05/12/19: The Open Programme is now OPEN
05/04/17: Funding database for the DCT Area - click on 'Resources' below

The Open Grants Programme - is now OPEN


Click here to apply

About The Fund

The Deptford Challenge Trust (DCT) is a grant-making charitable trust that aims to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in a defined area of Lewisham, that covers Deptford and parts of New Cross (please see the map here). DCT started out as part of the national City Challenge regeneration programme in the mid-1990s. In partnership with Goldsmiths University the Deptford City Challenge (as it was then known) invested part of the funding it was given in student accommodation. The Trust was set up, and through this rental income it has been able to provide grants to voluntary and community organisations for activities which benefit residents within the DCT area for almost 20 years. The Trust’s grant-making programmes are managed by The London Community Foundation.

Following a strategic review in 2016 the Trustees are pleased to launch this new fund, the Open Programme, in place of the Small Grant and Strategic Grant Programmes. The ethos of both these historic funds will remain and the DCT will continue to support small and new organisations through the provision of ‘seedcorn’ funding as well as encourage the strategic development of the DCT area and the organisations working within it. In 2018 Lendlease also contributed some funds to the Deptford Challenge Trust.  This year Lendlease have committed £20,000 for projects based in Evelyn ward.  For more information on Lendlease please see the News section of this website. 

Following a consultation in 2019 with local groups,  this programme will now provide funding for Core Costs and Capital Costs as well as Project Costs.

Fund Themes and Criteria

Organisations are invited to apply for funding under the following themes. The Trustees welcome applications for projects which work with residents of any age, gender and ethnic background.

  1. Education and skills – helping those who need extra support to either stay in education or return to it later in life;
  2. Community cohesion and social inclusion - celebrating the diversity of the DCT area and welcoming new arrivals into the community.
  3. Health & wellbeing – improving the wellbeing of all residents, in particular those with a physical disability, learning difficulty or mental health problem;
  4. Strengthening the DCT area – building capacity and connecting local organisations, creating a stronger, more resilient voluntary and community sector.

Grant Size & Eligibility Criteria

Constituted community and resident groups, Registered charities, Companies limited by guarantee, Community Interest Companies (CICs) Limited by Guarantee - not Limited by Shares and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)are all eligible to apply for one-year grants of £1,000-£30,000

To apply

Click here to apply

The London Community Foundation Programme Manager responsible for the Deptford Challenge Trust fund is Sam Smallcombe, 020 7582 5117, sam.smallcombe@londoncf.org.uk