Compassionate Communities

Compassionate Communities is a new initiative, funded by Imperial Health Charity, to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in north west London most affected by Covid-19.

Working in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, we will support local organisations that have strong relationships with their communities and work closely with other partners to drive forward community-led projects.

The programme will help to address some of the complex, long-term impacts of Covid-19 in north west London with a focus on projects that aim to tackle health problems such as:

  • food poverty and obesity
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • digital poverty and exclusion
  • language barriers and misinformation.

We will award up to £450,000 through a range of different grants including:

  • Microgrants (up to £20,000)*)
  • Small grants (requests between £1,000 and £10,000)
  • Large grants (requests between £10,001 and £30,000).

*Organisations can apply for up to £20,000 in this category. From this pot, successful applicants may distribute up to £1,000 each to individuals and smaller groups from May 2021.

Please select from the options below to find out more information about Compassionate Communities and guidance on how to apply.

Our Community Consultation

During November and December 2020, we consulted with community groups across north west London to help shape the initiative, and to ensure that the application process is clear and straightforward. Key learning from the community consultation highlighted:

  • The major issues in communities are around food (poverty, quality, cultural suitability, nutritional value); mental health and wellbeing; digital exclusion and poverty; language barriers and misinformation around Covid-19 messages; physical inactivity; and Long-term Conditions
  • Our grant funding should encourage collaborative working and be available for existing and new projects
  • Our grants should fund projects that have a holistic approach
  • Our microgrants should be available to smaller groups, and to individuals
  • Microgrants will be delivered by organisations selected by us
  • Ensuring the needs of all groups are considered fairly, and that our funding reach organisations and communities that don’t always receive funding support

A summary report has been produced that captures the findings of this work and should be used to inform your application to us. Additionally, for an understanding of population needs and health inequalities the direct and indirect impacts of covid upon communities are summarised here.

In addition to the guidance notes, the Trust’s Compassionate Communities team also offer the following support:

  • Drop-in Zoom session with the Trust’s Compassionate Communities team on 24 February 2021, 12.00pm to 1.30pm. Please email Abena Brago (abena.brago@nhs.net) if you wish to join.
  • For support how to develop your project, you can contact Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - Hannah Fontana (hannah.fontana@nhs.net), who will arrange for you to receive advice from the most suitable person in the Trust’s Compassionate Communities team.
Criteria

Our grants will fund projects that address the following major themes, identified during our consultation with you, and that have worsened because of the pandemic:

  • Food – initiatives that address poverty, distribution, preparation, nutritional content, quality, cultural suitability
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing – initiatives that tackle anxiety and fear, loneliness and isolation, grief and trauma, stigma
  • Digital Poverty and Exclusion
  • Language Barriers and Misinformation around Covid-19 messages and guidance
  • Physical Inactivity

For Large Grants projects must demonstrate partnership or collaborative working, and that empower and build capacity for individuals and/or communities. Your project should have a holistic approach, for example, a food initiative that has an element of mental wellbeing, signposting, and/or learning. You must be committed to engage with us to support community conversations to better understand the health and wellbeing needs and issues of your communities. 

All our Compassionate Communities funding will support new and existing projects. If your application is to fund an existing project, you’ll be required to provide the following additional information:

  • How is it currently funded?
  • What will our funding pay for, in addition to what you are currently doing?
  • How will our funding build capacity for your organisation?

We’re looking for projects that will work with the following target groups:

  • Communities that have been significantly affected by the pandemic
  • BAME Communities
  • Older Adults
  • Families

In the following target locations, we’re looking at projects in:

  • One or more of the north west London boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster
  • Areas of council and social housing in the target locations above
  • Areas identified as having the greatest health inequalities.
Eligibility

To apply, your organisation must:

  • Be a community-based group or organisation operating within the borough that your project will be based in (must be one of the eight north west London Boroughs – Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster)
  • Have a track record of working with the communities your project will support. You’ll need to provide contact details of your referees; we reserve the right to contact your referees when we assess your application
  • Not receive statutory funding for your project, for example, local authority, NHS.
How much can I apply for?

Compassionate Communities is a pilot with one round of funding opportunity. The Compassionate Communities team are working to identify additional funding streams and opportunities to continue to run this initiative. These will be promoted as and when they become available.

There are three types of grants available:

  • Microgrants of up to £20,000
    We're keen to support a microgrant offer, following feedback from our community consultation on the need for this, especially for individuals and non-constituted or newly formed groups.
    • Larger community groups or infrastructure organisations will first need to apply to us for up to £20,000 to run their microgrants project.
    • Individuals or small groups would then apply to these larger community groups or infrastructure organisations for up to £1,000 per microgrant.
    • We'll work with the larger community groups or infrastructure organisations to agree on the process and criteria for running the microgrants. You’ll be required to tell us in your application how the microgrants will be distributed to ensure accessibility and accountability, and to ensure the process is in line with the ambitions of the wider Compassionate Communities approach.
    • For individuals and small groups wanting to apply for a microgrant, information will be provided on the organisations delivering them in due course. Once funding has been given to these organisations, we'll work with them to communicate their offer widely.
  • Small Grants between £1,000 and £10,000
  • Large Grants between £10,001 and £30,000

    For Large Grants, we’re particularly interested in projects that can demonstrate partnership or collaborative working, that empower and build capacity for individuals and/or communities.

For all grant requests, you’ll need to tell us in your application that:

  • Your organisation is constituted
  • You’ll have a holistic approach to your project, for example, a food initiative that has an element of mental wellbeing, signposting, and/or learning
  • You've given some thought to sustainability – what happens when our funding comes to an end? This is particularly important if the application is to fund a member of staff
  • You must be committed to engage with us to support community conversations to better understand the health and wellbeing needs and issues of your communities

In addition to the requirements outlined above, for Microgrants and Large Grants, you must also tell us in your application that:

  • Your organisation will be working collaboratively or in partnership with other community groups and/or statutory services to deliver your project. This may be a formal partnership or a loose collaboration of groups who are working together. If you’re already working together, please provide details in your application.
How can I spend my grant?

We can support with the following costs that are directly associated with delivering your project:

  • Room/Space Hire
  • People (staffing) (you can include income tax, National insurance contribution, superannuation, but we’re not liable for any redundancy payments, or childcare costs)
  • People (volunteering costs)
  • People (partnership, support needed to enable collaboration)
  • Support – supervision and support for your team, including wellbeing and specialist support
  • Food
  • Equipment
  • Resources – any new software or training needed for your team to do their work
  • Services – meeting the needs of the people you work for, including food and essentials, translation or interpreting services, or deep cleaning of offices and accommodation
  • Activities that promote and disseminate your project, such as marketing and educational materials
  • Activities that engage with your service users and partners, such as group or forum meetings
  • Reasonable overheads up to 10% – direct additional costs (e.g., for home working), together with a proportionate contribution to your organisational costs (including your governance costs). If you’re applying for Microgrants, please get in touch with us first if you think your overhead costs is likely to exceed 10%
  • Reasonable evaluation costs
  • Reasonable development costs – contributions to capacity building, infrastructure, and organisational development

We cannot support:

  • Any item or service that has already been purchased/delivered (no retrospective funding)
  • Replacement of equipment that is 'new for old' on a like-for-like basis
  • General hospitality (e.g., socials, staff rewards, and meeting or travel expenses not directly associated with your project)
  • Conference attendance and training course fees
  • Salaries that are not directly associated with the delivery of your project

This list is not exhaustive. If you have any queries, please contact our grants team: grants@imperialcharity.org.uk

 

How much time do I have to deliver my project?

If your application is successful, you must deliver your project within 12 months.

How can I apply?

You’ll need to complete an application form via our online grants portal, Flexigrant. Click here to go to Flexigrant. You’ll first need to register on Flexigrant.

If you’re unable to apply via Flexigrant and require a hard copy of the application form, please email our Grants Manager, Hani Ahmad (grants@imperialcharity.org.uk) to request one. You’ll need to email us your completed application. Please let us know if this isn't possible.

Application timeframe
  • There’s one call for applications in this pilot round
  • Applications will be opened on Flexigrant at Noon, Monday 8 February 2021 and close at Noon, Monday 8 March 2021
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome by early April 2021.
Application Form

Our Grants team will provide support when you’re ready to start your application on Flexigrant. Our contact is Hani Ahmad, Grants Manager (grants@imperialcharity.org.uk).

Section 1 – asks you to tell us about you and your group/organisation, background on your community work, how you meet our eligibility criteria, your partnership working, and if you’ve received or will receive funding from other funders for your project.

Section 2 – asks you to describe your project:

  • How do you know it’s needed and how does it relate to responding to the pandemic:
    • Food – initiatives that address poverty, distribution, preparation, nutritional content, quality, cultural suitability
    • Mental Health and Wellbeing – initiatives that tackle anxiety and fear, loneliness and isolation, grief and trauma, stigma
    • Digital Poverty and Exclusion
    • Language Barriers and Misinformation around Covid-19 messages and guidance
    • Physical Inactivity.
  • Who’ll benefit
  • How you’ll deliver it
  • How you’ll demonstrate the impact and benefits of your project 
  • How your project will contribute to Imperial Health Charity’s Strategic Objective, ‘to enable innovation in health and care within the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust and the wider health system’
    We realise you may find it difficult to answer this question. However, we would encourage you to answer as best as you can. We know your project will be unique to you and to those who’ll benefit from it, and that ‘innovation’ can take many shapes and forms, including how it’ll be delivered to meet the special needs of your community.
  • How you’ll continue your project after our funding has ended
  • How you’ll share your learning.

If you’re applying to distribute microgrants, in addition to the above, you’ll need to provide us with details on:

  • The criteria and process you’ll use to select those who’ll receive them
  • How you’ll ensure there’s transparency around your selection process
  • How you’ll manage the microgrants once you’ve completed your selection, for instance, how they’ll receive their monies, and how you’ll make sure the money will be spent appropriately.

Section 3 – requires a breakdown of project costs. It also asks about any match funding, which is allowed, using the following criteria:

  • You can raise match funding for your Compassionate Communities project
  • If your project’s contingent on match funding being available and cannot be solely funded by our Compassionate Communities grant, we’ll not commit until your match funding is secured.

Section 4 – you and another person in your organisation who is authorised to do so will have to sign your application. You’ll need to provide evidence of any relevant policies and insurances with your application.

We’ll also require you to provide two independent referees who are familiar with your organisation. We reserve the right to contact them as we assess your application.

If you’re successful in being awarded a Compassionate Communities grant, you and another person in your organisation who is authorised to do so will be required to sign our Grant Start Certificate accepting our Grant terms and conditions.

Section 5 – contains our data protection and privacy policy which you’ll need to tick to confirm you have read, understood, and agreed to these terms.

 

Financial information
  • If you’re awarded a grant, you mustn’t incur any costs on your project until you’ve received your Grant Award Letter and submitted your completed Grant Start Certificate.
  • Unfortunately, we can’t reimburse you for any costs incurred retrospectively.
  • All financial requirements will be clearly indicated in your Grant Award Letter
Reporting requirements

To help us monitor the impact of our funding, we’ll require you to submit:

  • Six-monthly progress reports (except for Small Grants)
  • An End of Grant report following completion of your project
  • All reporting requirements will be clearly indicated in your Grant Award Letter
  • Additional material (e.g., soundbites, case studies) may be provided to demonstrate the delivery and impact relative to the size of your project. We'll support the coordination of this.
Further information and contact details

For support on how to apply on Flexigrant, and if you’re successful, how to manage your grant, please contact our Grants team:
T: 020 3857 9844
E: grants@imperialcharity.org.uk