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The DCT Announces its New Community Grant Programmes

The Board of Trustees with Strategic Grant winners, Deptford Town Hall, July 2016
The Board of Trustees with Strategic Grant winners, Deptford Town Hall, July 2016

The Trustees of the Deptford Challenge Trust (DCT) are delighted to announce a change in grantmaking strategy. The DCT has awarded over £3m since 2000 to projects which support the communities living in the DCT catchment area which covers Deptford and parts of New Cross, South East London. Through its Small and Strategic Grant Funds the DCT has supported local community groups, helping them to deliver their services, trial new projects and strengthen their organisations. Funding has encouraged groups within the DCT catchment area to work and grow together, learning from one another to build a stronger and more vibrant voluntary and community sector for the benefit of local people. The DCT’s grant programmes are managed by The London Community Foundation (LCF).

The DCT’s Board of Trustees recently undertook a review of its grantmaking to inform a new strategy, including commissioning research into other funding available within the area (copies of this report will be given out at the upcoming DCT Conference in Spring 2017). From 2017 the DCT will no longer be offering the Small and Strategic Grant Programmes. Instead there will be one programme, the Open Programme, offering grants of between £1,000 and £30,000. The ethos behind the previous Small and Strategic Grant Programmes will remain – a proportion of ‘seed-corn funding’ will be earmarked for small or new organisations and a separate amount will be reserved for projects which would have a strategic impact on the DCT area and the organisations operating within it. Grants will be awarded under four theme areas: education and skills; community cohesion and social inclusion; health and wellbeing; and strengthening the DCT area.

In addition to the Open Programme the DCT will be inviting organisations to apply for core grants of for up to three years. This funding can be used to support staff salaries, overheads or operational costs to sustain delivery of core services and enable the organisation’s growth. Eligible organisations must have a track record of at least three years of managing DCT funding.

The Chair of Trustees, Des Malone, said:

‘This is the biggest change in our grant making focus since our foundation. The move to give ‘core funding’ is in recognition of the difficulties organisations now have in securing this type of funding which is vital for the retention of experienced staff. The removal of the boundary between ‘Small’ and ‘Strategic’ Funds into ‘the Open Programme’ reflects the needs of the organisations in our area for a  breadth of funding. We hope both these changes will strengthen the voluntary sector and enable our community to continue to thrive.’

The Open Programme will open for applications in December 2016 with a closing date in March 2017 and invitations to apply for a core grant will be sent in January 2017. All grants will be awarded in May 2017. For details of the Open Programme and how to apply please check this website again in December. You can also sign up for LCF's e-bulletin for regular updates about the DCT Open Programme and other funding available through LCF: http://www.londoncf.org.uk/lcf/our-newsletter.aspx and follow them on Twitter @London_cf.

Community groups interested in attending the DCT Conference should check this website in the new year for details of how to register. Places are limited and groups which are based within the DCT catchment area will be prioritised.

Published on 26 October 2016

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