Organisations in Birmingham are being urged to bid for new funding to launch innovative community projects that will improve health and care for residents across the city.

Applications open today (20 March) for community organisations to bid for Citywide Small Grants, being made available via Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System’s (BSol ICS’s) Fairer Futures Fund.

A total of £2.46 million is available through the new Citywide Small Grants, with organisations in Birmingham able to bid for up to £15,000 per year, or up to a maximum of £45,000 for individual projects over a three-year delivery period.

The Fairer Futures Fund was launched in 2022 and will see £22.2 million of funding awarded up until 2027 for projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of citizens across Birmingham and Solihull; reducing health inequalities and supporting communities to stay well.

More than 50 organisations have already received over £2.1 million from the Fairer Futures Fund across Birmingham and Solihull for projects ranging from helping bereaved homeless people, to mental health resilience workshops for schoolchildren in deprived areas of Birmingham.

The Citywide Small Grants scheme is being distributed in partnership with Heart of England Community Foundation, and is being overseen by BSol ICS’s Birmingham Place Committee to ensure that the funding meets the health and care needs of local people and communities across the city.

David Melbourne, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “This is another significant step in the distribution of our Fairer Futures Fund, and we’ve already seen the difference it is making to our local communities.

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Heart of England Community Foundation, which brings a wealth of experience in working with public and community organisations.

“By funding projects delivered in collaboration with the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector, we are ensuring we are reaching those that are often the most underrepresented and underserved and have the greatest disparities in health and care.”

Councillor Rob Pocock, Acting Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a great development for the people of Birmingham, with funding going straight into community-based initiatives designed to improve health and wellbeing at a very local level. It will give real power to local communities and help create stronger local neighbourhoods – building a more democratic city, as well as a healthier city.

“The ambition for these projects is to make a real difference to the lives of our local populations, enabling them to live their best possible life. I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress, as well as for further funding to be distributed across our city.”

Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council, said: “The Fairer Futures Fund Citywide Small Grants scheme is an opportunity to support smaller community-led organisations to work with local health and social care organisations in local communities in Birmingham to impact in measurable ways on health outcomes to support longer-term approaches that are sustainable and integrated into local pathways of care and early intervention.”

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “We are excited to be part of the next phase of the Fairer Futures Fund.

“This fund represents a fantastic opportunity for local, community organisations across Birmingham to work alongside the NHS and wider health and care sector partners to support communities to prevent illness and promote healthy lifestyles. We look forward to seeing the diversity of projects and initiatives across the city come to life later this year and we encourage organisations to attend a workshop, and contact us to find out more about how to apply.” 

The deadline for applications for the Citywide Small Grants scheme is 5pm on 12 July 2024.  For more information on how to apply, visit the Heart of England Community Foundation website.

A free workshop is being held on 8 April 2024 to help organisations understand how to apply for the Citywide Small Grants.  Organisations can register to attend here.