Could your local group or community organisation benefit from Bedford Giving grant?

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Bedford Giving's Parent Panel
Bedford Giving's Parent Panel. Image: Bedford Giving

Bedford Giving is looking for local groups and organisations which could benefit from a grant of up to £5,000, to help support the needs of children under eight and their families in the borough.

They would particularly like smaller grassroots groups such as charitable playgroups, unregistered charities and community groups to apply.

Parents of young children in Bedford have identified mental health support for children and families, support for fathers and for families of children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) as the biggest unmet needs in Bedford. 

Bedford Giving, a collaboration bringing together passionate funders, businesses and residents to help create a brighter future for young people in Bedford, has brought together local parents in a panel to help make funding decisions.

The group are able to share their knowledge on the needs of children under eight and their parents and carers, and to make decisions on £80,000 of grants so local organisations can help meet those needs. 

Earlier in the year the Parent Panel awarded grants to four projects and now the second round of grants has been launched.

Bedford Giving chair, Kevin Bolt said: “We’re looking for those grassroots organisations which really make a difference to the lives of young children in the borough who would usually not come forward to apply.

“We’ve made the process really easy for applying and we’re also running information sessions and one-to-ones for prospective applicants in July, so those new to writing applications can complete the form with the help of the dedicated Bedford Giving Grants Officer.”

Bedford Giving is particularly keen to hear from people who work or volunteer for an organisation that supports young children. To check if you fit the criteria, you can visit their website at bedfordgiving.org.uk to find out more.   

“Participatory grantmaking is about devolving decision-making to people in the communities impacted,” said Kevin.

“This is exactly what we have done with Bedford Giving, we’ve involved parents who have extensive lived experience of some of the issues we’re tackling, to make the funding decisions, to help create solutions to the challenges faced by families in the town.”

Grants awarded earlier this year included:

  • Chums – to develop a new digital app to help support children and their families’ mental health and well-being.
  • Faces – to increase the availability of group support and one-to-one advice for families with children with additional needs and to develop and deliver a new parenting support programme aimed specifically at fathers.
  • Fun4YP – to provide activities after school and in the holidays for children with additional needs and to offer support groups and workshops for parents.

The Parent PanelGrant Making Programme is one of a number of transformational projects being launched by Bedford Giving to improve the lives of young people.

Others include a volunteer mentoring programme for 13–15-year-olds to help them raise their career aspirations, and a campaign to improve access to work experience for young people who might otherwise miss out.

To apply for a grant, join one of the information sessions or find out more about how Bedford Giving is helping to create opportunities to inspire the next generation, visit bedfordgiving.org.uk

Bedford Giving is the charity partner of the Bedford Independent