Supporting Bristol’s CYP sector with funding applications

Funding for Children and Young People projects
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18 July, 2019


Bristol has a large network of people and organisations working in the children and young people (CYP) sector, but applying for funding can present challenges for everyone.

It’s completely normal to need advice, even if this isn’t your first time writing a bid – maybe you’ve struggled to win grants before, or you’d like to collaborate with other organisations to receive more money. 

Voscur currently offers help before and after applications to the Youth Sector Support Fund (YSSF), which is a major funding opportunity for organisations that work with Bristol’s children and young people aged 8-19. Grants are worth up to £10,000 per organisation and up to £30,000 per partnership.

The fund comes from Bristol City Council and Quartet Community Foundation, and grants are awarded by a panel of experts from the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

If your charity, community group or social enterprise has a project or development goal that will benefit this age group, particularly in under-funded neighbourhoods or for disadvantaged groups, you could be eligible for funding.

What makes a good funding application?

Projects funded so far include:

  • Bike skills for young people.
  • Career mentoring.
  • Increased storage space.
  • Music production workshops.
  • Targeted activities for young people facing challenges.

Catalyse Change CIC was awarded a grant to run a mentoring scheme for young women aged 14-19 from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Bristol. Each young woman will be mentored for six months, from September 2019, and they will work towards a goal, whether it’s educational, career-focused or linked to personal development. The mentor will also show how to create a wellbeing toolkit.

Things to consider when applying:

  • Does your project meet any of the Children’s Charter aims?
  • Have you clearly demonstrated the need for this project, and the people who will benefit?
  • Is there a gap in existing services that could be met by your project?
  • Do you have all the supporting documents ready?
  • Have you already raised some money towards this project, or do you need help with fundraising strategies?

Voscur’s development team can help you answer these questions; the team has decades of experience in bid writing and community outreach work.

Support so far

From March to June 2019, Voscur supported 19 CYP sector organisations with their applications. If an application is rejected by the YSSF panel, organisations are sent feedback and an offer of support from Voscur, which can help strengthen any future applications they make.

Voscur also held a free conference, called Sustaining the CYP Sector, to share ideas, contacts, experience and research. The conference took place at the Filwood Community Centre, in South Bristol – an area of the city that is a priority for funders.

It’s hoped that the conference can become an annual event, giving CYP sector groups a chance to network, keep updated on hot topics, and learn from each other. 

Preparing your application

Voscur’s development team can offer a range of support to anyone thinking of applying for the YSSF:

As the YSSF runs until 2021, there are rolling application deadlines. The next deadlines are:

  • Monday 14 October 2019, for applications considered at the December 2019 panel meeting.
  • Friday 13 January 2020, for applications considered at the March 2020 panel meeting.

If you would like application support for other funding bids, don’t forget you can request this at any time from Voscur – click here to find out more.