In September 2016, our Cabinet approved a new three year strategy (2017 to 2020) for the Council’s Grant Aid budget to the Voluntary and Community Sector in Sheffield.

This grant investment is used to support voluntary sector organisations that deliver city-wide services and activities that support the Council’s Corporate Priorities. In 2019-20 the grant aid is split across the following grant funds.

Community COVID-19 Response Fund Round 3

We are pleased to launch another round of the Community COVID-19 Response Fund. This short-term funding is designed to support the Voluntary and Community Sector in their work on five main outcomes.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the Voluntary and Community Sector has provided tremendous support and resilience to communities in Sheffield. The connections, knowledge and understanding that these organisations have of their local areas has helped us to be more effective in our response to COVID-19. We believe that the Voluntary and Community Sector is well placed to provide further COVID-19 response support to Sheffield communities. The aim of the fund is to work with and through local community organisations that have the links, knowledge and understanding to support communities most effectively in helping to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

All applications are expected to demonstrate how they meet the outcomes of the fund. All outcomes are important however we expect applications to have a strong focus on vaccinations and boosters.  

The outcomes are:

  • preventing and manging the spread of COVID-19. Support communities and individuals to understand how to continue to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, as restrictions are lifted and we move to a new normal through effective communications and engagement. For example: continue to wash hands regularly, wear face coverings in enclosed indoor crowed public spaces eg on public transport, small shops where they come into contact with people they may not know, socialise outdoors where possible (this is still the safest), ventilate rooms if indoors, open doors and windows. Support communities to have a plan if they are attending a big event such as a wedding, this may include the above interventions and social distancing, as well as downloading and using the NHS covid pass as the government are encouraging and supporting use of this in high-risk settings eg business settings and large events (Music Festivals) to demonstrate vaccination status and covid test status
  • optimising and encouraging Covid19 testing. For example: working in the community to encourage people to get tested when they have symptoms, to self-isolate immediately and support them in booking and access testing sites quickly understanding why this is so important in preventing the spread, even if symptoms are mild
  • supporting people to self-isolate (who have tested positive for COVID-19, are showing COVID-19 symptoms or have been told to isolate by Test, Track and Trace). For example: using good relationships and trust to provide people with the practical or emotional support or financial advice they need. Supporting people and communities to understand the changes in government guidance and what it means for them if they are a contact and vaccinated or unvaccinated, and what they must do and or are encouraged to do
  • supporting COVID-19 Vaccination and booster uptake. For example: promoting and encouraging the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination for adults over 18 years and children in line with JVCI and government guidance, including those in at-risk groups and those who are vaccine hesitant. Support people to address barriers to accessing and inequalities in vaccination uptake. Explain the benefits of vaccination and being double jabbed eg reduce risk of getting covid, reduce risk of severe disease and death, able to go on holiday, access some events etc, protecting yourself and others you love. Highlight that not everyone in Sheffield is vaccinated yet and an unvaccinated 50-year-old carries the same risk as a double vaccinated 80 year old who can still get covid. Protection kicks in after 3 weeks and people need caution before then at each vaccination point
  • supporting people to understand the risks of Long COVID, known prevalence of which to date just under 1 million people. Real concern in unvaccinated population. Long COVID causes significant disability and impacts daily lives. Support people to understand symptoms and access a GP referral as appropriate to the Long COVID Hub to improve quality of life. Assisting communities in navigating and understanding the system, focus on underserved groups and those most likely to be impacted by it. See the NHS website for more information on Long COVID.

Organisations can apply for between £500 and £5,000 and the deadline for applications is midday on Friday 15 October 2021.

Use the guidance notes to help you apply and make sure you submit your grant agreement with your application form. If you have any questions about the fund or the application process email

Core Service Grants

Core Service Grants were awarded to organisations that demonstrated a good track record in service delivery with a strong link to public sector services and helping people overcome disadvantage. The 7 organisations receiving a Core Service Grant in 2019-20 are as follows. All grants are for 3 years (2017-2020) unless stated.

Ben’s Centre - £53,146

Citizens Advice Sheffield - £841,536 

City of Sanctuary Sheffield - £38,070 

Roshni - £35,316

Sheffield Association for the Voluntary Teaching of English (SAVTE) - £35,880 

St. Vincent de Paul Furniture Store - £54,161

VAS New Beginnings - £14,094

Tackling Inequalities Fund

A strategic priority for the council is to reduce inequality and tackle the causes of inequality in the city. All groups supported by the Tackling Inequalities Fund are working with people to help them remove barriers to wellbeing and reach their potential. The 3 organisations that received a Tackling Inequalities Fund grant in 2019-20 are as follows. All grants are for 3 years (2017-2020) unless stated.

Assist Sheffield - £10,500 

Emmaus - £11,250 

NOMAD Opening Doors - £30,500

Infrastructure Support Fund

Infrastructure support is vital for a strong, well-run, sustainable voluntary and community sector that can adapt to a changing world. This grant investment is aimed at securing a strong foundation for capacity building across the whole of the city’s voluntary and community sector, helping groups to recruit and retain volunteers, diversify income streams, measure and articulate impact and show good governance.

In 2019-20, 2 organisations received an Infrastructure Grant in a partnership bid totalling £131,813.  

South Yorkshire Community Foundation - £40,778

Voluntary Action Sheffield - £91,035

Lunch Clubs Fund

This fund provides small grants to lunch clubs. These grants contribute toward lunch club running costs and help to reduce loneliness and isolation for older people across the city. Further details can be found on our Lunch Clubs page.

Grant Aid Annual Report 2018-19

This is the second year of Sheffield City Council’s three-year commitment to a city-wide grant aid funding strategy in recognition of the vital contribution Sheffield's local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector makes to life in the city.  

Highlights from 2018/19 include:

  • total Grant Aid investment £1,503,985
  • 64 organisations received a grant
  • grant recipients supported a total of 27,781 individuals
  • grant recipients employed a total of 309 staff
  • grant recipients had a total of 1,690 volunteers contributing 217,274 hours, equivalent to a volunteer dividend of £1,955,462 (using the Real Living Wage)
  • 42% of individuals who were supported by Grant Aid report having a disability or long-term condition
  • 49% of individuals who were supported by Grant Aid are BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or Refugee)
  • contact us if you would like a copy of our Annual Impact Report Infographic

Other Grant Funds

  • In addition to the Grant Aid above the Council awards a number of Grant Funds from other Council budgets.

  • Ward Pots

    Ward Pots are small grants available to the local voluntary and community sector, self-help groups and projects who want to make a difference in their local community. Find out about ward pots  

  • Equalities and Fairness Grants

    Grants are awarded to a number of organisations for the purpose of:

    • co-ordinating each of the Equality Hubs (Age, BAMER, Disability, LGBT+, Religion/Belief, Women) representing identified communities of interest that make up the Equality Hub Network Sheffield
    • contributing to an effective overall Equality Hub Network, including the Equality Hub Network Board

    In 2019-20 the following organisations received an Equalities and Fairness Grant. All grants are awarded for 3 years (2017-2020) unless stated.

    Age UK Sheffield - £11,250 (1 year grant 2019-2020 to co-ordinate the Age Hub)

    Sheffield Futures - £3,725 (1 year grant 2019-2020 to co-ordinate the Age Hub)

    Diverse-City Sheffield Project c/o Faithstar Foundation - £15,000 (to co-ordinate the BAMER Hub)

    Disability Sheffield Centre for Independent Living – £15,000 (to co-ordinate the Disability Hub) 

    LGBT Sheffield City Council - £10,000 (1 year grant 2019-2020 to co-ordinate the LGBT+ Hub)

    Sheffield Faiths Together c/o Faithstar Foundation - £10,000 (to co-ordinate the Religion / Belief Hub)

    Together Women Project Yorkshire and Humber - £10,000 (2 year grant 2018-2020 to co-ordinate the Women’s Hub)

  • BME Older People Grants

    This fund is designed to support community activities to help BME Older People sustain and improve their wellbeing in the community and, in particular, to reduce social isolation and loneliness. In 2019-20 the following organisations have received the BME Older People Grant. Both grants were made as 3 year grants (2017-2020).

    Partnership between Firvale Community Hub, Aspiring Communities Together and Roshni - £30,000

    Zest - £9,976 

  • Cohesion Grants

    The council has set aside money to support community cohesion. This includes activities that help people to celebrate their neighbourhood or city and bring people together. In 2019-20 the following organisations are in receipt of a Cohesion Grant.  

  • Big Grants

    City of Sanctuary - £3,000 to deliver monthly cross-cultural activities

    Cohesion Sheffield (VAS) - £5,000 to create a media & communications platform to provide positive community cohesion stories

    Mediation Sheffield (MESH) - £5,000 to co-ordinate the Cohesion Advisory Group and provide additional activities

    Christ Church Pitsmoor - £5,000 to pay for feasibility & development work to support cohesion activities

    Firvale Community Hub - £6,000 as a contribution to the Accommodating Difference project

    Project Foodhall CIC - £5,000 to support 5 cohesion activities each week

    Element Society - £4,500 to create a Social Action Society and employ a social action co-coordinator to develop assets in young people

    Sheffield Local Television Ltd - £5,000 to support volunteer community media producers to develop new media productions to promote community cohesion and cultural diversity

    NUCA (trading as Zest) - £6,000 as a contribution to the “This Community Can” project

  • Small Grants

    Heeley City Farm - £2,000 for a community cohesion and local food growing project

    Age UK Sheffield (in partnership with Dore & Totley People Keeping Well) - £1,000 for an intergenerational singing project

    Student Action for Refugees (Sheffield) - £500 to host a community cohesion event

    Unity Gym Project - £2,000 as a contribution to the Safe Spaces in the City of Sanctuary Short Film

Grant Aid Annual Report 2017-2018

What to do if you need a letter of support or endorsement from the council

If you are applying for a grant, and your bid links to the our current corporate plan objectives, and your application will be strengthened by a letter of support from the council then please contact the voluntary sector liaison team. They can talk to you and get a manager to provide a letter stating that, although your project may not be directly linked to the council, it supports our objectives for the city.

If you are applying for a fund and you need a letter of endorsement stating that your application is the only one the council supports for the local authority area, then please get in touch with the voluntary sector liaison team who will be able to assist you. If we get numerous request for an endorsement for an external fund (eg The Big Lottery), and only one can be put forward, an internal panel of officers and Councillors will make a decision about which bid is the strongest and request the Chief Executive endorses that one. If an application links to an area of commissioning that you already have a relationship with then contact your commissioning officer.

Contact Voluntary Sector Liaison Team