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 and Social Enterprise (VCSE) 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 fortnightly 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:

  1. Covid-19 response and recovery – Information on vaccines, testing, community recovery
  2. Digital Inclusion – how can we support people to use technology to improve their lives whilst also maintaining face-to-face connection
  3. Domestic Abuse – what services are available and how they can be better accessed within communities.

The Engaged Communities Group also provides funding to support eligible VCSE organisations, through the COMF (Contain Outbreak Management Fund). For more information on funding available through this group, please see below.

For more information on the group or if you would like to join the fortnightly meetings, please email CCBCOVID19@suffolk.gov.uk

Funding is available to organisations through the Engaged Communities Group to support local, Suffolk communities with the response and ongoing recovery from covid-19.

Engaged Communities response and recovery funding

The Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) has been awarded to the Engaged Communities Group to support primarily, with containing the spread of Covid-19 within our communities. Despite the legal restrictions around COVID having been removed, we understand and appreciate that there is still significant concern within our communities and anxiety about the spread.

This funding is being offered to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations for projects/programmes that can help limit the spread and increase awareness and understanding of how we can all better protect ourselves and others from the virus.

The criteria has also been amended to include proposals for projects that support the recovery from Covid-19. The pandemic has had a considerable impact on many of our seldom-heard community groups in Suffolk. The Engaged Communities Group would like to invite proposals from VCSE partners who support these community groups, for projects that support this recovery and continue to help limit the spread.

Engaged Communities Tackling Poverty funding

Find more information on the Engaged Communities Tackling Poverty fund.

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

All approved projects must support the ongoing response and recovery from covid-19 and must be either entirely new pieces of work or must create increased capacity to support more service users. Applications that request funding to continue existing work will not be funded. All applications need to clearly demonstrate the identified need for the project and detail how recent co-production with your intended service users, has helped shape the new project idea.

The Engaged Communities Strategic Group would like to invite proposals for projects either from single organisations (typically under £10,000), or proposals for a project that involves working with two or more organisations across Suffolk (typically over £10,000). Please email us at CCBCOVID19@suffolk.gov.uk and we will happily discuss this with you.

  • Targeted interventions for specific sections of the community and workplaces (e.g. disproportionally affected, seldom heard, marginalised groups)
  • Harnessing capacity within local sectors (e.g. voluntary, academic, commercial)
  • Community based support for those disproportionately impacted such as people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Recovery from Covid-19:

  • Repairing the damage caused by COVID including:
  1. Addressing the increase in fear and anxiety and the impact this has on behaviour (e.g., substance misuse, domestic violence)
  2. Supporting people to cope in a world with COVID (mental health)
  • Creating a legacy - capturing the resilience, innovation and creativity brought about by COVID
  • Supporting Suffolk to move into recovery
  • Harm reduction
  • Support for frontline services and public sector system partners, supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.

The deadline for applications to be submitted is 31 December 2022, however please be aware that the funding may close sooner once the available funding has been spent.

Proposed projects must have an end date of no later than 30 June 2023.

If you require initial funding guidance to discuss your project ideas and to understand if your project meets the funding criteria, please email fundingenquiries@suffolk.gov.uk with the subject ‘Engaged Communities Funding’.

Engaged Communities response and recovery funding: If your organisation can provide support to Suffolk communities to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and aid the ongoing recovery, please complete the following documents and email them to: CCBCOVID19@suffolk.gov.uk

  1. Engaged Communities response and recovery funding application form (DOC, 50KB)
  2. Project costs (EXCEL, 25KB).

Please detail in your application form how your project meets the criteria detailed in ‘Funding Criteria’ above.

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 info@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk who may be able to undertake some match-making.

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

  1. Attend the ‘Engaged Communities Group – Information & Feedback session’ every other Thursday, 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 fortnightly 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 VCSE 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.

All application forms received via the CCBCOVID19@suffolk.gov.uk 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’.