December 2019


ESF Community Grants funding is there waiting to be accessed

Groups and organisations working to help people back towards employment can access funding early in 2020 if they move quickly and apply for the next round of ESF Community Grants

ESF Community Grants, funded by the European Social Fund and co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, offer between £5,000 to £20,000 to small and voluntary organisations to help unemployed people advance towards employment, education and training.

The cut-off for the next round of applications is December 23rd after which the panel will meet in January so that funding could be awarded to successful projects by mid-February.

The Community Grants, managed in Coventry & Warwickshire by Groundwork, are delivered in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Among groups to have already benefited from a Community Grant is Overslade Community Association which offers exciting opportunities for the residents of Rugby looking to get back into work or training. Overslade Open Doors (OOD) is a completely free service, providing support, guidance and training for anyone currently out of work.

Project leader Gina Dallison, a life coach and mindfulness practitioner, is supported by a team with a wide range of expertise including a business expert, ESOL teacher, literacy teacher and benefits adviser.

Gina said: "If people are feeling a bit stuck in life, Overslade Open Doors can help them gain some clarity and direction. Each session ends with a short group mindfulness experience to ensure you leave feeling uplifted and positive.

"There are two drop-in sessions each week and a monthly ‘Be Your Own Boss’ workshop, where participants can gain advice and motivation to move an idea to a sustainable profitable business.

"So far, we have run two successful ‘Be Your Own Boss’ workshops, one on Business Ideas and the second around Mastering your Mindset. "

Overslade Open Doors are now seeing their participants progress. One has now begun a career as a carer in a local care home after receiving help developing her CV, gaining confidence in speaking English. If you would like to get involved, make a referral, or find out more about the project Gina can be contacted at or on 07887 570600

Overslade Open Doors is just one group to have benefited from an ESF Community Grant and more funding is available to be accessed.

Support in applying for the grants is available from James Hoare, Grant Enabler at Groundwork West Midlands. Additional support has been provided by Warwickshire Community & Voluntary Action who have run two briefing sessions. These sessions included surgery slots for groups to explore grant ideas. Seven organisations attended with three taking surgery slot sessions and it is hoped that applications from these groups will be made to future rounds.

If you think a grant could be appropriate for your organisation and would like some help thinking through:

• whether it is the right fund for you

• your project proposal

• creating your budget

please contact or call 0121 236 8565.


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