Stronger communities is our programme to support communities to play a greater role in the delivery of services in the county.

The stronger communities team supports communities to help themselves and create local solutions for service provision at a time of significant financial challenge for the authority. Our aim is to encourage communities to work with us, identifying local solutions and actions in order for all communities in North Yorkshire to have greater collective control of their own wellbeing.

Working with local residents, community groups and other partners from the public and private sectors across North Yorkshire, the stronger communities team will identify opportunities to co-produce a range of local support and services aimed at reducing inequalities, and improving the wellbeing and social connectedness of people of all ages.

Priorities for the programme include:

  • community libraries;
  • services for children, young people and families;
  • community transport; and
  • services for adults and older people.

Further information about stronger communities

On 1 July 2017 a new investment prospectus was launched by the stronger communities programme, revising the grants scheme in place since April 2015 and re-focusing the way that investment will be targeted in communities. 

You can  see the full prospectus here (pdf / 3 MB).

The programme can offer different levels of support and expert advice appropriate to the need of community organisations and the project proposed.

Inspire fund

We want to see vibrant and active communities throughout North Yorkshire adding to the richness of local life and improving the wellbeing of people of all ages.

If you have an idea for a project or event in your community whether you’re a new group of interested residents or an existing community organisation, and it meets at least one of our key outcomes and priorities, then we would love to help. Grants up to a maximum of £1,000 are available to support eligible projects to help meet essential or start-up costs.

Please Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Stronger Communities Inspire Fund will be closed to applications between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Applications to the Stronger Communities Inspire Fund will re-open on 1 April 2021, and revised eligibility criteria and supporting application guidance will be published on this site. If you have any questions or would like further information in the meantime, please contact your local Delivery Manager.

Covid-19 - Restore and Recover Grants

We are however aware that due to the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) that community and voluntary groups may need financial support to help them start to restore or re-open their services in a covid compliant way. Details of support available to help with this and how to -apply for small grants is available on the Covid-19 Restore and Recover tab.

Achieve together programme

In addition to the inspire fund, stronger communities will also be working with communities to work on a smaller number of targeted and longer term projects to achieve one or more key community outcomes. These projects must be evidence-based, clearly identifying needs, and will focus on longer term sustainability and impact at scale.

This is not an open grant scheme, as we are looking to form strategic partnerships with organisations working together to achieve shared ambitions. If you wish to discuss a project you think would be suitable for the achieve programme, please first read the prospectus including the eligibility criteria before contacting your local delivery manager.

Since the start of the pandemic in March, Stronger Communities has invested over £80,000 in small grants to community projects to help communities and charities respond to the needs of their communities during lockdown. Grants have been made for a range of projects that have supported people to self-isolate, have access to food and supplies and stay connected to people through technology. Over the summer grants were also used to support groups to re-open some services and activities where they were able to confidently operate in a covid-safe and compliant way.

As we move into the winter, and infection rates are increasing across the country the focus is once again on Response. New measures have been put in place by the government based on three tiers of Risk – Medium, High and Very High.

Read all the latest government guidance in relation to coronavirus.

To support community groups to continue to operate over the winter - albeit recognising that for many that will mean operating differently, often using technology to offer virtual services and activities - we will continue to offer small grants to help groups adapt existing activities or start new things that help people regain confidence and independence in a safe and covid compliant way.

It is important that groups continue to think about the risks associated with carrying out services and activities in light of new government guidance. To help you with this, advice and guidance on the safe operation of buildings and services is available from the Community Support Team at Community First Yorkshire, you can also see links to specific guidance on the Community First Yorkshire website

Grants of up to £1000 are available from 1 November 2020.

Guidance and application form available below:

The government has made provision for an emergency fund of £63 million to be distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are facing financial hardship and, as a result, are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to Covid-19. The funding is a one-off contribution for the 2020-21 financial year, and is intended to help local authorities to continue to support those people and families facing hardship over the coming months due to Covid-19.

North Yorkshire has been allocated £530k to be spent across four themes: food providers and supply, individual hardship payments, benefits advice and support, and volunteer support.

In September, we, in consultation with the seven district councils, allocated £175,000 via 24 grant awards to further support and expand the direct provision of food for those people and families experiencing financial hardship. 

A second round of funding totalling £125,000 was made available in November to further support voluntary and community sector food banks and other food supply schemes (for example community kitchens and fridges, or meals on wheels) over the winter period.

We are seeking at least one not-for-profit organisation to deliver part of a pilot that aims to improve outcomes for pre-school age children in relation to school readiness, with a strong focus on speech, language and communications development.

It is known that differences in the degree that children have reached a good level of development (or GLD) by the time they start school especially in relation to speech and language development, are predictive of educational attainment, occupational success, and can also have marked implications for future social mobility and health outcomes.

The approach to the pilot is two-fold, with a universal offer for all families, and more intensive support offered to families where particular vulnerabilities have been identified. This acknowledges that there needs to be a consistent approach across: the home, childcare settings and the community, based on the principle that in order for children to be school ready we must have: ready families; ready settings; and ready communities.

This grant will primarily support ready communities.

It is anticipated that the pilot will start in February 2020 and last 12 months.

The pilot is split into two areas:

  • Lot 1 – Ryedale (specifically the towns of Malton, Norton, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering)
  • Lot 2 – East Whitby

Organisations can apply for either or both of the Lots.

The available grant for Lot 1 is £40,000 and the available grant for Lot 2 is £10,000.

The specification and application form are available to download below. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 27 January 2020. 

 Specification for school readiness (pdf / 1 MB)

 Application form (docx / 86 KB)

Grants available for suicide prevention work

The grant application programme for Hambleton, Richmondshire, Whitby and Darlington has now closed however we have a new opportunity for Harrogate and Craven.

Local organisations in the Harrogate and Craven areas committed to promoting good mental health and reducing the numbers of people taking their own lives are being encouraged to bid for funding to help them in their work. 

Funding has been made available by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health & Care Partnership and therefore the grants are only available to North Yorkshire organisations based or working in the districts of Harrogate & Craven.

The aim is to support a national initiative to reduce suicide rates in England by 10% by 2020-21. The funding will be used to build on the work already underway in North Yorkshire - through the locality Suicide Action Plans - to improve the access to, and quality of, mental health services in general to help to prevent suicides.

Statistics show that, at some point in their lives, one in four people will experience mental health issues. In North Yorkshire, that’s around 150,000 people, or to put it another way, more than the populations of Harrogate and Scarborough combined.

The new grant funding programme will play an important part in the work that supports the aims and objectives of the North Yorkshire mental health strategy - called Hope, Control and Choice - and the mental health Crisis Care Concordat work that we are carrying out with our partners.

Organisations will be able to bid for between £500 and £4,000 for funding for projects that can be delivered by the end of December 2021 and will focus on the development of a range of targeted support that strengthens and builds resilience and makes a positive contribution to one, or more, of the following:

  • Reducing stigma and discrimination
  • Developing mentally healthy communities and workplaces
  • Reducing loneliness and social and emotional isolation
  • Providing communities with the knowledge and confidence to seek help or help others to prevent self-harm or suicide
  • Recognise and reduce common contributory factors and life stressors
  • Reducing rates of self-harm (key indicator of suicide risk)
  • Reduce the frequency and numbers of suicides in Harrogate & Craven.

Guidance and application forms are available to download here. The closing date for applications is midnight on 10 January 2021.

 Harrogate and Craven Suicide Prevention Grant - Guidance (pdf / 349 KB)

 Harrogate and Craven Suicide Prevention Grant - Application Form (docx / 97 KB)

North Yorkshire County Council – on behalf of the Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (HCV HCP) - is seeking a not for-profit Provider, to help us design and develop a specification for a new non-clinical self-harm support service as part of the wider suicide prevention programme. We are keen that the design of the specification for the new service is co-produced with people with lived experience of self-harm and support services, and that it reflects the needs and views of people affected in the Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership (HCV HCP) area.

The grant for this project is £5000.

Further information about what this opportunity involves can be found below and all expressions of interest should be made on the Application Form.

The project commencement data is anticipated to be 4 January 2021.

Below you will find a link to see all the projects that have received investment from the inspire fund, an interactive map of projects supported under the original grants programme, and a case study video highlighting some of the projects the stronger communities programme has supported.

Inspire awards

View the data on projects that have received investment from the inspire fund here.

Interactive map

Launch map of grants awarded

Case studies video

Projects included in the video are:

  • Upper Wensleydale Community Office, Hawes;
  • The Chapel Hub, Hutton Rudby;
  • Osmotherley Community Group; and
  • Musical Memories.

If you would like further information about the programme, please contact your local stronger communities delivery manager using the details below.

Head of stronger communities (for county-wide projects)
Marie-Ann Jackson
Tel: 01609 532925

General enquiries 
Mark Taylor

Tel: 01609 533914

Stronger communities delivery manager (Craven)
Marion Tweed-Rycroft
Tel: 01609 532236

Stronger communities delivery manager (Hambleton)
Adele Wilson-Hope

Tel: 01609 532223

Stronger communities delivery manager (Harrogate and district)
Liz Meade

Tel: 01609 798930

Stronger communities delivery manager (Richmondshire)
Lucy Moss-Blundell

Tel: 01609 533579

Stronger communities delivery manager (Ryedale and the Moors)
Paddy Chandler

Tel: 01609 532265

Stronger communities delivery manager (Scarborough and district)
Karen Atkinson

Tel: 01609 534061

Stronger communities delivery manager (Selby and district)
Tom Jenkinson

Tel: 01609 533808