Funding Local Causes

VCS Workforce Development Grants Programme

Grants of up to £2,000 available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations

Workforce Development grant 2021-22 will open on 1st July 2021. Updated grants criteria will available to download on 28th June 2021.
Grants programe 2020-21 has now been closed.

Hertfordshire County Council Adult Care Services are funding a grant scheme for voluntary and community sector organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:
  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Organisations must deliver services in Hertfordshire and be one of the following:
    • Registered Charity

    • Company with Charitable Status

    • Social Enterprise

    • Constituted Voluntary/Community Group

    Organisations must provide adult social care and demonstrate that all or the majority of their service users are over 19 years of age and that they support one or more of the following:
    • Older people

    • Learning disability or difficulty

    • Physical disability

    • Sensory impairment

    • Physical or mental health illness

    • Substance misuse

    • Domestic violence

    • Carers (for adults in one of the above groups)

    • Or for any other reason are in need, at risk, or face poverty*

    * Poverty or unemployment alone are insufficient to apply and qualify for a grant.

    Organisations must directly deliver services that achieve at least one of the following:
    • protect people who use care services

    • preserve or advance physical or mental health

    • promote independence and social inclusion

    • improve opportunities and life chances

    Who is not eligible to apply?
    • Individuals who are not currently paid staff, a volunteer or a trustee of an eligible organisation

    • Organisations that provide services to parents or families where the primary beneficiary is the child

    • Statutory bodies or private companies that do not have charitable status

    • Organisations that do not provide frontline services to the community/public

    How much can we apply for?
    The maximum grant for an organisation for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is £2,000
    The maximum grant for the development of an individual working within an organisation is £500
    The grants may be used as a contribution towards a development programme, but applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have secured the remainder of the funding before the grant is paid and that there is no double-funding.
    The grant must be confirmed and the activity started before 31 March 2021, but it is not required to be completed before this date.

    What can the grant be used for?
    The grant must be used for either:
    • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce

    • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

    Examples of acceptable uses include:
    • Training or qualifications for paid staff, volunteers or trustees

    • Coaching or mentoring for key leaders (e.g. managers or trustees)

    • Equipment, software or other resources/materials that will be used for the delivery of training and skills to the workforce, carers or service users/clients

    • Costs associated with accreditation of courses (provided there is a sustainable plan for maintaining this)

    • To develop and run peer support programmes to aid recovery and provide on-going care and support

    The grant may not be used for
    • Activities that have already started

    • Refreshments, lunches etc. for participants

    • Repeating the same activities funded by this grant programme in 2018/19 or 2019/20

    • Staff salaries (unless required to work additional hours)

    • Contributions to other HCF Training and Development courses already subsidised by Hertfordshire County Council.

    Impact of your training & development activity
    Applicants will also need to demonstrate that the activity funded will have an impact on one or more of the following objectives and complete an evaluation after the end of the programme:
    • Improve the governance, management or business skills of your organisation

    • Help your organisation to operate legally and safely

    • Support your organisation to become sustainable and more enterprising

    • Gear your organisation up for personal budgets and/or direct payments for services

    • Enable your organisation to provide quality preventative services in the community

    • Encourage volunteering

    • Raise awareness of adult safeguarding and how to report concerns

    • Improve the skills and employability of adults with physical or learning disabilities, mental illness or other social care needs

    How do we apply?
    1. Contact - we will ask you to complete a simple enquiry form and arrange for an advisor to meet you.
    2. HCF will arrange for an advisor to have a consultation with you and conduct an Organisations Needs Analysis (ONA), to discuss your request for a grant and help you to complete the application. In the circumstances listed below you may be exempt from having to complete the ONA:
    a) Organisations that have already completed an ONA with HCF Training & Development since April 2018. You will only be required to have a brief consultation with an advisor (unless you request to have one or have had substantial changes in circumstances).
    b) Organisations with an income above £500,000 and a member of staff dedicated to training of staff and volunteers, can upon request conduct the ONA without an HCF advisor and apply for the grant directly.
    4. The application will be submitted to HCF Training and Development - and you will be informed by e-mail whether or not the application is approved.
    5. Applicants will be required to provide evidence of the activity that is being funded e.g. confirmation of acceptance of a place on a course, copies of registers, acceptance of quotes, copies of invoice/receipt, before payment will be released.
    6. 70 % of the agreed amount of funding will be paid by BACS upon the approval of the grant and confirmation of the training programme funded via this grant. The remaining 30% will be paid on receipt of the evidence for all courses and completion of the final evaluation form.
    7. If agreed activities are not taking place, organisations are liable for the reimbursement of the grant.

    Who can apply and when?
    The 2020-21 programme will be open for applications from the following dates:
    1 July 2020: All eligible organisations who:
    • have not received a VCS workforce development grant in the 2019/20 programme (April 2019 - March 2020);

    • or have an annual income of less than £300,000 in the latest complete financial year (regardless of the value of previous workforce development grant);

    • or were awarded less than £1,000 in the 2019/20 programme

    1 September 2020: all eligible organisations

  • Applications will be reviewed, and grants awarded on a first come first served basis until all the funding has been allocated.
  • Once awarded, grant recipients will be required to confirm the timetable for activities and to keep HCF Training and Development informed of any changes
  • Applications will not be considered from any organisation who has not completed activities funded by their 2019/20 grant or where the monitoring evidence and/or evaluation has not been submitted.
  • Organisations may submit an enquiry form and start work with an advisor on their ONA and grant application prior to these dates.
  • HCF Training and Development may adjust this timetable depending on the level of applications.

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