Citizens Advice Infrastructure Grant

About the grant

The Policy and Resources infrastructure grants are intended to develop the capacity, resilience and self-sufficiency of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector, in order that the Sector might maximise its contribution to delivering positive outcomes for Hampshire’s residents and communities – in particular, those who are most in need of support.

Applications are invited for an organisation to provide and maintain a single point of contact between local Citizens Advice operating in the Hampshire County and wider strategic partners who may work with them. In addition the organisation will provide training and development to around 250 paid staff and 500 volunteers across the 14 local Citizens Advice offices. The applicant should also enable the provision of specialist telephone advice lines on employment and welfare for Hampshire residents.

Area of Interest

During the term of the grant, it is expected that the successful organisation will provide the service outlined in this grant criteria, based on requirement, irrespective of their geographical location within Hampshire.

Solution required

This grant seeks applications from organisations whose aim is to benefit Hampshire residents by supporting the Citizen’s Advice network in Hampshire to deliver against the following three core priorities:

  • Priority one: Develop capacity, resilience and capability across local Citizen’s Advice in Hampshire. Being an active partner who seeks to increase the benefits and outcomes for all residents and beneficiaries
  • Priority two: Provide a single strategic point of contact for local Citizens Advice on a range of County Council programmes
  • Priority three: Represent and provide a strategic advice sector perspective to the County Council
  • All activity funded by this grant should deliver against one or more of these three core priorities. Note that the expectation is that these priorities should be delivered equally on a county wide basis and please state in your application how you will be able to deliver across the whole of Hampshire
Period and amount

The term of the grant will be from award on 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023 for a period of 12 months. Grant applications for solutions up to £63,000 are being sought.

The amount of funding requested should reflect the extent to which the application meets part or all of the above criteria.

Please email robert.stead@hants.gov.uk for a copy of the application form and details for its completion. All completed applications must be sent by email to ahc.dmpcu@hants.gov.uk and received no later than 11:59am on 21 Feb 2022.

The department reserves the right to share contact details of applicants with one another where proposals are complimentary.

Monitoring

Use of the grant against the priorities will be monitored as part of the County Council’s quarterly funding review meetings. The County Council will meet with the designated lead and other CVS representatives on a quarterly basis to discuss activity delivered in Hampshire via the infrastructure grant.

The County Council would expect to see evidence of this grants impact in relation to the priority areas through both quantitative and qualitative reporting. The exact monitoring requirements will be agreed prior to the signing of the grant agreement by the successful applicant.

Eligibility

We will consider organisations that have developed proposed solutions fulfilling our criteria, and that will comply with mutually agreed reporting and monitoring requirements. We expect the organisations to be active and based in Hampshire. We are unable to award funding to commercial enterprises and/or individuals acting in their own capacity.

The organisation shall:

  • evidence policies in place relevant to the level of funding applied for
  • have a specific adult/child protection policy which includes obtaining checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in relation to regulated activities
  • have in place insurance arrangements in respect of staff, volunteers, users and third parties

If core costs are to be funded, organisations must show how this relates to delivery of service and accomplishment of grants priorities.

Exclusions
  • proposed solutions or applying organisations that do not meet the programme’s eligibility
  • any party political activity
  • proposed solutions that cater for one religious group, or promote or incite discriminatory practice
  • funding cannot be used for proposed solutions where there is a responsibility for them to be funded from the local precept, school or other service funds

Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year's running costs, or where it is judged that these reserves are unreasonably in excess of what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes. Those organisations receiving recurring funding which hold unallocated reserves in excess of three months' running costs may receive a reduced grant.

The Grant Programme has adopted the Charity Commission’s reserves policy in this respect. The Charity Commission’s definition of reserve is:

"Reserves are that part of a charity's unrestricted funds that is freely available to spend on any of the charity's purposes. This definition excludes restricted income funds and endowment funds, although holding such funds may influence a charity's reserves policy.

Reserves will also normally exclude tangible fixed assets held for the charity's use and amounts designated for essential future spending”.