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Tower Hamlets Grants engagement

Get involved, give us your views and help prioritise the new grant funding for the voluntary and community sector (VCS).

The council’s new Strategic Plan (2022-26) sets out priorities for the borough over the next four years. Supporting and working in partnership with the local voluntary and community sector is a key element of delivering the council’s Strategic Plan.

Our partnership VCS Strategy 2020-24 has a commitment for 'a more resilient and sustainable sector' and our new funding programme will contribute to this priority. 

We recognise the role voluntary and community sector organisations play in supporting residents with many vital services, including the pandemic response and subsequent recovery. Many VCS organisations are currently supporting residents through the cost of living crisis, with a range of services and act as a first call of support for our residents.

Tower Hamlets has approximately 1300 VCS organisations and the diversity of these organisations help develop the social fabric of our borough. It develops relationship between residents and organisations and provides opportunities for people to cultivate their imagination and interests, allowing them to flourish.

To this end our vision is to ‘support and invest in a thriving and diverse VCS to enable it to improve outcomes for Tower Hamlets residents’.

The council is keen to hear your views about the new funding proposal and what you feel are the most important priorities for the borough.

This engagement is specifically seeking views on two proposed future grant programmes for the period Oct 2023-Mar 2027, the Mayor’s community grants programme, and the small grants programme. However, you will also be able to provide any further comments you wish to share as we value all feedback.

Mayor's Community Grant Programme

The proposed Mayor’s Community Grant Programme is funding to deliver services between October 2023 to March 2027 and will include the following five themes:

  • Tackle the Cost-of-living crisis
    Focusing on improving financial and economic wellbeing of residents

  • Accelerate education
    Focusing on improving educational attainment and development of children and young people

  • Culture, business, jobs, and skills
    Focusing on increasing employment and skills opportunities for socially excluded residents

  • Invest in public services
    Focusing on improving wellbeing of residents and reduce isolation and inactivity amongst older people

  • Empower communities and fight crime
    Focusing on addressing inequalities experienced by people reflecting different equality groups and address community safety issues impacting residents.

The Small Grants Programme

The Proposed Small Grants Programme will provide one-off funding for time limited projects with different rounds throughout the year, includes the following five themes:

  • Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Fund
    Supports young people to design, bid and deliver projects for their peers

  • Mayor’s positive activities for young people
    Support activities during school holidays

  • Community events
    Support events that brings communities together, celebrate our diversity, national and regional celebrations

  • Capacity building
    Support organisation development which strengthens local organisations ability to deliver services

  • Community chest
    Very small grants to support community events and activities

Engagement Work on the New Grant Programme for the VCS

We are organising a number of workshops aimed at voluntary and community sector organisations which are taking place at the following dates and venues. You can book for any of the following five workshops

* Indicates workshops are solely for smaller VCS organisations with annual incomes of less than £150,000 a year. The workshops for smaller VCS organisations will address both the Mayor’s Community Grants Programme and the Small Grants Programme. The workshop on 31 January 2023 will address both of the above programmes, but is available to all VCS organisations.

These workshops will:

  • Provide information to the VCS about the new funding proposals, including eligibility criteria and organisational assessment
  • Seek feedback on the themes and priorities proposed under the new grants programmes, including feedback on whether they address needs in the community
  • Find out how the VCS sector can help design services for service users to ensure they meet Council priorities.
  • Use the above feedback to inform the service specification for the new grant programme.

Other council engagement work to develop the new grant programme for the VCS

This page will be updated regularly with changes and further information.

If you would like to contact a member of the team you can email vcs@towerhamlets.gov.uk