Warning The Dorset Council Youth Fund grant has now closed.

Priority areas for the Youth Fund Grant

The Dorset Council Youth Grant was an overall fund of £100k for 2023 to 2024 to support the delivery of a range of positive activities for the young people of Dorset living in the Dorset Council area.

We offered grants from £500 to £5,000 to support the council to deliver our priorities as set out in our Children Young People and Families plan 2020 to 2023

Key dates for the application process

Key dates for applying for this grant
Grant information Date
Youth Fund opens 17 May 2023
Youth Fund closes 14 June 2023
Grant panel meets 5 July 2023
Applicants informed 14 July 2023


Our desired outcomes

We will be asking you to deliver a youth project or activity that makes a positive impact or difference to young people aged 11 to 19, or up to the age of 25 if they have special educational needs or disability (SEND), or if they are a care leaver.

The grant may be used for both ongoing costs and for the purchase of equipment or other items (it may be used for both revenue and capital expenditure).

We will expect your project to contribute to at least one of the following outcomes:

  • providing a wide range of positive activities for young people, including support for vulnerable young people whose needs might otherwise escalate
  • improving the wellbeing of young people in the Dorset Council area in the following areas:
    • to have healthy and active lives
    • to be safe from harm and have the help they need
    • to be prepared for adult life

Who can apply

The Dorset Youth Fund is open to youth centres and youth clubs that operate within the Dorset Council area for the benefit of young people who live there.

Organisations that can apply are:

  • constituted organisations
  • non-profit making organisations operated with no undue restriction on membership, for example charities
  • charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs)
  • community interest companies (CICs). We will only fund CICs with a minimum of 3 directors, two of whom must be unrelated
  • company limited by guarantee (not for profit)
  • community organisations
  • partnership of organisations with a written partnership agreement (town councils can be part of a partnership project)
  • places of worship, if their project does not promote religious beliefs or particular faiths, and can demonstrate non-religious cultural, sporting or social impact activities

Grant eligibility

You can only apply for this fund once in the current financial year 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

If your organisation is revenue funded by Dorset Council, you may apply for project funding where the project is distinctly separate and adds value or enhances your organisation's work and increases its social impact.

Organisations with an annual income of more than £500,000 are not eligible for this fund, unless their project has a grass roots and local focus, with distinct benefits for Dorset communities. If your organisation income is over £500,000 per annum, we ask that you contact the team before applying.

We will fund delivery of youth projects and activities within the Dorset Council area, including centres and clubs that were previously funded by the predecessor county council. This can include:

  • the purchase of equipment
  • staffing costs
  • projects that add value or enhance the normal activities of your group or organisation
  • enabling or extending access to positive activities to young people that do not usually take part

This is what we will fund:

  • 100% for projects up to £3,000
  • a maximum of 80% project funding with a minimum of 20% match funding from the applicant for projects between £3,001 and £5,000

Where match funding applies, applicants will have to demonstrate where the 20% cash contribution will be coming from and whether it is confirmed or pending.

We welcome discussions with you as an applicant about your project before you submit your application.

What we will not fund

The following are not eligible for funding: 

  • loan repayments
  • projects with a total cost of less than £500
  • projects outside the Dorset Council area, for example Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole, or other surrounding areas
  • individuals or personal equipment
  • commercial organisations
  • external bursary schemes or grants programmes administered by the applicant
  • projects for services that are already commissioned by Dorset Council which have been awarded to other organisations/agencies
  • promotion of religious or political beliefs
  • projects which in our opinion could harm the reputation of Dorset Council
  • applications from schools

What you need to demonstrate in your application

When applying for this fund, you must demonstrate:

  • the need for financial support for your project
  • value for money
  • how the project meets at least one of one of our Children’s Services priorities
  • why your project is needed and what outcomes you will achieve
  • the start and end date of your project
  • that any projects can be delivered within 12 months of funds being released
  • clear involvement of young people in making decisions and the development of your application
  • appropriate governance of your organisation including the provision of the following documents:
    • a written constitution or governing document that sets out the purpose and management of the organisation
    • a bank account in the name of the organisation with at least 2 unrelated cheque signatories required for payments
    • an up-to-date safeguarding policy
    • appropriate and current insurance cover for your organisation’s business or activities

Provision of all these documents is mandatory.

Terms and conditions

These are the terms and conditions for the youth fund grant:

  1. applications must be submitted on the council’s online form by the deadline of xxx. Dorset Council will not accept/consider any applications received after this deadline. If you are unable to apply online, please contact us to discuss this well in advance of the application deadline.
  2. applicants will be expected to demonstrate that their project is needed and that the intended beneficiaries of the project have been involved and consulted with.
  3. applicants will be required to submit an end of project report, including case studies and feedback from young people. Failure to submit may prevent subsequent applications to the Dorset Youth Fund.
  4. the grant can be claimed in full prior to the project start date. To claim the grant the recipient must accept all the terms and conditions of the grant offer and complete all sections of the declaration. Applicants will be asked sign a standard grant agreement with full details of their grants award including terms and conditions. Where small amounts of capital funding towards equipment costs, applicants may be requested to provide Dorset Council with a copy of the quote/invoice
  5. where there is a significant material change made to the project you must consult with Dorset Council prior to any spending. Failure to do so may result in part, or all, of the grant awarded having to be returned
  6. decisions made by Dorset Council’s Grants Panel are final. There is no appeals process. The fund is limited, and, in some cases, partial grant awards may be made. Where this is likely to have a detrimental impact on the delivery of the planned project, applicants may be invited to discuss a change to the planned project
  7. Dorset Council reserve the right to make changes to the guidance and/or programme after its launch. Any changes will be communicated as quickly as is reasonably possible

Completing your application

Our online form is accessible and easy read. Read our accessibility statement for more information. A PDF copy of your application will be emailed to you once you have submitted your application. Applicants are reminded that we only accept applications through the online form.

Before you complete your application form, applicants are strongly advised to take time to thoroughly read and understand the fund criteria, priorities and whether your group or organisation is eligible to apply.

You should also make sure that you have all the supporting documents requested so that you can upload them when completing your application. If having read the guidance you are still unsure, please contact us and we will be pleased to discuss this with you further.

How to complete the online application form

The list below summarises the questions we will ask you and any supporting documents that you need to upload in each section of the online form.

Take time to read this as it will help you prepare your application and upload the right supporting documents.

Do not upload large data files (larger than 3MB per file) when completing the form. You can use PDFs or use a zip file if needed. Only upload the documents that we ask for.

Once you start our online application form, enter your name and email address. You can now save your application and return to it later.

The application form is divided into 6 sections. You can complete these sections in any order, save the form and return to complete it later. The 6 sections are:

  • organisation details
  • project purpose
  • finance
  • bank account
  • supporting documents
  • declaration

At the end of each section, you will be prompted to ‘save’ or continue to the next section.

Select 'next' if you are ready to continue with the application. If you need to get additional information and return to your application later select 'save'.

You will then be sent a link to your chosen email address, the one you provided at the start of your application form. The link will take you back to your application form so you can continue completing it. The email also has a PDF copy of your application form so far.

When you are ready to continue with the application form click on the link in the email. You can then complete the next sections and return to previous sections if you need to edit them.

If there are any questions you do not complete you will not be able to submit your application form. Return to any sections with incomplete information. You can find these highlighted in red.

You must use the same email address you used in the first section of the form to access and continue your application form.

How we make our decision

Prior to assessment Dorset Council Officers will undertake due diligence on all applications to ensure that the application meets the criteria set out above and that all the relevant documentation has been submitted and is in order. Applications passing the due diligence will be considered by the Grant Panel for a decision.

The Grant Panel is made up of:

  • 3 councillors (including the portfolio holder for Children and Education)
  • 3 young people

The panel will be supported by 2 specialist Dorset Council Officers who advise the panel on youth matters. Each member of the grant evaluation panel will screen all the applications to ensure fairness.

Where a conflict of interest occurs the relevant officer or representative will not take part in the assessment and the conflict of interest will be recorded.

The Grant Panel will assess each application against the fund criteria and use a scoring matrix to agree and prioritise awards. Decisions are made by a majority vote. Where there is no majority the council’s Portfolio holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help will have the deciding vote. The panel decision is final.

If an applicant withdraws their application after the panel decision has been made, the Chair, in consultation with the other panel members, can agree to award the grant to another applicant.

Any changes to the proposed project will be considered by the Grants Officer/Manager and Panel Chair, in consultation with other panel members as appropriate. This might include:

  • changes to the organisation that will have a material effect on the group’s ability to deliver the project / project outcomes
  • an inability to deliver the proposed project that the fund has been granted for
  • new information comes to light that affects the application

Youth fund grant data sharing

Dorset Council, we will share basic data information about your application with other local grant managers or funding streams. This will enable us to:

  • make informed funding decisions
  • avoid duplication of funding
  • ensure value for money is achieved through our grant making processes

Dorset Council will also ensure that applicants data is stored appropriately. See details of our Data Privacy and GDPR policy.

How we will tell you about awarding the grant

We will inform applicants on 9th December 2022. However, if we receive a high volume of applications, we may need to move that date. We will advise you if that is the case.

The panel or officers may also need to obtain further information about the application, and this may require additional time before confirming a decision. Where this is the case we will let you know.

Release of funding will depend upon the type of grant being offered. Funding decisions can be for:

  • a full award
  • a partial award
  • conditional award
  • declining award

If you are successful, we will make the funding available to you in full before the start of your project, subject to receipt of all the mandatory supporting documents. We will make grant payments by a BACS payment upon receipt of valid invoice from the applicant.

Where your bid is unsuccessful, we can provide feedback upon request. If you're not satisfied with the service or advice that we've provided, you can make a complaint following Dorset Council’s Complaints Procedure. If you're not satisfied with the service or advice that we've provided, you can make a complaint following Dorset Council’s Complaints Procedure.

Contact us for more information

Children's Services contracts team

Email: childrensservicescontracts@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Service Manager Young and Thriving, Children's Services

Name: Simon Fraiz-Brown
Email: simon.fraiz-brown@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305224776
Full contact details

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