A new small grant scheme aimed at improving health outcomes for the most vulnerable communities in Birmingham has launched and is inviting bids from community organisations across the city.

As part of the Fairer Futures Fund, an initiative developed by partners in the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System to tackle health inequalities, an initial £200,000 is now available for grants of up to £10,000 to boost investment across the city into community based projects that seek to improve health and care for groups or communities with poorer health outcomes.

These groups or communities include (but not exclusively) new migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, homeless people, people with substance misuse difficulties, people with Autism, people with learning disabilities, women, people experiencing racial disparity and LGBTQ+ groups.

With expertise in community engagement and established links within voluntary sector organisations and as a partner in the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System, BVSC has been commissioned by NHS Birmingham and Solihull and the Birmingham Place committee to run the small grant scheme.

Stephanie Bloxham, Head of Health and Social Care for BVSC said: “BVSC is passionate about supporting communities to bring positive change to people’s lives so we are delighted to be leading this important small grants programme in Birmingham.

“This is a great opportunity for bidding organisations to think creatively and collaboratively about how they can make a real difference to the health and care of our most vulnerable citizens. Ideas could be simple or complex, big or small - it could be anything from purchasing kit and equipment for an exercise class through to helping establish a community group.”

Paul Athey, Chief Finance Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull and executive lead for the Fairer Futures Fund said: “The Fairer Futures Fund is an £18 million  programme which will provide investment into individual, patient, community and clinically-led innovation across health and care in Birmingham and Solihull.

“We have launched the small grants scheme first as we know this is where we can make a meaningful impact quickly in communities or groups where it is needed most

“Starting small will also provide valuable feedback on how the main funding is allocated and how we might scale up and adopt smaller projects across Birmingham and Solihull to bring a wider benefit.”

Details of how to apply for a small grant through the Fairer Futures Fund can be found on the BVSC website: Fairer Futures Fund – Small Grants | Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (bvsc.org)