Big Change Leeds Fund

Grant size: Up to £5,000

Location: Leeds City Centre

Deadline: 16/04/2020 at 12 noon

Big Change Leeds Fund


Currently in Leeds, the number of people presenting as homeless, rough sleeping or in need is an issue in the city centre. This is a complex issue which no one organisation or individual can resolve in isolation.

Big Change Leeds is a positive alternative giving campaign designed to:

  • Embrace a compassionate response to people in need by providing an alternative way of giving
  • Educate the public to change behaviours about how to give most effectively
  • Generate new support and money to allow existing organisations to provide additional support within their services
  • Raise money for those in genuine need
  • Reduce the number of people presenting in need on street in the city centre
  • Focus on delivering outcomes for the individuals in direct need

Through Big Change Leeds we want to ensure all organisations and individuals, including members of the public, are working together towards the same agenda: addressing the issues we face on the streets of Leeds, helping the city start to make a lasting change.

Using the money raised by generous donations to the Big Change Leeds campaign, the Big Change Leeds Fund will award grants to organisations providing practical support to meet the needs of people in Leeds who are homeless, rough sleeping or in need.


Who can apply?

Community groups, charities, social enterprises or other charitable organisations from the third sector that:

  • Have a constitution or other relevant governance document
  • Have a management committee/board of directors/trustees of at least three unrelated people
  • Have a bank account under the name of the group with at least two unrelated signatories (if your organisation doesn’t have its own bank account, but does meet all of the other criteria, please contact us to discuss how we can work around this)
  • Are supporting people who are homeless, rough sleeping or in need in (or displaced from) Leeds City Centre

All applicants need to be signed up and evidence in their application that they are adhering to the Leeds Homeless Charter.


Size of Grant

Grants up to £5,000 are available.  Whilst the grant can be used to part-fund a wide range of activities, we like to see the impact our support is having.  Only one application per organisation can be considered.


What can the Fund support?

Grants will be awarded to community groups and charities working with individuals in or displaced from the City Centre to provide additional practical support to directly help individuals, allowing people to feel safe and get the support they need, for long lasting change.

Grants spend should support tangible items, this might include:

  • Support to secure or maintain housing (this could include top ups for electric meters or other utilities, or small household items like electric blankets, heaters, light bulbs, plug timers)
  • Phone top up to enable communication
  • Clothing or haircuts
  • Small medical aids
  • Transport to interviews or appointments (costs of taxis and bus fare)
  • Weekly or monthly bus passes
  • Birth certificates
  • Training and support for volunteers, DBS checks, safeguarding training
  • Home starter kits (these could include: clothing, bedding, cleaning products, toiletries, toolkits, crockery/cutlery, towels, store cupboard food; we suggest a minimum price per kit of £20)

We encourage all applications to consider:

  • Creating links with other organisations and/or partnerships to deliver a project
  • Which other services are delivering similar support, and how it will ensure complementarity rather than duplication
  • Who the target beneficiaries are, and how immediate needs encourage engagement with ongoing support for lasting change
  • What the grant will purchase, making sure the budget breakdown is clear and appropriate
  • How to evidence learning and evaluate what difference the grant makes; applicants should consider including costs for external evaluation or additional internal capacity to ensure effective reporting

Given that this fund is awarding small grants for additional support within existing services, we would expect management, overhead and staff costs to be a minor element of any application. Although any portion of staff costs which are included should take account of the real Living Wage where possible.


What can the Fund not support?

Grants will not be awarded to or for:

  • Activity based outside Leeds
  • Any organisation facilitating on-street living with purchase and supply of tents, sleeping bags or similar equipment
  • Any organisation facilitating on-street food distribution – any food provision funded through the Big Change Leeds Fund should be delivered indoors and support people to engage with ongoing support services
  • For-profit organisations, statutory organisations (e.g. schools and hospitals) or overseas organisations
  • Retrospective funding (activity and costs that have already taken place)
  • Grant-making to other organisations and/or individuals
  • Activity targeted at a particular group (ethnic, gender, religious etc.) without a good justification for this
  • Activity that promotes a particular political or religious point of view
  • Activity primarily for the benefit of animals
  • Expeditions or overseas travel
  • Capital appeals for building projects

What we need from you?

Recipients will be required to:

  • Complete an ongoing online spreadsheet, on a monthly basis, to provide a live update on expenditure and impact stories from people supported
  • Help Big Change Leeds to publicise good stories from the grants funded, which is vital to the campaign and contributions. Big Change Leeds will contact you during your grant period asking you to provide case studies and stories
  • Attend a post funding feedback session with other successful applicants

When can you apply?

The deadline to apply is 12 noon on 16 April 2020. Funding will be awarded in May 2020. Organisations that have applied to a previous round of Big Change Leeds must ensure that either they are submitting an application for a different project or that if it continuation funding, they have fully spent their previous funding.


How do you apply for a grant?

To apply you need to complete an online application form available at the end of this document.   You will also need to submit a signed copy of the organisation’s governance document, signed copy of accounts, and list of name and addresses of management committee/board members.

We expect this programme to be highly oversubscribed so we strongly recommend you also seek alternative sources of funding for your project to avoid disappointment.

If you’re successful, you’ll also need to sign a funding agreement document and provide a signed copy of your organisation’s most recent bank statement.

To start filling in the online form, follow the link at the end of this document. We strongly suggest you submit your application at your earliest opportunity. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


What happens after you’ve applied?

We will acknowledge the receipt of your application.  We will then assess your application and may need to contact you and your referee during this time.  If your application is shortlisted, it will then be submitted to an awards panel for further consideration. We’ll tell you their decision as soon as possible after they’ve met.

If you are successful, the grant letter/e-mail will include any additional conditions set by the panel and/or the grant payment and a grant funding agreement you will need to sign. The grant must be spent within 12 months of the date of our letter confirming the grant. You must also complete an end of grant report telling us how the grant has been spent and what was achieved. The deadline for doing so will be specified in your offer letter. Please note that failure to provide appropriate monitoring information will exclude your organisation from applying to future grants schemes.

If your bid is not successful, we will let you know the reasons for declining it. Please note we have limited funding available and we are not able to fund every application we receive, no matter how deserving the project is. The decisions made by the grants panel are final.



If your application is successful, you will be required to credit support from Big Change Leeds on all materials related to the funded work. Big Change Leeds encourage recipients to share their stories through social media platforms using the following tags: Facebook @BigChangeLeeds; Twitter @BigChangeLeeds; Instagram @bigchangeleeds.


To Apply

Click the Apply Now button to the left of this page for the online application.

If you post documents to us please send them to the address below using the correct postage and make sure the documents are received by us before the deadline. If you require more information about this fund please contact Leeds Community Foundation on 0113 242 2426 or email


 A PDF of this information is available to download here.