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Engaged Communities Group

Funding opportunities to support local communities via the Voluntary and Community Sector in Suffolk.

The Engaged Communities Group brings together Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations from across Suffolk who work with and represent their local communities and many of our seldom-heard groups in Suffolk.

The group currently meet on a monthly basis via Microsoft Teams with a number of Suffolk partners coming along to present to the group on key topics and pieces of work that are being developed. Organisations are invited to contribute to the discussion on a wide range of topics that affect their communities, to ensure their voices are being heard and that services are developed with these users in mind.

An example of recent discussion topics include:

  • Covid-19 response and recovery – Information on vaccines, testing, community recovery
  • Digital Inclusion – how can we support people to use technology to improve their lives whilst also maintaining face-to-face connection
  • Domestic Abuse – what services are available and how they can be better accessed within communities.
  • The Engaged Communities Group has provided funding to support eligible
  • VCFSE organisations, through the COMF (Contain Outbreak Management Fund).
    Please see below for our current available funding.

Available funding

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Integration Funding.

Funding criteria

The below criteria provides further detail on the types of projects the Engaged Communities Group would like to invite proposals for.

Funding is available to organisations through the Engaged Communities Group to support refugees and asylum seekers in Suffolk to assist with integration into the community.

Funding is available for organisations to support either one or more of the following beneficiaries:

  • Afghan Refugees
  • Ukrainian guests (Homes for Ukraine scheme and/or Family Visa scheme)
  • Asylum Seekers

The proposed project would need to deliver one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Refugees brought together to strengthen their supportive network – such as via creative or sports activities
  • Refugees and Suffolk people brought together to increase their network of contacts
  • Community integration and understanding of cultural distinctiveness – reduced feeling of community isolation, less them and us
  • Reduced feelings of physical isolation – overcome physical access issues in rural areas
  • Activities that recognise and seeks to address mental health stresses and anxiety
  • Traditional skills and food recipes are shared
  • Skills identified that assist securing employment or small business start up
  • English language practiced in a supportive environment
  • Evidence of cultural legacy stemming from this a unique historic situation
  • Awareness of the housing options in Suffolk, what to consider when moving into private accommodation, confidence to move.

We are looking to fund projects up to £25,000. Please can you provide details of any other secured or potential funding for the project.

How to apply for funding

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Integration funding: If your organisation can provide support to refugees and asylum seekers in Suffolk and assist with integration into the community, please complete the following documents and email them to:

  1. Refugee and Asylum Seeker Integration funding application form
  2. Project costs spreadsheet

Please detail in your application form how your project meets the criteria detailed in ‘Funding Criteria’ above, including the proposed outcomes of your project.

Groups and organisations seeking funding must be a constituted body with a bank account requiring two signatories. However, the Engaged Communities group understands there are small groups working in Suffolk undertaking valuable and impactful work who do not meet these criteria but may wish to be part of this. In these instances, they are encouraged to partner with a larger organisation or to contact Community Action Suffolk on 01473 345400 or email who may be able to undertake some match-making.

Expectations for funded organisations

All organisations with projects funded through the Engaged Communities Group will be required to:

  1. Attend the ‘Engaged Communities Group – Information & Feedback session’ which occurs on the last Thursday of every month, via Microsoft Teams. The group meeting is from 10.30-12.00pm. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please send a substitute where possible. The series of MS Teams invites will be sent to you once your project has been approved, if you do not already have these in your diary. During these meetings there will be the opportunity for you to provide a verbal update on the progress of your project and the feedback from your communities on your project. You will be expected to provide a short, written update on the progress of your project and outcomes achieved to date, in advance of the meeting. This written update will then be added to the slides and shared during the meeting.
  2. Provide updates on key issues/concerns within your community and contribute to the discussions during the meetings to ensure the voice of your community is heard. We want to ensure those seldom-heard voices are captured and shared with the relevant Suffolk system partners to drive change forward.
  3. Cascade relevant messages to your community(s)
  4. Collaboration with other VCFSE partners is encouraged and promoted through this group.
  5. Complete ‘End of project report’ to detail the outcomes of your project and the benefits which were realised during the project. The project report will be sent to you at the end of your project.

How applications will be reviewed

All application forms received via the inbox will be reviewed by the Engaged Communities Strategic Group who meet once a week.

If further information on your application is required, a member of the Strategic Group will be in touch to discuss.

We will respond to all applications within 10 working days. Once funding has been received, we will expect your project work to start immediately, and you will be required to meet all expectations detailed above in ‘Expectations for funded organisations’.