Well Together and the Grants Plus Approach

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Well Together and the Grants Plus Approach

Well Together is a programme of grants and support, funded by the NHS Integrated Care Board, which will invest in health and wellbeing activities in 10 priority areas across Oxfordshire. 

Well Together is delivered jointly by OCVA and Community First Oxfordshire and follows a ‘grants plus’ approach – applying learning from the Connected Communities Fund. What does ‘grants plus’ mean, and how is this different to other grants? Read on to find out more! 

Firstly, Well Together welcomes ‘Expressions of Interest’ in funding, rather than a formal application form. We especially encourage Expressions of Interest from hyperlocal grassroots groups, and from groups that may be excluded or underrepresented from traditional grants. We recognise the essential role that community groups play in supporting health and wellbeing at a local level, and we know that traditional grant applications will not always be the best format for groups in communicating the impact they’re able to have in their community.  

An Expression of Interest (EoI) will not be assessed as ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. If the activity proposed meets the aims and criteria of the programme, a member of the team will be in touch to see how they can help. Full details of the criteria can be found here: https://ocva.org.uk/well-together-programme/  

Well Together has a team of Community Capacity Builders – Jane, Assia, Dolcie and Rachel, who are the lead points of contact for groups. Follow-up support includes helping to define the specific activity a group is looking to deliver and how this meets the criteria for Well Together, exploring potential partners and collaborators, and assessing the budget. A group’s proposal will then be considered alongside the health inequalities that Well Together is seeking to address, as well as other projects and priorities in the area, to build a well-rounded funding plan for the community.  

As well as liaising with partners in the 10 priority areas, the Community Capacity Builders (CCBs) have been reaching out to the local groups, organising drop-in information sessions, meeting residents and groups, and discussing their ideas for activities that are needed in their areas. The CCBs are available if people have any questions about their EoI, and in some cases have helped some groups put together their EoI. This is all part of the “grants plus” approach, where we can help build capacity within communities. 

For groups that are awarded funding, support is available throughout the programme. The team can offer support in gathering stories of impact, advising groups on how to reach a wider audience, supporting collaboration, and signposting to further networks and support. Even if we can’t support a group’s request through Well Together, we can offer further guidance. As infrastructure organisations, OCVA and Community First Oxfordshire can also offer advice on registering as a non-for-profit group, helping to identify alternative funding opportunities, and offering guidance on how to craft strong applications. We can also let groups know when we’re offering our next workshops, with tips on applying for funding.  

If you have any questions or if you would like to find out more, you’re welcome to get in touch via [email protected] and we’d be happy to help! 

Well Together Programme | Community First Oxfordshire (communityfirstoxon.org)

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