About the fund

The Octavia Better Lives Community Fund (OBLCF) provides grants of £2,000 - £5,000 to fund work with residents in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea.

Our aim is to award grants to a wide range of organisations and projects, with the expectation that we will award a mix of smaller and larger grants.

There is one grant fund for distribution in the 2019/20 financial year; this will be distributed in either one or two rounds, dependent upon the number of eligible applications received.

The closing date for applications is: 11 November 2019.

The effects of loneliness and isolation are increasingly recognised as being detrimental to emotional and physical health. Our aim is to tackle the effects of loneliness and isolation through these grants and to help build social connections for those who are most in need.  

Research conducted by IPSOS MORI for Octavia shows that London is a lonely city. One quarter of those who were surveyed reported that they often or sometimes lack companionship. There are various charities which focus on loneliness in older people, however, our research shows signs of loneliness were found among people of all ages. The ways in which young people experience loneliness are different from middle aged and older adults, with young people more likely to report feeling left out. 

Our grants will support local charities and voluntary groups that are working with communities, groups and individuals experiencing loneliness.

Our criteria

Grants will be given to organisations that clearly demonstrate their outcomes and impact. Specifically, how they reach local people, how many people they reach and what difference they expect the project to make.

We will expect all applicants to demonstrate that they have good knowledge of, and connections to other local organisations and services.

Grants will be available for one year only and should be spent within a year of the funding being received. 

Grants will be available to deliver specific projects and any associated running costs that can be clearly allocated to the project.  This could be for a new initiative, or to extend an existing initiative.

Detailed criteria

Successful applicants will:

  • Be a registered charity or have automatic charitable status.  
  • Have a management committee or Trustee Board, with at least three unpaid and unrelated members.
  • Have a constitution or other governing document, a copy of which will need to be provided with the application.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation and provide a copy of the last three bank statements.
  • Have an annual income of less than £500k and provide a copy of the most recent annual accounts or an Income-Expenditure statement.
  • Be based in the boroughs specified and working with residents of one or more of those boroughs.
  • Demonstrate clearly how the project to be funded will involve local residents.

Preference will be given to:

  • Projects and activities that will have the biggest potential impact in delivering better lives through tackling loneliness.
  • Those projects with clearly defined outcomes and a clear method of measuring impact.

We will not fund the following:

  • Statutory organisations.
  • Local branches of national organisations.
  • Animal welfare organisations.
  • Grant - making organisations.
  • Individuals.
  • Political activity.
  • Promotion of religion.
  • Work that will benefit people outside the UK.
  • General appeals.
  • Expenses that have already been incurred and/or debts.

Application process

All organisations will be required to submit an application form. The form can be downloaded here and then emailed back to the address below. Additional information such as bank statements and governing documents will be required and can be supplied via a web link.

If you have any queries prior to submitting the application, you can contact us at grants@octaviafoundation.org.uk

All applications will undergo an initial assessment. Applicants may be contacted at this stage for clarification and may be asked to take part in a telephone interview, or to host a meeting at their premises. 

Applicants will be shortlisted in early December. Shortlisted applicants will then be considered by our Funding Panel in late December.

Applicants can expect to be informed of the outcome within two weeks of this meeting. Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with reasons for the decision and additional advice or information may be available on request. No appeals will be considered.

How applications will be assessed

We will assess your application against the following criteria:

  • How your application demonstrates that your project/activity has clear outputs and outcomes.
  • How your application demonstrates that it will reach local people and how many it will reach.
  • How your application demonstrates that it will measure impact.
  • How your application demonstrates that it will have an impact of tackling loneliness.
  • How your application demonstrates that it provides value for money.