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Increasing Access Fund

The new Increasing Access Fund is targeted to support organisations to develop new services that respond to the Covid-19 situation, or to adapt existing services to meet local and national needs. The Fund is aimed specifically at ensuring or increasing access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with access due to Covid-19. The Foundation will also consider supporting programmes which provide access for beneficiaries to new services which have been developed in response to a clear Covid-19 need.

The value of the Fund is £1.4million, which we will give to organisations nationally working within our key domains:

  • Healthcare Innovation – Organisations in the fields of disability, medical research, mental health and those supporting individuals with long-term health conditions.
  • Community – Organisations working with young people, especially those considered disadvantaged, delivering support to those disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and/or those working to support isolated older people.
  • Environment – Organisations working in the area of horticulture and conservation which have been significantly financially impacted by the closure of venues.
  • Arts – Organisations working in the area of arts, health and well-being where services and programmes are being adapted to benefit communities impacted by Covid-19.

Applications should align with the Foundation’s key aims and objectives and also reflect the Peter Sowerby Foundation’s ethos on innovation and impact

Applications must be with us by 5pm on Monday 16th November. 

Increasing Access Funding Strands

There are three funding strands to which you might seek to apply (please note you can only make one application to the Foundation for funding).

1. Digital Healthcare Breakthrough Grants

The Foundation will fund five large grants of up to £100,000 to support charities (with a maximum turnover of £5million) in the area of innovation and transformation in health and social care. This fund could support organisations to:

Pilot and test new digital service delivery that will transform existing services.

  • Invest in digital skills development to better service beneficiaries and to launch new digital services.
  • Invest in digital equipment to facilitate digital service delivery.

2. Digital Good Causes Grants

The Digital Good Causes Fund is aimed at smaller charities (with a maximum turnover of £1million, but with a preference for smaller organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) within the area of Community, Environment and the Arts (although the Foundation may also consider applications from smaller organisations working within the area of healthcare innovation).

This strand of funding seeks to support organisations to:

  • Pilot and test new digital service delivery that will transform existing services.
  • Invest in digital skills development to better service beneficiaries and to launch new digital services.
  • Invest in digital equipment to facilitate digital service delivery.

This strand has a maximum grant size of £25,000.

Grants are split into the following criteria:

  • Grants of up to £10,000 for digital skills development/digital investment (vital to increasing access to services for participants) within smaller organisations.
  • Grants of up to £25,000 for the transformation of existing services through digital development.

3. Adapted Good Causes Grants

We recognise that some charities have had to reinvent their face to face service delivery through means other than digital as a result of the impact of Covid-19. 

The third strand of funding is aimed at smaller organisations (maximum turnover of £1million, but with a preference for smaller organisations with a turnover of around £500,000) working within the areas of Community, Environment and the Arts. This includes organisations working with significantly hard to reach groups, such as those who are homeless, older people, or arts organisations that require face to face interaction and where programmes or activities need to be redesigned or reshaped.
This strand of funding seeks to support organisations to:

  • Pilot and test new service delivery in response to the Covid-19 situation.

  • Transform existing services to adapt to the Covid-19 situation.

Grants are split into the following criteria:

  • Grants of up to £10,000 for adaptation of services within smaller organisations.

  • Grants of up to £25,000 for transformation of existing services.

Application Process

If, having read the criteria for the funding streams, you feel that your project will be of interest to us as part of our Increasing Access Fund, then we would welcome your Expression of Interest. All Expression of Interest applications must be submitted using google forms docs available here: 

Digital Breakthrough 

Digital Good Causes 

Adapted Good Causes 

Only one Expression of Interest will be considered from each organisation. Please note, you will need to sign-up to a Google Account to access the required forms if you do not already have one.

Please follow the links below for further details on the application process for each funding stream. It is recommended that you read this, and the Important Information for Applicants  before submitting your Expression of Interest. 

Application process for each funding stream

1. Digital Breakthrough Grants to pilot new innovations or service delivery

To promote research and development (R&D) in this area and to provide capacity for organisations to truly make a transformative effect on health and social care, the Digital Breakthrough Grants Fund is split into two distinct stages:

Stage 1:

  • £100,000 is available for an initial open call to award 10 organisations a grant of up to £10,000 for R&D for digital service delivery. This pot of strategic funding will provide organisations with both the capacity and investment needed to seek and understand innovative digital solutions. 
    • Funding should culminate in the scoping of new, transformative digital services to present to the Peter Sowerby Foundation Trustees. Pilot funds might be used to:
    • Undertake an audit of existing non-digital service delivery to identify key areas for digital investment/expansion.
    • Develop digital strategies.
    • Engage consultants to best support the development of digital service delivery.
    • Engage current beneficiaries to better understand their needs for digital service delivery.
  • Successful grantees will be expected (over a period of three-months) to establish evidence of need or proof of concept, so as to develop formal proposals/programmes for consideration by Trustees to access larger grants at stage 2.

Stage 2:

  • Following review of initial proposals, the Trustees will fund five of these initiatives (with maximum funding available of £100,000). Applicants should be aware that grants might (at the Trustees discretion) be split as follows:
    • An initial payment for further development of digital service delivery, which might include some initial pilot delivery of activity.
    • A further payment for implementation and rollout of the programme.

The outcome of the Digital Breakthrough Grants Fund will be the development and launch of up to five innovative and transformative digital programmes. Additional funding may be available at Stage 3 for services that evidence substantial need and scale up potential.

Applicants are invited to fill out the initial application form by 5pm on the 16th November 2020, with decisions on initial awarding of grants to take place in January 2021. Successful applicants will then have three-months to further develop their proposals.

2. Digital Good Causes and Adapted Good Causes

Applicants to the Digital and Adapted Good Causes Grants are invited to submit an initial expression of interest by 5pm on 16th November 2020. 

We will undertake an initial review of applications and those we wish to see further information from will be informed by 30th November, with a further deadline of 14th December for final submissions.

We expect grants to be awarded in January 2021.