Renfrewshire Council

Apply for the Winter Connections Fund

What Winter Connections is, what funding is available, what you can and can't use the grant for, how to apply, our decisions on funding, if you're awarded funding, conditions of the grant.

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What Winter Connections is

Winter Connections is a network of local places and spaces where people can connect with others in their community this winter. 

It encourages people to come together this winter to take part in activities that will improve health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and provide people with advice and support if they need it.

The events and activities are free, in every neighbourhood and everyone is welcome. 

We're also working with people and organisations hosting Winter Connections events and spaces to help people get extra information and support if they need it.


Who can apply for funding

If you are a local group or organisation who can offer a community venue, run an activity, or would like to open up your existing activity, get in touch with us to become a Winter Connections host. 

What we will do for you:

  • We'll give you a toolkit with information and materials, including information on local help and support available for residents.
  • We'll promote your event or activity as part of the Winter Connections programme.
  • We'll offer you support and advice around how to offer inclusive and safe environments.
  • We'll connect community venues with groups who can offer activities and connect activities with venues.
  • We can offer some funding to support the costs.

The fund is open to voluntary and community organisations that have a constitution and a bank account. Funding is not available for applications to support individuals.


What funding is available

We have £50,000 of funding available for the Winter Connections programme. The Fund opens on Wednesday 12 October 2022. 

Local community and voluntary organisations based in Renfrewshire can apply for a grant of up to £2,000. 

If you are co-ordinating several events in partnership with a range of local groups (for example as a bigger community venue), we may be able to offer a larger award. Please get in touch with us at andrena.faulkner@renfrewshire.gov.uk to discuss this. 


What you can use the funding for

Your organisation can apply for projects that support wellbeing and reduce isolation over the winter period of 2022 to 2023.

We want Winter Connections activities to be available in every neighbourhood in Renfrewshire, available at different times and for residents of all ages. This may affect how we decide and allocate the funding.

You can use the grant to develop new projects or to expand existing activities where people can come together.

Examples of projects that can be funded include:

  • A new cooking project where ingredients are provided.
  • Projects that bring people from different backgrounds together, such as different cultures or age groups.
  • Tablet or device classes for older people
  • Lunch clubs
  • Crafting  or 'making' activities
  • Classes with a focus on physical activity
  • Classes which provide and show how to install simple energy efficiency measures.

The fund can be used towards costs like:

  • equipment
  • food
  • energy costs
  • renting a space for the activity
  • cleaning
  • costs for additional staff for the activities or events.

Projects and activities should be:

  • open, free and easy to access 
  • inclusive, welcoming, respectful and safe
  • willing to connect people to other services and support
  • able to offer warm drinks, snacks or food along with activities, where possible.

You can't use it for:

  • one-off activities, like an open or fun day
  • anything that charges people to take part
  • events to raise funds for other charities
  • costs for activities that have already taken place.

Even though many organisations will be closed over Christmas, we welcome applications that will run activities during the festive period.


How to apply

You can apply online for the Winter Connections Fund.

If you can't apply online or you need a paper copy or support to make an application, get in touch with Andrena Faulkner at andrena.faulkner@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Your application should describe:

  • the activity your organisation wants to host
  • how it meets the needs of the local community
  • how it meets the Winter Connections principles to make sure the programme is inclusive, safe, and stigma-free.

You should submit your application by Friday 28 October 2022 to be considered for the first round of grants.

We recommend you apply as soon as you can, as there may be a high demand for this funding.


How we decide who gets funding

A panel of staff from Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and Engage Renfrewshire will review and make a decision on each application. We may get in touch with you for further information about your project before making a decision.

We will award the grants from the beginning of November. The fund will remain open until all the funding has been allocated. 


If you are awarded funding

If you've applied, make sure you have ready:

  • a copy of your organisation's constitution
  • a recent bank statement and 
  • a copy of your accounts or an income and expenditure statement.

If your application is successful, we will contact you if we do not already have a recent copy of these documents on file. This means we can process and award the funding promptly.

If you are awarded funding from the grant, you must use it by the end of March 2023.


Conditions of the grant

If you are awarded funding, you must accept and comply with Renfrewshire Council's standard grant terms and conditions. 

When you have used the funding, you'll need to report back to us on the impact the project has had. 

We will promote projects which receive funding from us as part of the Renfrewshire Winter Connections programme. When you are promoting your own project or activity, you'll also need to make clear your project is part of the Winter Connections programme.


More information about Winter Connections

If you would like more information on the priorities of Winter Connections, help with applying or finding out about other funding, contact Andrena Faulkner at andrena.faulkner@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

See also what help is available with the cost of living.