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Grants and Funding


Henry Smith Charity - Main Grants - Improving Lives

10 September 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Grants are available for registered charities, social enterprises and constituted charitable groups to help people in the UK when other sources of support have failed, are inappropriate, or are simply not available.

Objectives of Fund

The Henry Smith Charity's Improving Lives programme is part of the Charity's Main Grants programme. It aims to support people in the UK for whom other sources of support have failed, are inappropriate, or are simply not available.

The Charity's three main priorities are as follows:

  • Increasing resilience
    Empowering people, encouraging integration and personal independence, helping people to recover and move on.
  • Creating opportunities and life chances
    Raising aspiration – equipping people with new skills, unlocking and enabling potential, and providing the means to improve life circumstances.
  • Empowering communities
    Strengthening and connecting communities and making people feel valued, providing opportunities for social connections and relationships, encouraging participation and inclusion.

Value Notes

Grants of between £20,000 and £60,000 per year are available.

Funding for up to three years is available.

The Charity will not consider making a grant that is equivalent to more than 50% of the annual running costs of an organisation.

Applications for continuation funding will be considered.

Who Can Apply

Charities and not-for-profit organisations, including social enterprises, can apply. Groups that are not registered charities must have a constitution to demonstrate a charitable purpose.

Community Interest Companies can apply but must provide details of how their constitution prevents funds being removed from the organisation (asset lock).

The Charity supports established organisations delivering services directly to beneficiaries and is looking for services which can demonstrate a track record of success, and evidence the effectiveness of the work.

To be eligible, organisations must:

  • Have an annual income of between £50,000 and £2 million (£5 million in exceptional circumstances).

  • Be at least 18 months old and have published annual accounts and a track record.

Organisations must be:

  • Clear and consistent about what they aim to achieve as demonstrated through their actions and practice.

  • Responsive to need and well placed to deliver.

  • Well placed to deliver services and aware of what is going on around them.

  • Person centred - the interests of the individual are at the heart of what the organisation does. People are meaningfully involved in developing solutions to the issues they face.

  • Using resources well - high quality, well run organisations that have the skills and capabilities to make proper and effective use of their resources.


United Kingdom

Eligible Expenditure

Grants are for revenue costs and direct service delivery, which may include salaries, overheads and day-to-day running costs or be for a specific project that falls within the Charity's remit.

Projects/services must be proven and effective and address at least one of the following six Improving Lives priorities:

  • Help at a critical moment

    • Helping people to rebuild their lives following a crisis, critical moment, trauma or abuse.

  • Positive choices

    • Helping people, whose actions or behaviours have led to negative consequences for themselves and others, to make positive choices.

  • Accommodation / housing support

    • Enabling people to work towards or maintain accommodation.

  • Employment and training

    • Supporting people to move towards or gain employment.

  • Financial inclusion, rights and entitlements

    • Supporting people to overcome their financial problems and ensure that they are able to claim their rights and entitlements.

  • Support networks and family

    • Working with people to develop improved support networks and family relationships.

Funding is available for people for whom other sources of support have failed, been inappropriate or are simply not available. This includes supporting people who are excluded, vulnerable, or facing other forms of hardship. Applications must be able to clearly demonstrate the need for the service(s) they deliver.

Funded services are expected to be:

  • Working to create lasting change - having a positive impact on people and where possible, creating enduring, sustainable improvements in circumstances.

  • Delivering holistic support - taking a positive approach to the whole person, addressing multiple issues, with those who are in some way excluded or vulnerable.

  • Providing direct service delivery - engaging directly with people to help them to build their capabilities and tackle the root causes of problems.

  • Monitored and evaluated - information is appropriately collected and analysed with successes/failures used to understand and improve services.

Example projects include helping people who are lacking particular resources or facing certain barriers in accessing the support, information or care that they need.

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted at any time. There are no deadlines and applications are assessed as they are received.

There is a two-stage application process. Initial applications must be made via the online application form on the Henry Smith Charity's website. Successful stage-one applicants will be notified and will progress to stage two.

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