Better lives community fund 2020/2021

About the fund

The Octavia Better Lives Community Fund (OBLCF) provides grants of up to £5,000 to fund work with residents of Westminster and/or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

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

The fund is administered by the Octavia Foundation, on behalf of Octavia. 

There is one grant fund for distribution in the 2020/21 financial year; this will be distributed in early 2021.

The deadline for receipt of applications in the first instance is Friday, 1 January 2020.

Our criteria

The grants will support local charities and voluntary groups that are working with children and young people experiencing isolation and/ or from low income households.

Grants will be given to organisations that clearly demonstrate outcomes and impact and specifically how they reach children and young people, how many they reach, what proportion of children and young people our grant will reach and what difference they expect the project to make.

We will expect 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.

Successful applicants will:

  • Be a registered charity, have automatic charitable status, or deliver a project for public benefit as understood in charity law.   
  • 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 be provided with the applications.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation and provide a copy of three most recent 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 Westminster or RBKC and working with young people in one or both of those boroughs.
  • Demonstrate clearly how the project to be funded will involve young people.

Preference will be given to:

  • Projects and activities that will have the biggest potential impact in delivering better lives for local children and young people.
  • 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 or debts.

Organisations will be required to submit an application form.  The form can be downloaded from our website and then emailed back.  Additional information such as bank statements and governing documents will be required (a web link will be sufficient).

Organisations may contact us at grants@octaviafoundation.org.uk with queries prior to submitting their application.

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. 

Our funding panel will consider all applications in late January 2021.  Applicants can expect to be informed of the final outcome within two weeks of this meeting.  Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with reasons for the decision and additional advice or information if appropriate.  No appeals will be considered.

How applications will be assessed

We will assess your application against the following criteria:

  1. How your application demonstrates that your project/activity has clear outputs and outcomes.
  2. How your application demonstrates that it will reach children and young people and how many it will reach.
  3. How your application demonstrates that it will measure impact.
  4. How your application demonstrates that it will have an impact of delivering better lives for children and young people

We expect to have more applications than funds available so it is really important that you consider these criteria when completing your application form.

Grant conditions

  • Organisations will be expected to sign a Funding Agreement prior to receipt of funding.
  • The grant must be spent on the project/activity applied for.
  • If there are any changes to the project/activity, organisations must inform us in advance and these changes must be agreed by us.
  • If the project/activity becomes unviable, organisations must return unused funds. 
  • The funds should be acknowledged through the use of the Octavia logo in any publicity, leaflets, website etc. 
  • We may ask organisations to take part in publicity about their grant for inclusion in our website or publications.
  • At the end of the project/activity, by an agreed date, organisations must complete a monitoring and evaluation report that outlines: how the funds have been spent (proof of expenditure may also be required in some cases); performance against agreed outcomes and impacts; the number of people that have been supported, and how the project has improved the life of children and young people.   The report should include at least one case study.

Apply for a Better Lives Community Fund grant here