Why do we run the grants scheme?

We believe that when communities #SpeakUp about their experiences, they can create change. By working with groups who are already trusted partners in their communities, we can make sure we're hearing from even more people, including those whose voices aren't often heard by services. 

Since starting the grants scheme we've supported 35 projects. These range from focus groups, community fun days, shared meals, creative projects and more. The aim is to engage with people in ways that suit them, and hear a greater range of experiences about local health and social care services.

Watch the video to find out more about what it's like to take part, from some of our previous grant recipients.

Woman smiling

How does the scheme work?

We open the scheme every year, encouraging voluntary and community sector groups to apply. Grants are then awarded by a panel of staff members and volunteers.

Organisations carry out a range of activities to help them hear from local people, and we help to write up their findings, making recommendations to local health and social care services. We then make sure these reports are seen by those who can make change happen.

We also think it's important that people can share their experiences directly with the people who make decisions about health and care services, and want to create opportunities for this to happen.

In focus: SACMHA Health & Social Care

SACMHA received one of last year's #SpeakUp grants. They used it to speak with members of the African Caribbean community about receiving home care, and also hosted an event to bring the conversation to decision-makers directly.

Sheffield City Council's Adult Social Care team are now finalising an action plan to address SACMHA's recommendations, as well as liaising with them about work-in-progress and wider systemic issues such as the provision of culturally appropriate care.

This is a great example of how #SpeakUp can work - with larger grants this year we hope to build on this model, helping organisations to do focused engagement work and creating opportunities to connect with decision-makers, to make a bigger impact for local people. 

Find out more - read SACMHA's report and the follow up What happened next?

Apply now!

Applications for our next round of #SpeakUp grants are now open - this year we have 5 grants of £2000 available for local voluntary or community groups or organisations.

The deadline to apply is Monday 9th May 2022, for projects which will run over the summer. 

We're excited to be launching this round, with larger individual grants and a greater offer of support from our team, which we hope will lead to meaningful conversations and real impact.

Find out everything you need to know in our news article - including the details at a glance, and how to apply.

Quick links:

  • Our new guidance document to help you plan a project and apply
  • Our Google Form where you can apply online (other ways to apply can be found in the news article above)

The money was fantastic because it enabled us to host the event, to put on some food... to encourage people to come along and relax and get chatting.

Read the reports

All of the published reports are available to read on our website. We have also produced summary reports each year, bringing together the overarching themes that people tell us.

Click here to browse the reports