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Grants and Funding


Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust - Force for Change Programme

28 September 2021/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants for local community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-COVID recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation.

Fund Information

Funding body:
Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
Maximum value:
£ 10,000
Application deadline:


Launched in 2020, the Force for Change programme, provided and administered by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, is a local grants programme that aims to support Armed Forces communities in the UK to become less isolated and engage more in their local area.

The programme was launched in response to the findings of an open consultation carried out by the Trust in early 2020 to explore how it should make small grants locally. The feedback for this consultation put mental health, veterans at risk of isolation and support for Armed Forces families as the top three issues in need of support.

Objectives of Fund

The 2021 programme offers grants to registered charities and community interest companies with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities. The funding aims to support community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration, supporting post-COVID recovery in local Armed Forces communities.

This year (2021), the programme will support ideas that need small amounts of funding to deliver nimble and focused local projects to Armed Forces communities or small grants to support services, projects and activities that are used by Armed Forces communities, but which are struggling as a result of the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Value Notes

A total of £1.5 million will be available in 2021 with one-year grants of up to £10,000.

Projects must start within one month of being awarded a grant and be completed in a year or less.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible to apply, organisations must be one of the following:

  • An established registered charity or community interest company (CIC) with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities.
  • An Armed Forces unit or base.
  • A local authority.
  • A school.

The following apply:

  • CICs must have been registered and operating for over a year and their Companies House details must show that they have a minimum of three unrelated directors.
  • Registered charities must have been registered and operational for over a year and must be able to evidence that they have a minimum of three unrelated trustees at the time of applying.
  • Other public sector organisations cannot apply but could work with one of the types of organisation listed above as a delivery partner.
  • Schools will need to be able to show how their project will support children from Armed Forces families (and their wider families if appropriate).
  • Schools that are run by Academy Trusts are eligible to apply; however the umbrella Trust itself is ineligibile unless it is a registered charity. Academy Trusts that are exempt charities are not eligible to apply.


Funding is not available for:

  • Individuals.
  • Academy trusts (ie overarching project across an academy chain is not eligible). However, individual schools can apply.
  • Charities or CICs that do not have substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities or are newly registered.
  • Other public sector organisations. However, they could work with one of the eligible organisations as a delivery partner.
  • Charities based overseas.
  • Projects based around therapies, advice services or clinical services.
  • Projects that do not clearly meet at least one of the programme's outcomes.
  • General running costs.
  • Projects that do not benefit veterans or other people from the Armed Forces community.
  • Topping up existing grants and grant-in-aid from a government department.
  • Projects benefiting only one person.
  • Repeat or regular projects that require a source of uncommitted funding.
  • Investments.
  • Paying for ongoing costs of existing partnership activity.
  • Organisational fundraising activities.
  • Endowments (to provide a source of income).
  • Projects, activities or services that the state has a legal obligation to provide.
  • Retrospective funding for projects that have already started or taken place before the decision date for the application.
  • Excessive management or professional fees or contingency costs.

It is highly unlikely that the Trust will fund projects with budgets that are dominated by capital costs.

Eligible Expenditure

Eligible project must fit under one of two main themes:

  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more engaged in their local area.
  • Providing opportunities for isolated members of the Armed Forces community to take part in activities that improve general wellbeing.

The funding can be used for existing work if this will make a clear difference to Armed Forces communities or to new work.

Projects should:

  • Reduce loneliness or isolation in Armed Forces communities or improve their wellbeing.
  • Offer a project that people want to take part in, and not duplicate other local work.
  • Be able to start within a month if awarded a grant.

Funding can be used for a wide range of projects. The following are some examples of the types of projects that might be prioritised:

  • Projects that encourage veterans and Armed Forces families to be less isolated.
  • Projects supporting children and young people from Armed Forces families who found lockdown challenging. This might include play projects, sports or arts projects and projects encouraging friendships and interaction with children and young people from local civilian communities.
  • Projects supporting parents from Armed Forces families with pre-school aged or very young children.
  • Projects that will have a positive impact on wellbeing for veterans or carers of veterans, or Armed Forces families.
  • Projects that help local Armed Forces charities or CICs to keep delivering help to local Armed Forces communities, where COVID has made this more challenging.

The grant can be used to pay for most things needed for the project or activity, including the following:

  • Staff time for the fixed-term project, including time-managing volunteers that may be involved in the project.
  • Purchasing items that provide practical support, or that can enable activities to take place.
  • Purchasing items that are needed to provide support, such as additional telephones or laptops.
  • Reasonable costs for storing and transporting items, including wear and tear on private vehicles.
  • Reasonable overheads that reflect the cost of delivering the project.



How To Apply

The Trust has announced the application deadlines for 2021:

  • Round 1 - deadline of midday on 12 April 2021 with a decision by 31 June 2021.
  • Round 2 - deadline of midday on 2 August 2021 with a decision by 31 October 2021.
  • Round 3 - deadline of midday on 19 November 2021 with a decision by 28 February 2022.

The 2021 guidance notes, frequently asked questions, online application portal and other resources are available on the Trust's website.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Enquiries
    Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
    7 Hatherley Street
    SW1P 2QT
    Email: [email protected]

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