Trustees from Children England.

Additional safeguarding advice and resource can also be found on NCVO and the Charity Commission’s websites.

When making an application, you need to show:

  • How you have taken children and young people’s views into account about the work you plan to do and the differences in their lives you hope it will lead to.
  • How consultation and involvement will occur on an ongoing basis throughout the life of the project.
  • How children and young people who are involved in running or managing aspects of the project will be supported where appropriate.

We know that there may be reasons why some projects may only offer limited consultation. You will need to be able to explain why this is the case.

We do not provide funding for projects that duplicate or substitute activities that are the responsibility of the state. We can consider applications for additional services that are beyond the state’s responsibility. If this is the case we expect you to show clear evidence of how this is an additional service.

A to Z Policies and Guidance

The following is an A to Z of policy and guidance information for applicants.

We want to make sure that you don’t waste time applying for things we don’t fund. You will find valuable details on our expectations here. Some are relevant to every project, for example safeguarding. Some are important for certain types of requests, for example, counselling or equipment.

We do not consider applications for general awareness-raising or educational work about issues. This refers to projects aimed at a general population of children or young people. Before we can consider awareness-raising projects, you need to show that it is:

  • Specifically targeted at children and young people who are already disadvantaged by the issue.
  • Or are at particular risk of being disadvantaged by it.

Examples might include awareness-raising focused on issues such as sexual abuse, domestic violence and alcohol or drug use, etc.

We do not consider any applications for capital or building work. This includes construction, renovation or conversion of new buildings, existing premises, playgrounds, sports pitches etc.

We will accept applications for moveable equipment, however, in our main grants programme there is a maximum limit of £20,000.

We do not consider applications to provide bursaries or to sponsor or subsidise places for disadvantaged children or young people where the normal fee charged by the organisation is unaffordable for them. Examples might include requests from fee-charging organisations that provide drama classes, playgroups or sports coaching where the request is to subsidise places for one or more disadvantaged children because the fee is too expensive for them.

We will consider applications from projects where the majority of children are disadvantaged, and any fees charged are not a barrier to those it aims to support.

See also ‘Fees’.

Charitable Incorporated Organisations are eligible to apply and should be registered with the Charity Commission or OSCR in Scotland in the same way as charities. The documentation you need to provide in each nation is the same as is required for charities.

In England and Wales, voluntary and community organisations with income over £5,000 in the preceding year must be registered with the Charity Commission.

Small Grants:

If you have an income over £5,000 and you are not registered, we may add a condition to your grant that you should demonstrate that you are registering your legal identity as a charity or as a company limited by guarantee within an agreed timescale.

In Northern Ireland, a charitable organisation must register with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland when they are called forward by the Commission.

For more information refer to the Charity Commission, the Office for Scottish Charity Regulator or The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

Main Grants:

You must have registered with the appropriate regulatory body to apply for our Main Grants Programme.

We consider projects with a child care element, including crèches, only when the focus is on providing a quality developmental experience for the children themselves. We do not consider applications for child care where this is to facilitate training or employment for a parent.

Small Grants Programme:

In our Small Grant Programme we do not fund projects that are directly working to support children affected by Child Sexual Exploitation. We will fund this type of work through our Main Grants Programme.

Main Grants Programme:

Our Main Grant Programme is better suited to this type of work. The approach to our Main Grants allows us to build deeper relationships with organisations who work with this cohort of vulnerable service users.

If you deliver a CSE related project and are currently funded through our Small Grants programme please contact your grant manager. They will give you guidance on reapplication. There are no eligibility changes to CSE projects currently funded within our Main Grants Programme.

Before we did not ask Churches to submit their annual accounts to us during the application process. From now on we will ask you to submit these. Wherever possible we need to see the accounts that will hold the funding you are applying for.

As part of an assessment, we may ask you to evidence:

  • How project decisions are/will be made (we expect this to involve more than one person).
  • Your legal status.
  • How financial decisions are made (we expect this to involve more than one person).

We will consider applications from properly constituted and registered CICs which:

  • Have three or more unrelated directors.
  • Have an ‘asset lock clause’. This means that funds or assets are transferred to another named asset lock body (e.g. another charity or CIC). Your Articles of Association must specify the name of the other organisation.
  • Are CLGs (Companies Limited by Guarantee, as opposed to Companies Limited by Shares)

Community Interest Companies must be set up and registered as a CIC with Companies House. You should be able to provide a registration number. You must make the case that the work is focused on the needs and aspirations of children and young people. This must be over and above the business needs of your company. As part of this, applications should show how the project responds to a clearly identified need. It should also take the views of children and young people into account.

Here are links to some useful information from the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies:

For information on the other types of Registered Companies we will consider applications from, please refer to the Social Enterprise section of this guidance.

We expect all organisations to demonstrate a strong culture of supporting the online safety and digital resilience of children and young people. Your organisation’s safeguarding policy should demonstrate this, and outline how safe and responsible use of all online activity should be carried out by staff and children. All of this must be relevant to the organisation, its activities and be age-appropriate.

You should be able to demonstrate key components of effective controls and support for the digital environment, including:

Young people should be supported and empowered to manage their on line lives more effectively. Projects should consider how, through their work with children, they can support development of digital resilience (in an age appropriate way).

Core safeguarding policy, procedure, training and the organisation’s Code of Conduct should be updated to present a unified approach which reflects the real and virtual worlds which children, staff and volunteers move back and forth between.

Where a project uses some form of interactive technology to communicate with young people this should have privacy controls enabled, password protection and appropriate moderation.

For more information, please refer to NSPCC’s Online Safety resources or Thinkuknow (An online education programme dedicated to protecting children and young people, run by CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command). For resources to help young people self-manage their on-line lives we recommend the BBC Children resource, BBC Own It.

Small Grants Programme

At the end of your grant you can apply to continue your work. For Small Grants, you can apply in the last year of your grant. Please look at our Small Grants page for deadlines.

Main Grants Programme

We expect you to provide clear evidence of how your previous project has made a difference to the children and young people.

We will also look back at your annual grant reports when assessing your application to continue the project.

Being in receipt of a current grant offers no guarantee of further funding. We will consider each application on its own merits and in line with our National and Regional priorities.

If you are successful, we will not release new grant funds until previous grant’s final report is satisfactory. You will need to start spending the new grant within 12 months of the date awarded.

We define counselling as any therapeutic intervention involving the “the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems.” Typical therapeutic interventions can be, but are not limited to; counselling, group therapy, play therapy and art therapy.

We expect all organisations offering formal, professional counselling or therapeutic interventions to do the following when planning and running their projects:

  • The employment of professionally qualified counsellors. The counsellors should have experience of working with children or young people. They should access appropriate clinical supervision with experienced supervisors. They should take part in regular, relevant continuing professional development.
  • Delivery of accessible counselling in an appropriately private but safe setting (for both the clients and the counsellors).
  • Being seen as a non-stigmatising service within the community.
  • Working within current legislation and guidance, offering confidentiality within usual ethical and safeguarding limits.
  • Responding flexibly as far as possible to local needs for diversity and practicality (e.g. disability and language).
  • Working with and alongside other services and agencies in a coordinated manner, while maintaining appropriate levels of confidentiality.
  • Membership of a professional body (such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). You should adhere to an established ethical framework and complaints procedure.
  • Employing counsellors whose personal qualities will mean that they are approachable, have good listening skills and a manner. This encourages a climate for safe and trusting relationships.

If you deliver services by colleagues who are not fully qualified, then these workers must be monitored and supervised by more experienced and qualified staff. There must be systems in place to ensure safety for clients, workers, and the service.

Please note, we are unlikely to fund projects:

  • Taking place during school time (we expect projects to take place before or after school, during lunch or in the holidays).

For more information refer to BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).

See also Schools and School Time Projects

We recognise the Social Model of Disability. This states that there is an unequal relationship within a society in which the needs of people with impairments are often not given enough consideration. This can result in social exclusion. As a result of the barriers disabled children and young people face, they may also experience other disadvantages such as poverty, isolation, reduced access to leisure and friendship, illness and restricted opportunities.

We want our funds to support disabled children and young people in ways that:

  • Improve their choice and opportunity.
  • Enhance their abilities.
  • Encourage independence.
  • Build their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Involve disabled young people and adults as positive role models.
  • Counter negative attitudes and barriers to participation.
  • Recognise the needs of families and carers.

We will not fund:

Projects that reinforce negative stereotypes of disabled children and young people. We expect you to comply with the Equalities Act (2010).

When applying to us for work with young children you will need to provide details about how your project is outside national and local statutory commitments. You need to show how the project is for the primary benefit of disadvantaged children rather than their parents.

Applications may be considered from voluntary organisations providing services within children’s centres that are otherwise led by local authorities. The voluntary sector partner must be taking the lead.

We do not fund the purchase of equipment that will become the property of, or for the use of a statutory body, such as a school or hospital.

When applying for funding for equipment, we expect you to detail:

  • How children and young people will be the main users or will directly benefit.
  • Why you need the equipment for the project.
  • How you have considered issues such as insurance, secure storage and shelf-life.
  • How you have shopped around to get the best value for money.
  • Why purchasing equipment is better than hiring or borrowing.
  • Who will have access to the equipment when not in use by the project?

Where equipment is bought for an individual child or young person to use, we prefer that the item remains the property of the group not the individual. When an item is bespoke or not reusable we are comfortable that it becomes the assumed property of the child or young person.

We fund organisations that charge fees to attend their activities but we expect you to have a statement or policy on fee waiving. We want to see that:

  • Those who cannot afford to pay fees are considered and cared for;
  • Those that become unable to continue to pay fees are supported and that;
  • The wider community is aware that fees can be waived in certain circumstances;
  • You are proactive in sharing your approach to fees and fee waiving.

We work to support organisations who improve the outcomes of disadvantaged children. Ensuring that as few children as possible are excluded from activities is important.

Full cost recovery involves paying the total costs of a project. This includes a proportion towards the overhead costs of the organisation running the project.

We will fund organisational costs, relating to the work of the wider organisation. Your application can include a contribution to these running costs or your full request can be towards these costs.

See also ‘Project Costs’.

A governing document outlines an organisation’s rules, objectives and how they make decisions. This document is often called a constitution. For Community Interest Companies it is called a Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  • Your governing document should state:
  • Organisation is not for profit, or has a clear clause in its governing document ensuring all income is applied to the organisation’s purposes and not distributed to members, shareholders or owners.
  • Charitable aims that are suitable for work with children and young people in the UK.
  • Dissolution clause/asset lock in place requiring assets are distributed to an organisation with similar charitable aims in the instance of closure.
  • For CICs the asset lock/dissolution clause must state the name of the organisation selected.

If you pay any members of your Governing Body, you must detail it in a formal written agreement. It must be detailed in your governing document or you must have written permission from your regulator.

See also ‘Charity Registration’.

We fund holidays, trips and outings only where these can be shown to be an effective way of addressing the needs of the children and young people involved.

We will fund holidays and residential activities for three years either as a primary feature or as part of the project. Successful grantees will be required to provide us with annual updates of their safeguarding policies and processes prior to the commencement of the next year’s provision.

We will not fund holidays for families where there is little or no project involvement. We fund organisations where we can confidently see their safeguarding policy and practices in regular use. We also fund projects where grantees are able to observe and track the outcomes of their work. We believe this is not possible without access to the children and young people, for example, a funding request to send a family, or group of families, to a caravan park with no delivery of any activity provided by the organisation

We will not give grants directly to residential centres wanting to secure funding for children and young people to attend their centres. We will only provide funding to organisations with an established working relationship with children and young people.

We only fund trips and holidays within the UK. The one exception is Northern Ireland where trips or holidays to the Republic of Ireland may be considered.

Due to wide statutory responsibilities in this area, we do not fund accommodation for homeless children or families except in exceptional cases. We may support activities within accommodation centres that address the issues and needs of the children. We also recognise that you may make a case for us to consider funding refuge accommodation for young people who have run away.

We do not fund statutory provision, including hospitals. We will accept applications from organisations working in partnership with or within hospitals. There must be a clear partnership agreement in place. The agreement must include safeguarding.

We seek to prioritise smaller, local organisations. As a result we may choose not to prioritise organisations with an annual turnover of more than £2 million in the most recent, complete financial year. We understand that there are some organisations with higher income that deliver vital work for Children and Young People.

Because of this, we accept applications from organisations with a turnover of above £2m per year. However, we will not prioritise those applicants who are unable to evidence why they are best placed to deliver this work.

We do not accept applications to our Main and Small Grants Programmes from individual children or their families. We have an Emergency Essentials programme that provides grants to individual children and young people living with:

Severe poverty,

  • A lack of the basic facilities which most of us take for granted, or
  • Extra pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.

The programme provides items that meet children’s most basic needs such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to give them a hot meal, clothing (in a crisis) and other items and services that are critical to children’s wellbeing. The programme is now being delivered by Family Fund Business services on our behalf. It is a referrer only programme and applications can only be made by registered referrers, able to reach families who need the programme most. You can find out more, and how to register as a referral agency here.

As a result, we do not accept applications from other organisations to provide general welfare funds to families and individuals unless an exceptional case can be made. For example, we might consider:

  • A case from an appropriate organisation seeking to make specialised types of grants (starter packs for young homeless people).
  • From organisations who specialise in addressing the needs of specific disadvantaged communities.

If support is sought for a specific item to assist a child affected by illness an application must be made by an eligible organisation who must be able to answer any questions we might have about the child and the circumstances of his or her situation.

We do not consider full funding for posts that undertake casework attracting any legal aid. If applying for such posts, please show any legal aid funding received in relation to the previous year’s casework. For years two and three of such requests, you need to state:

  • How much legal aid you will potentially receive.
  • How much of a contribution to the post they are requesting from us.

We will not consider applications from local government bodies. This includes councils at all levels.

We will not consider applications from statutory health bodies. This includes NHS primary or secondary care bodies, hospitals, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards, and equivalents, for example, Health and Social Care Trusts, NHS Boards and Health Trusts.

We will not fund medical aids or equipment where there is a statutory responsibility. This includes buying specialised medical equipment for a hospital.

We define mentoring or befriending as a formal and structured arrangement which is “a voluntary, mutually beneficial and purposeful relationship in which an individual gives time to support another to enable them to make changes in their life”.

Sometimes part of a project may include staff and volunteers giving ad-hoc advice to children and young people. We do not define this as mentoring or befriending in a formal sense.

We expect all organisations applying for mentoring and befriending projects to consider the following when planning and running their projects:

  • A clear link between your project aims and the benefits identified for individual clients/volunteers.
  • A process for client referral/eligibility incorporating good equal opportunities practice.
  • A robust recruitment and selection process for volunteers.
  • Robust procedures in place for the screening of volunteers and arrangements for safeguarding clients and volunteers. This should include appropriate checks, references, risk assessments, training, insurance, confidentiality statement and consent forms.
  • A good and consistent process for matching your clients with volunteers and arrangements. Arrangements should be in place for dealing with relationships that turn out to be unsuitable.
  • Ensuring that initial training and preparation for volunteers is in place alongside ongoing support.
  • Ensuring that there is/will be a documented process in place for monitoring the progress of relationships.

For more information refer to the NCVO Mentoring and Befriending Services.

If your organisation is applying for a Volunteer Co-ordinator post you may be asked to provide a role description for the volunteers during assessment

We consider applications for minibuses but these grants are rare and you will need to provide a strong case for the outcomes for children and cost-effectiveness. You will need to evidence the following:

  • Why the organisation needs to own instead of hire a minibus.
  • How much you expect to use the minibus, and how much of that use will be by disadvantaged children and young people.
  • How insurance, secure storage, running and maintenance costs will be paid.
  • How the vehicle will have the necessary accessibility for all potential users.
  • How all safety requirements, such as seat belts and fire extinguishers, comply with the law.

These are the minimum standards for grantmaking an organisation must meet to be eligible for funding. Applications must meet these standards to be assessed.

You will have to show that:

  • You have the ability to plan and deliver the work.
  • The activities or services you intend to run will make a difference to the lives of children and young people.
  • You should submit a 12 month financial forecast with your application instead of a set of accounts. At a minimum, your forecast should include:
    • Projected income.
    • Projected expenditure.
    • Some planning/ clarity around income generation.

National organisations provide or aim to provide services to the whole of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or any combination of these.

Independent branches of national organisations:

  • Have their own constitution.
  • Have their own management committee.
  • Are fully responsible for their own finances.

We treat them as separate organisations and we can accept applications from each branch.

Non-independent branches of UK-wide organisations can have one Main Grant and one Small Grant in each of the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). For example, you could hold a Small Grant and a Main Grant in England and a Small Grant and Main Grant in Scotland at any one time.

Organisational costs refer to any costs across your wider organisation, which might not be confined to a specific project. These could include day-to-day running costs, staff who do not work directly on projects, insurance, or utilities etc.

We can fund applications from groups working in partnership. A nominated organisation must be the lead organisation and make the application. Our usual rules will apply to that lead organisation. They may only have one Main and one Small Grant at a time, including the grant for the partnership project.

The lead organisation will be accountable for:

  • Managing the grant and reporting back.
  • For project delivery.
  • Management of any workers funded by the project.
  • Ensuring that the project achieves its stated outcomes.
  • Safeguarding

Applications from partnerships are subject to the same guidance as other applications with regard to the status of the applicant body.

A partnership agreement should be in place ahead of the application process.


If you pay any of your governing body members you must:

  • Detail it in a formal written agreement.
  • State it in your governing document or other document agreed by the Charity Commission or Courts (registered charities in England & Wales only).
  • Include detail of this in your governing document (CICs only).

This is one of our minimum standards for grantmaking.

Most playgroups and playschemes for children under the age of eight years must be registered unless the law says they are not required to do so.

We will not fund projects of these types that should be registered and are not.

For more information refer to:

We do not fund projects for pregnancy testing; or advice, information or counselling on pregnancy choices.

We do not fund statutory provision, including prisons. We will accept applications from organisations working in partnership with or within prisons. There must be a clear partnership agreement in place that includes safeguarding responsibilities.

We will fund direct project costs as well as organisational costs. Project costs are costs that relate clearly and directly to a project. These can include salaries, volunteer expenses, building hire costs and travel costs. Often project costs also include less delivery – focused aspects such as line management, administration, insurance and utilities.

See also Full Cost Recovery and Organisational Costs.

Applications from organisations supporting children and young people with rare medical conditions should provide an external referee who is a medical practitioner. They must have experience of working with the condition and knowledge of the work of the organisation and the specific project.

A reserves policy explains the choices that an organisation has made about whether they want to set money aside to either take advantage of future opportunities or to protect it from future drops in income. It should be reviewed regularly.

The reserves policy should state:

  • How much the organisation needs to hold in reserve and why.
  • How and when the organisation’s reserves can be spent.
  • How often the reserves policy will be reviewed.

As part of the application process, we request an external reference to support the assessment. A reference will be required for all applications to our Main Grants programme..

However, written references will be taken selectively on the Small Grants programme.

Where a reference is sought to support a Small Grant application, we will define who we would like to act as referee and the specific matters we wish the referee to comment on. Failure to provide a reference within the prescribed time scale may result in your application not progressing to decision making. Therefore, it is important that applicants make it clear to their referee that failure to respond may affect their chances of obtaining a grant.

Your referee must be someone who is external to your organisation. They should be someone who:

  • knows your organisation in a professional capacity
  • does not work, volunteer or is a beneficiary of your organisation
  • has a good understanding of the project you are applying for, as we may ask them to discuss your application by email or on the phone.

We consider applications from faith-based organisations but we do not fund the promotion of religion or any activity that involves converting someone to a religion (proselytising).

  • We do not fund staff where the job descriptions and/or person specifications state that an individual is required to be of a particular faith.
  • We do not fund volunteer expenses or associated staff (e.g. Volunteer Co-ordinator) when a volunteer role description states that an individual is required to be of a particular faith.

We consider applications from projects offering respite care to the family of a disabled child or young person. As the core provision of respite care is a statutory responsibility, you will need to provide a clear reason why you are asking us to fund this activity.

We do not fund schools, academies, universities, pupil referral units (PRU) or statutory educational establishments. We will accept applications from not for profit organisations that work in or in partnership with schools.

We will consider applications from Special Schools. These are provisions for children with learning difficulties or disabilities which cannot be met within a mainstream setting.

We expect projects to take place before or after school, during lunch or in the holidays. Unless a very exceptional case can be made, we are unlikely to fund projects:

  • Which take place during school time.
  • Where children or young people are being taken out of class to attend.

Examples of what we may fund are projects supporting children and young people:

  • Who are in ill health;
  • In crisis, so there is a compelling reason for the child to miss lessons based on the needs of the child; or
  • Who find it impractical to attend activities outside of school-time e.g. young carers.

If you are delivering during school-time you should demonstrate:

  • A clear rationale for why you are delivering during this time; and
  • The timing is based on the needs of the children and young people.

We do not fund schools, academies, universities, pupil referral units (PRU) or statutory educational establishments. We will accept applications from not for profit organisations that work in or in partnership with schools.

We will consider applications from Special Schools. These are provisions for children with learning difficulties or disabilities which cannot be met within a mainstream setting.

If you are a special school and you are applying as a charity, you need to submit:

Accounts covering a 12 month period which are no older than 18 months. The accounts must be in the name of your school and show a breakdown of restricted and unrestricted income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

If you are a special school and you are applying as a school, you need to submit:

  • A document confirming your legal status
  • A document detailing how financial decisions are made (please state how this will be applied to the project you are requesting a grant for)
  • A document detailing how project decisions are made (please make sure this is applied to the project that you are applying for)
  • Confirmation that a school fund account exists for the grant money to be paid into.

We are unable to pay money into a local authority bank account or an account which is not in the name of your school.

Projects working with children and young people excluded from schools should be able to demonstrate how our funding:

  • Does not replace statutory funding – which we expect to follow the child.
  • Will be extra to statutory responsibilities.
  • Enables a quality of experience, which is different to what statutory authorities are responsible for providing.

We recognise the need to engage sessional staff for the purposes of delivering specific forms of project or activity for children and young people. This could be short term or one-off holiday play schemes. We believe that, where possible, it is more likely to produce good outcomes for children if organisations offer fixed-term contracts to cover projects.

We will consider applications from properly constituted and registered Social Enterprises and Companies Limited by Guarantee, which:

  • Are registered with Companies House and have three or more unrelated directors.
  • Have a dissolution clause in their memorandum and articles. This makes sure that funds or assets can only be transferred to an organisation or cause with charitable objects aligned to the applicant.
  • Are CLGs (Companies Limited by Guarantee, as opposed to Companies Limited by Shares).

This means that Social Enterprises and Companies Limited by Guarantee must be set up and registered as such with Companies House. You should be able to provide a registration number.

The applicant must make the case that the work is focused on the needs and aspirations of children and young people. This should be over and above the business needs of the company. As part of this, you should show how the project responds to an identified need. You should take the views of children and young people into account.

For Community Interest Companies, we have different criteria.

We consider projects that support parents or which offer training in parenting skills as long as they are not aiming to enhance the experience of parents as an end in itself, but are working with parents as a means of improving the experience of children and young people. Clear evidence of outcomes for children needs to be provided.

We consider staff training when you can evidence the link to better outcomes for children and young people. We will not fund training when it is primarily to enhance an individual’s professional development.

We want to fund organisations that have a strong governance record.

Main Grants Programme

We will only consider Main Grant applications from organisations who have registered with the appropriate regulatory body. These include the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Charity Register. If you are a Company limited by Guarantee, you must have registered with Companies House.

Small Grants Programme

We accept applications from unregistered organisations through our Small Grants Programme. If you are an unregistered organisation and would like to apply for funding, please access our Small Grants Programme.

Sometimes you may choose to use or work with another organisation or a person to deliver part of your project. For example, this could be bringing in a musician to deliver workshops as part of a youth group. You may not have the music skills to deliver the workshops so you subcontract that part of the project to another person.

This can be a reasonable and sensible approach to take but we expect all organisations that we are funding to:

  • Have a relationship with the children and young people on the project.
  • Take responsibility for finance, governance and safeguarding of the funded project and ensuring those who are subcontracted understand and follow the organisation’s practices as well.

Legally, you must only pay volunteer expenses for expenditure which is actually incurred. For example, this could be when you are refunding a bus ticket or the cost of petrol. Expenses should not be an allowance or fixed fee for volunteering. This may be viewed as pay, which is subject to National Insurance and tax.

For more information refer to NCVO Volunteering, Volunteering Wales, Volunteer Scotland or Volunteer Now (in Northern Ireland).

We consider applications from women’s refuges across the UK.

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