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.

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 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 were struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19. North Yorkshire was allocated £530k, which was spent across four themes:

  • food providers and supply
  • individual hardship payments
  • benefits advice and support
  • volunteer support

In 2020/21, £277,000 of this funding was awarded to 48 groups and / or projects to support and expand the direct provision of food for those people and families experiencing financial hardship, through two rounds of the Food Banks and Community Food Projects Support Fund.

It is clear that as we move out of emergency response and look towards recovery, that there is:

  • a need to explore how new and emerging local food support options can be retained and / or developed in a sustainable way on a longer term basis
  • while supporting people to improve their confidence and increase their levels of independence. 

In light of this, further funding has been secured, and £120,000 is available for the Food for the Future Grants Fund. Grants of up to £5,000 are available for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups and organisations that demonstrate they can deliver, retain and sustain a local food support offer, whilst supporting people to improve their confidence, and increase their levels of independence.

Full details of how to apply, including eligibility criteria, can be found in the  Food for the Future application form (docx / 91 KB) and  Food for the Future guidance (pdf / 459 KB).

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021.

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)

Specialist Postvention Support Pilot

We are seeking applications from not for-profit organisations based or working in North Yorkshire to deliver a 12 month pilot specialist postvention support service.

Funding in the sum of £25,000 has been made available from NHS partners to provide a grant for a single voluntary sector partner (this could be one organisation or a partnership with a lead partner) to enhance the county’s existing service by developing and delivering a pilot specialist postvention support for individuals and families across six districts in North Yorkshire (delivery in Craven is excluded from the scope of this funding opportunity as alternative provision is already in place).

Applications are invited for proposals to design and deliver a pilot postvention support offer that provides specialist help for those affected by suicide, including family and carers, with both emotional and practical support.

All applications should be made on the  Specialist Postvention Support Pilot application form (docx / 86 KB).

You can also read the  Specialist Postvention and Support Pilot grant specification and application guidance (pdf / 346 KB).

Completed applications should be submitted by email before midnight on 20 June 2021 to:

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.

We want there to be strong and proactive independent voices and representation for the full diversity of older people living in all parts of the county. We also want to listen, understand and be responsive; creating a trusting, positive, proactive and mutually beneficial relationship; and gaining local and countywide perspectives on the needs of older people and our capacity to meet them.

We are therefore seeking an independent and suitably experienced delivery partner organisation to develop, establish and facilitate a new network of older people's voices across the county, supporting and advancing that network, and helping them to play an active role in countywide representation. 

For further information, or a copy of the grant specification, please contact The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 5.00pm on Friday 24 September 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