Neighbourhood Fund

Supporting local charitable causes.

Neighbourhood Fund

The Neighbourhood Fund supports local charities and community groups whose work addresses local issues, social problems and disadvantage due to age, illness, disability, isolation, discrimination or financial hardship. We are looking to support services that assist those in need, effect positive change and bring tangible improvements to their quality of life.

The Fund has two particular areas of interest and applications working in these areas will be prioritised: Older people and Mental Health – more information can be found below.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available. The activities funded must start within 2 months of the award. Core running costs or project/service delivery costs are both eligible for funding.

We will fund reasonable capital costs (e.g. office equipment, sports equipment, tools etc) for your activities but however, an application for only capital items will be a low priority for funding.

Organisations that can apply:

  • Registered Charities
  • Constituted Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Social Enterprises
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations

To be eligible the organisation must have:

  • A management committee or board of Trustees/Directors with at least 3 unrelated people
  • A written constitution or set of rules that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated cheque signatories
  • Organisations must be local to Dorset. We do not fund national charities but can fund local branches if they are managed separately and financially independent.

Applications are invited from groups that are:

  • continuing to run services/activities that are delivering evidenced outcomes
  • replicating or expanding existing work in order to meet identified needs or increased demand
  • piloting a new area of work or testing new ways of working

Priority may be given to groups that:

  • involve service users in the design of services and invite feedback
  • are easy to access or have clear referral routes
  • reduce social stigma around particular issues

The Neighbourhood Fund priority themes

1) Services that support older people to lead more active, healthy and independent lives.

Services should address social isolation and loneliness, declining health, poor access to services, support for carers
Services should deliver one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Increased ability to access social activities, events or everyday appointments/tasks
  • Reduction of isolation and loneliness
  • Improvements to physical health
  • Improvements to mental health and wellbeing
  • Older people who are carers have increased skills and confidence to care for loved ones

Examples of services/activities include but are not limited to: lunch clubs, befriending schemes, reminiscence or memory box projects, sports and health activities, social clubs including gardening, music and dance groups, community transport schemes, including home from hospital schemes.

2) Services that support those with mental health problems, including those with general indicators of poor mental health and those with diagnosed conditions.

Services should support adults with diagnosed conditions or general indicators of poor mental health, and/or early interventions for children, young people and their families.

Services should deliver one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Improvements to mental health and wellbeing
  • Improved resilience and ability to appropriately manage mental health problems
  • Improvements to relationships with family and friends
  • Improved personal aspirations or development of future goals
  • Reduction of unhealthy behaviours that may have developed as a result of mental health problems, including addictions, eating disorders or criminality

Examples of services/activities include but are not limited to: therapeutic and support groups, provision of supported work experience/volunteering opportunities, carers support & respite, projects promoting education for a better understanding of mental health issues.

How to Apply?

The Fund is now CLOSED for applications. Latest applicants can expect to hear back by the end of February 2020

In order for us to follow our decision-making process, the information given in your application will be shared with our independent panel members and/or donors as appropriate. Panel members are subject to a confidentiality agreement. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on data sharing and storage.

If you are unsure about any of the above criteria or have any other queries, please contact our Grants Manager Ellie Maguire on 01202 670815 or at

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