Grassroots organisations in Croydon that help improve local people’s lives can now bid for a share of the council’s annual £2.6m Community Fund.

As of Thursday 6 June, the council is accepting bids from local voluntary or community groups wanting financial help to deliver key outcomes that boost the health, quality of life or prospects of Croydon people. This includes charities that support the vulnerable or improve community safety, plus wider community projects. The outcomes cover five key themes:

• People live long, healthy, happy and independent lives
• Our children and young people thrive and reach their full potential
• Access to homes and prevention of homelessness
• Everyone feels safer in their street, neighbourhood and home
• Everybody has the opportunity to work and build their career

Bids can range from small groups applying for grants of £15,000 per year or less to larger funding where organisations go through the council’s commissioning process to win contracts.  The council’s outcomes prospectus includes a guide that the maximum annual contract should be around £40,000. Full funding, application process and eligibility details are available on the Value Croydon website.

Groups can receive council support with their applications, including drop-in sessions at libraries, the town hall and community centres where bidders can get advice on how the process works. This ranges from tips on finance and collaboration to advice on how to write a bid. The deadline closes at midday on 1 October, and decisions will be announced before Christmas.

Croydon Council supports voluntary and community organisations across the borough with funding totalling around £4m a year, including the Community Fund and Prevention Fund plus subsidies and other benefits such as access to lower-cost office space and wider support and advice.

These groups are all not-for-profit organisations with a social conscience that work to improve their local communities through support, prevention and intervention, and include faith groups, co-operatives, registered charities, school groups and sports clubs.

Earlier this year the council’s cabinet approved a new commissioning strategy and framework, which made the application process simpler for every type and size of bid and encourage different groups to apply. This followed engagement with over 200 local grassroots organisations.

“This administration is continuing to invest in our voluntary and community sector who are vital partners in supporting local people.

“This funding will see almost £8m go to community organisations in Croydon over the next three years on tackling the biggest issues in our communities – all despite almost a decade of austerity and huge cuts to local government funding in that time.

“I’m grateful for all the feedback we’ve had from hundreds of community organisations in Croydon, which has been crucial in developing our approach to the Community Fund and I look forward to the response from voluntary and community organisations across the borough.”

Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities

For more on how to bid for a share of the Community Fund, visit the Value Croydon website.