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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Social inclusion grant programme

Important message

Please note, this grant has been delayed due to Covid-19. More information will be available at the end of May.

The social inclusion grant programme is based on strengthening local communities, increasing participation and promoting social inclusion through community organisations, activities and events. It is available for groups based in or providing benefit to Dorset Council residents only.

Social inclusion is about involving everyone within communities. People can feel socially excluded or isolated for a number of reasons for example:

  • age (young and older people)
  • living on a low income or experiencing poverty
  • experiencing rural isolation
  • experiencing enduring ill health (physical and mental)
  • experiencing discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, religion and/or belief.

The purpose of the social inclusion grant programme is to provide small grants to local community and voluntary organisations that address social exclusion in a positive way.

Funding criteria

To be eligible for funding, organisations must:

  • demonstrate how their project/organisation contributes towards addressing the issue of social inclusion.
  • have a written governing document (for example, a constitution, memorandum and articles of association, set of rules or trust deed)
    • have at least three members on your management committee/board
    • have a bank or building society account in the name of the organisation
    • be operating or supporting residents within the Dorset Council boundary
    • have an appropriate safeguarding policy - if you are working with children and young people or vulnerable adults.
    • have an equal opportunities policy
    • show evidence that the service you provide is needed by the community and that it has community support.

The grant can be used for:

  • a new project, setting up a new group or local forum
  • capital items that will help your organisation e.g. equipment
  • running costs
  • events

We are unable to fund:

  • grants to individuals.
  • activities that happen or start before we confirm decisions on our award
  • activities that are completely funded from another funding source
  • any expenditure incurred or committed before we confirm our grant
  • loans or interest payments
  • political or religious activities
  • projects where the main purpose is to increase participation in sports and arts as the council has a separate grant for these activities.
  • fundraising activities for your organisation or others
  • parish and town councils


Organisations will be asked to report back on how effective their project has been in addressing the issue of social inclusion.

Apply for a social inclusion grant

Download and complete this application. Once completed you can either email or post this form to us. Further instructions are on the form.


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