Council for Voluntary Services Infrastructure Grant

About the grant

A grant to support the 8 Organisations that comprise the Hampshire Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) Network that operates in the Hampshire County Council area. Applications are invited for a lead organisation to receive the funding on behalf of the Hampshire CVS Network, working in close partnership with the other CVS within the Network, passing on funding and working with them to achieve the specific outcomes of the grant.

The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector continues to work closely with the County Council to deliver to residents priorities including with cost of living challenges and maintaining healthy, warm homes in light of the rise in energy prices. Hampshire County Council recognises the important role that the CVS Network plays in supporting the wider VCSE sector to deliver this support.

In addition to specific funding for demand management or individual projects (issued separately via departments), the County Council corporately supports the vibrancy and sustainability of the VCSE in Hampshire through infrastructure support funding. Infrastructure support is concerned with:

  • assisting local organisations to function more effectively so that they successfully meet their charitable objectives and secure sustainability;
  • facilitating effective communication, networking and collaboration amongst local groups and communities, including by promoting and developing voluntary action; and
  • supporting local organisations to influence policies, plans and practices that have an impact on their organisations and beneficiaries and, in so doing, ensuring there is a strong voice for the Sector.
  • identifying needs and facilitating improvement in service provision across the Voluntary Sector to promote efficiency and reduce duplication;

During 2024/25, the CVS Network will continue to support the capacity, resilience and self-sufficiency of the VCSE sector in Hampshire. The uncertainty caused by the rise in the cost of living and inflationary pressures has had an impact on the needs of the sector, so focus will aim towards maximising the delivery of positive outcomes for Hampshire’s residents and communities, in particular, residents in need of support.

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 Hampshire CVS Network to deliver against the following three priorities:

  1. Continued development of volunteer capacity across Hampshire, including attracting new volunteers and developing flexible volunteering opportunities
  2. A CVS Network that recognises and responds to challenges within the Voluntary Sector
  3. Supporting voluntary sector capacity aligned to Hampshire County Council  Adults’ Health and Care  and Childrens’ Services strategic objectives, and providing a voice for the voluntary sector with the County Council

The requirements for the CVS Infrastructure Grant reflect the relationship needed to ensure the VCSE sector are well placed and able to support needs.

Period and amount

The term of the grant will be from award on 1 April 2024 until 31 March 2025 for a period of 12 months. Grant applications for solutions up to £350,000 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 [email protected] for a copy of the application form and details for its completion. All completed applications must be sent by email to [email protected] and received no later than 11:59am on 8 January 2024.

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


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.


We will consider organisations that have developed proposed solutions fulfilling our criteria, we expect the CVS organisations to be active and based in Hampshire.

  • 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.

  • proposed solutions or applying organisations that do not meet the programme’s eligibility
  • proposed solutions that are already provided under contract to the Hampshire County Council.
  • 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”.