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Positive Futures projects

Through Positive Futures we make grants totalling about £350,000 per year. Due to a high volume of applications we were only able to provide a contribution towards 12% of the applications received in the last funding round. Therefore, the Trustees have decided to focus our limited resources. To avoid wasting your time, please ensure you meet our eligibility and funding criteria before starting an application.

We fund applications for projects that deliver high-impact benefits for children and young people in one or more of the following groups: 

  • live in the top 10% of areas of deprivation 
  • are disabled, chronically or terminally ill 
  • face mental health challenges 
  • are at risk of crime, truancy or addiction 
  • are at risk of homelessness or who are homeless

 Projects should also:

  • Incorporate effective strategies for wider impact, perhaps through training, partnerships and/or dissemination activities  
  • Demonstrate a high degree of involvement across the organisation from beneficiaries and those with lived experience  
  • Have a well-developed plan for sustainability and seek to deliver a legacy  
  • Reflect our values:   Excellence, Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Sustainability

Type of funding: We will consider applications for capital, project or core funding.

Location of project: South East England – Berkshire; Buckinghamshire; Hampshire; Isle of Wight; Kent; Oxfordshire; Surrey; East Sussex; and West Sussex. (We do not accept applications for projects delivered in London or Greater London).

Our funding priorities

Applications which evidence that they meet the funding priorities below will have the best chance of being successful.

Meet income level priorities 

  • SMALL GRANTS – In your last set of accounts, your organisation’s annual income was under £500,000
  • MAJOR GRANTS – In your last set of accounts, your organisation’s annual income was under £5,000,000

Provide high impact opportunities 

Deliver high-impact benefits for children and young people who:  

  • are disabled, chronically or terminally ill, as well as their parents and carers  
  • face mental health challenges 
  • are at risk of crime, truancy or addiction  
  • are at risk of homelessness or who are homeless  

Focus on deprivation 

  • Provide high-impact, life-enhancing opportunities for children and young people who live in the top 10% of areas of deprivation 

Prioritise grassroots and community engagement 

  • Have Trustees, staff and beneficiaries who include people with personal and lived experience of the challenges your community faces  
  • Understand your community’s needs  

Are experienced 

  • Have experience working with children and young people experiencing disability and/or severe and multiple disadvantage  

Demand excellence 

  • Support, implement and disseminate best practice
  • Seek to have a wider impact, perhaps through training, partnerships and/or dissemination activities [major grants only]
  • Have a strong leadership and can show us the difference your charity has made in your community
  • Have good governance in place including signed Safeguarding and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policies, and efficient financial processes. 
  • Are best placed to deliver the solution 

Have an entrepreneurial mind set 

  • Operate with ambition, inspiration and determination 
  • Have a vision for your charity’s future 
  • Seek to find ways to maximise the impact of your work, including the sharing of information with others 

Work with integrity  

  • Act responsibly, respectfully, reflectively and transparently  
  • Know your strengths and challenges 

Strive for sustainability 

  • Seek to deliver significant outcomes that leave a legacy 
  • Have plans for financial and environmental sustainability for the initiative and organisation 

Eligibility criteria

Your project / activity must:
  • meet the needs of children and young people 0—18 years old (or up to 25 years old for projects working with young people with special needs) 
  • provide support for children and young people in the following counties: Berkshire; Buckinghamshire; Hampshire; Isle of Wight; Kent; Oxfordshire; Surrey; East Sussex; and West Sussex 
  • meet the needs of children and young people and their families who face physical, mental, economic or social disadvantage. 
Your organisation must:
  • be either a registered charity or a registered CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) 
  • have been registered with the charity regulator for two years or more (charity applicants) 
  • have been registered as a CASC for two years or more (CASC applicants) 
  • have produced independently examined or audited accounts for at least one full year of operation 
Previous grants and applications:
  • If you have received a grant from PHF before, it must be at least two years since you submitted your final grant report. 
  • If you have applied to PHF before, it must be at least 1 year since you were notified your last application was unsuccessful. 

We do not fund

  • Organisations who already have an active grant with PHF
  • Individuals 
  • Community Interest Companies (CICs) 
  • Exempt charities
  • Requests for retrospective funding
  • Activities that are primarily the responsibility of central or local government
  • Overseas projects
  • Adventure challenges or expeditions in the UK or abroad
  • Projects that are solely for the promotion of religion
  • Capital works solely to fulfil building regulations regarding accessibility, without strong evidence of existing engagement with target audiences

We provide two levels of funding

Small grants: Up to £5,000

We prioritise applications from organisations with a turnover of under £500,000 

- Projects in Surrey: apply via the Community Foundation for Surrey
- Projects anywhere else in the South East: apply using PHF's online application form

Major grants: £5,001 – £30,000

We prioritise applications from organisations with a turnover of under £5,000,000 

- All major grant applications should be submitted using PHF's online application form

When to apply

Our Trustees meet quarterly to consider grant applications. The timescales for assessment and decisions are: 

Application deadline Decision
1 January 30 April
1 April 31 July
1 July 31 October
1 October 31 January

Find out more

How to apply

Find out more about the application process and start an application.

Eligibility checker

Before you start an application, it's important that you use our eligibility checker to ensure you are eligible to apply to our grant programmes.

FAQs

Find answers to some of the most common questions we receive.

Case studies

We like to celebrate and promote the work of our grantees. On this page, you will find a selection of case studies that showcase some of the amazing work the Foundation has supported over the last 25