Hardship Fund 2023/24

  • Applications must be submitted by Friday 13th October  2023 at 4pm

Late applications will not be considered.

Please email your completed application in pdf format to communitygrants@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

Ards and North Down Borough Council is launching a fund to support those most vulnerable to address hardship caused by the current cost of living crisis, particularly the increase in energy and food costs.  Funding has been provided to Council from Department for Communities.

The competitive fund will be available to statutory, community and voluntary organisations to implement short projects (to be delivered by March 2024) that target individuals and communities who are most vulnerable to the spiralling cost of living.

Under the Hardship Fund applicants can apply for up to £30,000. The minimum value of each application should be £10,000. Applicants will be expected to submit a short proposal (question 1) outlining how they will meet the aim of the fund, how their project is innovative and how they will target those most in need. A reporting scorecard will be required at the end of each project.

The Fund is open for applications from 9am on Friday 29 September 2023 and closes at 4pm on Friday 13 October 2023. Application form will be available to download below.

The Hardship fund is open to the following eligible organisations/groups operating within Ards and North Down. 

  •   Strategic Community Planning Partners (if not delivering statutory functions)
  •   Community & Voluntary Sector Organisations (application must show additionality)
  •   Registered charities (application should bring additionality to a charitable purpose)

The Hardship Funding Programme

The aim of the fund is to support people who are experiencing food, fuel, and financial hardship. Hardship funding is non-recurrent funding.

We welcome project proposals that are innovative, have identified good methods to target those who are most in need, and that will help increase community and individual resilience to the cost-of-living crisis.

Types of initiatives the fund can consider include:

  • Initiatives that identify and work with individuals and their families at times of crisis.
  • Projects that provide spaces with a food offering alongside activities and heat (but food should be the primary purpose).
  • Development of community schemes to improve self-efficient and resilience such as growing spaces and the installation and running of community fridges.
  • Programmes that increase the capacity and integration with existing hardship support services (e.g. Social Supermarkets and food banks)
  • School/education-based food projects e.g. breakfast clubs and holiday hunger initiatives.

What we can fund

Types of areas we can fund include (but are not restricted to):

  • Projects that identify communities and individuals who are financially vulnerable and have an innovative solution based on food, fuel, and financial hardship
  • Energy costs (e.g. heating and lighting) e.g. voucher schemes (food, fuel, oil stamp scheme, electricity)
  • Costs associated with the provision of food to provide those facing hardship with sustenance e.g. including Social supermarkets, Food Banks, Fareshare, Community Fridges, holiday hunger initiatives, meal projects, school-based food projects, such as breakfast clubs and other meal-based projects
  • Projects that enable community food-based planting programmes delivery e.g., raised beds, poly tunnel, seeds and plants required to grow vegetables/herbs or other items which will provide the local communities with produce to assist in meal preparation
  • Purchase and installation of community fridges (but not ongoing energy costs after March 2024)

Hardship Grant Clarification: Administration Costs

Please be advised that it has come to Council’s attention that administration costs (including salary costs) of up to a maximum of 10% can be applied for under the Hardship Funding. The minimum grants that can be applied for is £10,000, which would include £9,000 project costs and a max of £1,000 admin cost, the maximum grant of £30,000 would include £27,000 project costs and a maximum of £3,000 admin costs.

Please note that applications under £10,000 or any amount over £30,000 will not be considered. Please clearly show administration costs being applied for in question 5 on the application form.

What we cannot fund

  • Individual people
  • Private and/or commercial businesses
  • General building or maintenance costs
  • Projects/services operating outside of Ards and North Down area.
  • Funding cannot be used for subsidy schemes (summer schemes and leisure activities), appliances, small grants to community organisations for community-based projects, advice services (including debt), community training (including health and wellbeing, resilience, financial inclusion), uniform schemes, and community transport initiatives.
  • Funding cannot be used for Projects already being funded by the Department, unless it is being used to enhance or expand provision on a food related project.

Applications will be assessed by a scoring panel, prior to being approved by Council.

Scoring of applications

Responses for each of the 6 questions will be given a score out of 5 (except Q1 which is weighted x2) using the scoring matrix detailed in the table below.

Measure Score
Excellent response that meets the requirement. Indicates an excellent response with detailed supporting evidence and no weaknesses. 5
A good response that meets the requirement with good supporting evidence. Demonstrates good understanding of the requirement. 4
The response generally meets the requirement but lacks sufficient detail to warrant a higher mark. 3
A response with reservations. Lacks convincing detail to demonstrate that the proposed response will meet the requirement. 2
An unacceptable response with serious reservations. Very limited detail to demonstrate that the proposed response will meet the requirement. 1
The applicant failed to address the question. 0

If you require further information, contact the Community Development Team at communitygrants@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk