Octavia Better Lives Community Fund - Currently closed

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Thank you to all those who applied for the first instance of our Better Lives Community Fund; unfortunately bids are now closed. Watch this page for updates in the new year for when the bids are back open.

 1. About the fund

The Octavia Better Lives Community Fund (OBLCF) provides grants of £2,000 - £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 2017/18 financial year; this will be distributed in either one round, or two rounds, dependent upon the number of eligible applications received.

2. Our criteria

The grants will support local charities and voluntary groups that are working with communities, groups and individuals on low incomes and/or experiencing isolation.

Grants will be given to organisations that clearly demonstrate outcomes and impact and specifically how they reach local people, how many they 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.


3. 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 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 residents of one or both of those boroughs.
  • Demonstrate clearly how the project to be funded will involve Octavia residents in addition to the wider community with which they work, or how they will encourage, with our support, take-up amongst Octavia residents.

Preference will be given to:

  • Projects and activities that will have the biggest potential impact in delivering better lives for local 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.

4. Application process

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. 

A panel will agree a shortlist of applicants in early December, which will be considered by a meeting of our Funding Panel in late December.  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.

5. How applications will be assessed

We will assess your application against the following criteria:

a. How your application demonstrates that your project/activity has clear outputs and outcomes.

b. How your application demonstrates that it will reach local people and how many it will reach.

c. How your application demonstrates that it will measure impact.

d. How your application demonstrates that it will have an impact of delivering better lives for local people.

e. How your application demonstrates that it will involve Octavia residents

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

6. 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, including specific information on the number of Octavia residents; how the project has improved the life of its service users. The report should include at least one case study.

Applications are now closed for this year. 

One of our Garden Guardians