Birmingham Fairer Futures Fund – Citywide Small Grants

This fund is now closed.


About the Fairer Futures Fund – Citywide Small Grants

The Fairer Futures Fund will support activities to improve outcomes and to tackle inequalities. The City-Wide Small Grants are for community organisations to address health inequalities for communities of identity across Birmingham.

The Fairer Futures Fund will enable delivery against the objectives of the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System Strategy for Health and Care 2023-33. In particular, the fund is intended to support targeted interventions to:

  • Reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing outcomes for communities of place, identity, and experience.
  • Tackle unequal access to health and care.

Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System has set out an ambition to transform how health and care services are delivered in Birmingham and Solihull aimed at improving outcomes and tackling health inequalities. Over the next five years, services will become more integrated and delivered closer to where people live, whilst the focus will shift towards preventing ill-health. Key to achieving this will be working in and across communities to deliver activities in partnership with the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector.

To help to achieve this, Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System has created the £22.2 million Fairer Futures Fund to support community, clinical and professionally-led innovation over the course of the next three years. The Birmingham Fairer Futures Fund is being divided and allocated via four ‘pots’ – £2.46m will be allocated through City-wide Small Grants; £5.74m will be allocated via a City-wide Partnership Fund; £2.46m will be allocated via Localities Small Grants; and £5.74m will be allocated via a Locality Partnership Fund. 

A total of £2.46m is available for Citywide Small Grants.  Each grant awarded will be a maximum of £15,000 per annum, with up to a maximum total of £45,000 available for projects that are delivered over a three year period.

Important Information about this Fund

  • Applications open on 20th March 2024 and close on 12th July 2024 at 5pm.
  • We anticipate that all applicants will be notified on a decision from September 2024.

Please read through the following sections which will provide you with further information about applying to the programme.

  • A version of the Applicant Guidance for this fund is available to download here.
  • Please also download a copy of the Programme Background Information and Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • A copy of the application form questions are available to download here. These are to help you with drafting your application only and you should still submit your application via the link to the form below.

Please do check back for the latest version of this guidance which is currently version 1 – March 2024. We reserve the right to make updates to the guidance as and when required.

Fund Workshops and Webinars

To find out more information about this fund and how to apply, please book onto our upcoming webinars and workshops – which are free to attend. We will also include recordings here after the workshops have been delivered for those who can’t attend.

Book Now: 8th April 2024 – Funding Workshop – Online 

Contacting Our Team

If you would like further information, advice or guidance about making an application to this fund, please contact our team at – please include FFF/Bham in your email subject title.

Available Funding

Small grants of up to £15,000 per annum or up to £45,000 for individual projects over a 3-year delivery period.

However, there is no requirement for organisations to apply for a 3-year delivery period – applications are welcomed irrespective of value or length of delivery period; subject to the upper limits of 3 years and £45,000. All applications must have an impact against the priorities for the fund.

Multi-year projects will be assessed at each end-of-year and continued funding will be dependent upon performance/meeting monitoring requirements.

Applicants are limited to apply for funding to target one distinct theme per application. Groups/Consortiums leads are invited to apply for a maximum of two small grants only.

What we expect to fund

To successfully receive a grant from this fund, applicants will need to clearly demonstrate the following:

  • Innovative, new or additional services to address long-standing health and wellbeing inequalities
  • An evidence-informed rationale for how your project will show impact on the fund priorities, patient behaviours, knowledge and/or clinical outcomes against one or more of the specific priorities for this fund
Eligibility to Apply

You can apply to this fund if you are one of the following:

  • Registered charities
  • Constituted Community groups
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee with charitable aims
  • Community Interest Companies*
  • Co-operatives – registered Community Benefit Societies and registered Industrial and Provident Societies
  • Social Enterprises

*Funding to Community Interest Companies and other non-charities may include conditions to restrict funding to charitable objectives only.

Our ambition is to award at least 50% of the funding to groups with an income level of under £1 million – as stated in applicants most recent accounts or financial statements. 

Apply here

This fund has now closed.

Fund Learning, Evaluation and Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to provide a quarterly written report to the Heart of England Community Foundation and to take part in:

  • Monthly monitoring meetings
  • Additional monitoring in partnership with an external evaluation partner administering online base line surveys and collection of participant data. Budgeting for proposed projects should allow for this requirement up to approximately 15% of the requested grant amount.
  • Participate in a wider evaluation of the programme and impact outcomes (details TBC)
  • Yearly grant review to assess project delivery and impact
  • Complete an End of Grant Monitoring Report at the end of the delivery
  • Provide case studies

Projects will be expected to have a clear rationale for how they will achieve the change in outcome proposed. 

Individual outcomes should be measured using standardised methods. The Birmingham Measurement Toolbox Birmingham public health measurement toolbox | Birmingham City Council has been developed to support this. 

Please note that whilst there may be projects for which the measurement toolkit is not appropriate (such as those that aim to work indirectly with the public e.g. through training and connecting), these will nonetheless require robust evaluation measures.

What we won’t fund
  • Direct replacement of statutory obligation and public funding
  • Promotion of religious or political activities (we can fund religious or political organisations if their project benefits the wider community and does not include religious or political content)
  • Groups with significant financial free reserves
  • Retrospective grants
  • Contribution to endowment fund, payment of deficit funding or repayment of loans
  • Overseas travel or expeditions
  • Medical research and equipment for statutory or private healthcare
  • General appeals
  • National Charities who don’t have an existing strong local connection/presence
  • Animal welfare, unless the project benefits people (e.g. disabled riding schemes)
  • Statutory work in educational institutions
  • Sponsored or fundraising events or groups raising funds to distribute to other causes
  • Schools, Churches, Parish Councils or PTA’s unless community benefit is demonstrated
Supporting information to submit with your application

To ensure that yor application is eligible and that you are able to progress you must be able to provide proof of:

  • Your organisation / company has a management committee / board of trustees / board of directors with at least 3 unrelated people as members, a list of those directors will be required showing who has bank authorisation.
  • A written constitution / articles / set of rules.
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or financial records showing your organisation’s balance of funds, income and reserves.
  • A bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two unrelated signatories
  • A bank statement from the last 3 months.
  • Up to date safeguarding policy in line with the most recent legislation (if you will be working with children or vulnerable adults)*
  • Up to date Equal opportunities policy in line with the most recent legislation*
  • Quotes for capital items over £500.

** Applicants should refer to our online support and FAQ’s as insufficient supporting documentation will result in a delay or rejection of your application

Theme 1: Best Start in Life

Projects working towards the Best Start in Life theme should select one of the following sub-priorities:

  • Children, particularly those in care and children living in low-income households, via activities that support the uptake of vaccinations; uptake of healthy start vouchers; reduce infant mortality and hospital admissions caused by injuries and asthma
  • Young adults – including reducing conception rates in those aged below 18 and interventions to improve mental health
  • Women – including projects encouraging breastfeeding; develop parenting skills; uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives; uptake of antenatal screening; continuity of maternal services and reproductive health particularly for those from deprived and ethnic minority backgrounds
Theme 2: Healthier lives in communities

Projects working towards the Healthier lives in communities theme should select one of the following sub-priorities:

  • People living with long-term conditions and disabilities
  • Men, women, children, families and those from deprived and ethnic minority backgrounds – activities aimed at improving nutrition, reducing sugar and salt intake and increasing physical activity; reducing the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses and related admissions to hospitals
  • Manual workers, people with long-term mental-health conditions, and the unemployed – through smoking cessation reducing the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and related admissions to hospital
Theme 3: Better outcomes through earlier intervention and treatment

Projects working towards the Better outcomes through earlier intervention and treatment theme should select one of the following sub-priorities:

  • Ethnic minority backgrounds including African, Caribbean and South Asian Communities – through activities to increase uptake of NHS health checks particularly for hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and mental health
  • Deprived communities – through activities increasing immunisation uptake; uptake of cancer screening; and increasing dementia diagnosis in the under 65s
  • Heterosexual women – through activities preventing and treating blood borne viruses (BBV) such as HIV and Hepatitis
Theme 4: Empowering and connecting communities

Projects working towards the Empowering and connecting communities theme should select one of the following sub-priorities:

  • LBGTQ+ and people with long-term conditions and disabilities – through activities improving mental health; reducing social isolation; supporting adults with learning disabilities into employment; increasing uptake of annual health checks; reducing suicide and self-harm rates
  • Migrant communities, ex-offenders, gypsy, Roma and travellers, and those with English as a second language – through activities that improve health literacy
  • Carers – increasing uptake of annual health checks