Portsmouth City Community Funds 2024

The aim of this grant programme is to fund community projects within Portsmouth that work to tackle poverty and increase health and wellbeing. The priority of these funds is for projects supporting Portsmouth City residents.


The Community Fund offers 12-month grants of £1,000 – £5,000 for nonprofit community organisations. The fund will only make grants to organisations based in AND supporting work within Portsmouth and immediately surrounding areas.  When applying for this fund, community organisations should consider how the project will help to ease poverty and/or increase wellbeing for participants. Your project can reach Portsmouth residents of all ages and fund work that is one to one (such as counselling) as well as work on a group basis.


There is a designated part of this fund (circa 20%) that is ringfenced for work with people who have a learning disability. Please make clear in your bid if your work is targeted at people with a learning disability.


The Portsmouth City Community Funds were established by Portsmouth City Council from a number of charitable trusts and is managed by HIWCF.


HIWCF: HIWCF administers this grant programme. HIWCF’s core aim is to tackle poverty and inequality. HIWCF understands the connection between health and poverty and that health can be positively impacted by people being involved in shaping local projects/services.


Please see the application form guidance.


Please see the grant agreement guidance

Need help?

Please contact the grants team if you have any queries.

Programme Overview

Status: Open
Opening Date: 28/03/2024
Closing Date: 14/05/2024
Minimum Grant: £1,000
Maximum Grant: £5,000
Location: Portsmouth


Portsmouth City Community Funds criteria: The projects that this grants programme will fund need to meet ALL THREE of the following programme criteria. If bids are not clear about all elements, they will be scored as ineligible based on a poor fit with the programme criteria.


1) Your application must be for work that reaches people living hard and challenging lives. Your bid should make clear who your target group is; this could include families struggling to cover living costs, people with mental health problems, people living with a disability or a long-term health condition (this is not an exhaustive list of examples).


2) Your application must show how local people/people from your target community helped to shape this work – this could be through these people being consulted, volunteering, or leading the work. 


3) Your application must demonstrate how it seeks to ease the effects of poverty and/or increase health and wellbeing. We know that there is no simple fix to reduce poverty or improve wellbeing, but your work should show how it is taking steps that alleviate poverty such as linking people to advice/benefits, helping people to reduce anxiety or improve other aspects of their health and wellbeing, helping people to grow food or to get active (this is not an exhaustive list of examples).


Additional Criteria:

– Your grant application can be for new or existing community activities and services.

Budget Costs: We want to help you run these activities over a 12 month period, so will cover staff and volunteer costs, activity costs and a proportionate contribution to the core costs of your organisation to deliver this work.

– We will fund foodbanks and pantries for work that also delivers advice and support to the community e.g. an advice worker. Please see exclusions below about us not being able to cover food/ supplies from this fund.

– We would like to be a significant funder of any project. If there is other project funding please ensure that this grant represents more than a third of the overall cost of the work (e.g., a £4,000 grant towards a £12,000 project would be eligible, but a £1,000 grant towards the same project would not). 



– We will not fund community organisations with an annual income over £1 million.

– We will not fund capital costs, refurbishments of buildings, or large items of equipment. 

– We will not fund foodbank/ pantry stock (food, toiletries etc) or costs of foodbank deliveries (please note that foodbanks/ pantries can apply for wider activities such as advice work).

– We will not fund one-off events.

– We will not fund any provision that is a statutory requirement or is profit-making.  


What does a strong application look like?

We always have a high number of bids for our funding programmes – please read the criteria carefully to ensure the project you wish to apply for genuinely meets them.


To help us understand how your bid matches our criteria you must meet all three of our programme criteria detailed above.


Please have a read of these case studies as examples of work that meet all three of our programme criteria. All examples are fictitious and for illustrative purposes only.


City Hub, based in Portsmouth. This charity supports local people who live in two large housing estates in the city. City Hub runs a range of services; it will use a Community Fund grant of £2,500 to pay towards its part-time Support Worker who runs drop-in advice sessions from 10am – 1pm every weekday. Advice covered includes help with form-filling, benefits advice, and signposting to local health services.


How does this bid meet the programme criteria?

(1) The project works with people who face barriers to accessing local services. Many people who use the hub have low levels of literacy and/or mental health problems.

(2) The City Hub has a steering group run by 10 local people who live on nearby estates. They meet monthly with the paid staff including the Support Worker; this helps to provide a link between what the community is asking for and what the organisation delivers.

(3) The project has a three-year track record of being able to show that the support provided can help reduce the isolation of those who attend and help them access care/ benefits/ health advice.


Care and Share, based in Portsmouth. This charity supports young people who are carers. It wants to use a Portsmouth City Community Fund grant of £3,500 to pay towards its part time Youth Worker who runs a weekly group where young carers meet, play board games together, share pizza and chat.


How does this bid meet the programme criteria?

(1) The project works with young people who face barriers to socialising with their peers because of caring responsibilities; many feel isolated, and this can have a huge impact on their wellbeing and mental health.

(2) The organisation ran a planning day in Winter 2023 for local young people. 

(3) The project regularly brings together around 16-20 young carers. When asked what they like about the project one young person replied that ‘I feel really understood by the people I meet at Care and Share; every Tuesday night I go home feeling happier and less anxious’.