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Grants and other support for the Voluntary and Community Sector

We have long had a tradition of supporting communities and the local voluntary and community sector.

The principal way that we provide this support is through funding third party voluntary sector support services, and through our own community grants programme.

  1. Voluntary and Community Sector Support Services

    We provide financial support to SPARK, South Somerset’s voluntary sector support service.

    SPARK provide a wide range of services including:

    • funding advice
    • help in setting up or developing a group/organisation
    • recruiting and supporting volunteers
    • Training
    • Regular information and funding bulletins
    • Opportunities to network through Forums
    • Community Accountancy service
    • DBS checking
    • Downloadable online resources (model constitutions, policies etc.)

    There are a number of other support services available either national or Somerset specific, for example:

  2. Community Grants

    Who do we fund?

    • Community, voluntary and charitable organisations
    • Not-for-profit groups with a signed set of group rules
    • Parish or Town Councils
    • Other organisations e.g. churches and schools (including Academies) provided wider community benefits can be shown

    What do we fund?

    • Up to 50% of the application costs
    • Requests between £101 and £12,500 can be considered

    Even a few hundred pounds for your community can make a difference such as:

    • Covering the cost of hiring a room/pitch or equipment to help start new activities
    • Booking a coach or activity leader to help increase use of local facilities
    • Helping to subsidise the cost of transport to get your idea moving
    • Training for volunteers to make a difference in your community
    • Getting some expert help for designs or other advice and guidance

    Larger projects supported by our community grants have included:

    • Setting up local services like a social enterprise to operate a shop, pub or cafe
    • Refurbishing or expanding local community halls and meeting places
    • Community transport - enabling a new community transport service to start up
    • Creating or improving local recreation facilities for all ages (see also help for play and youth groups)
    • Starting or developing arts, conservation, education and environment projects (see also help for arts organisations)

    We also aim to fund projects which target particular groups within our community:

    • people at risk of, or suffering from, poor health
    • people with mental health problems
    • children and young people up to age 18
    • older people
    • people on low incomes
    • people facing exclusion in urban and rural areas
    • people seeking to improve and develop work or educational skills

    Other things to consider

    • We hope that you have the support of your parish council - which may include a financial contribution, and we expect other sources of funding to be considered, which ensures that every £1 we provide for community grants goes as far as possible.
    • Your project will need to be well-planned and managed by your group - our grants are only offered after a careful assessment
    • Applications for more than £1,000 are decided by your SSDC Area Committee.

    Please view our guidance document for further information.

    If you would like to speak to someone about our grants programme or obtain an application pack, email

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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