Published: Friday, 23rd Sep 2022

The latest round of Bolton’s Fund will empower residents to learn new skills and unlock the potential in our communities.

Bolton's Fund 1Bolton's Fund 2This latest round, the thirtieth since the fund was opened in 2019, will focus on Building Aspirations and Sharing Skills.

Bolton’s Fund is a voluntary sector grants programme delivered by Bolton Council, Bolton CVS, Bolton at Home and local NHS partners.

Each round is themed to meet key local priorities. Community groups can bid for varying levels of funding and the grants are awarded by an independent panel.

This new round is designed to support projects that improve opportunities for residents of all ages, creating new pathways into high quality education, training or employment by addressing the challenges and barriers that may prevent them acquiring new skills. 

This could be done either by providing new services or adapting an existing offer to meet the needs to local communities.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Cllr Mudasir Dean, said:

“Every round of Bolton’s Fund is designed to address a specific need or priority here in Bolton.

“We know there are many residents who are keen to reach their full potential, but face too many challenges when it comes to learning the new skills they need.

“We have many outstanding local voluntary groups and social enterprises offering this kind of support and I urge them all to apply to Bolton’s Fund so they can help even more people.”

Three levels of funding are available for the Building Aspirations and Sharing Skills round.

Grants of up to £2,500 or up to £10,000 are on offer, with a separate pot set aside to award £250 grants to youth-led projects.

Applicants will have to meet different criteria depending on the funding being applied for.

For more information, and to apply, visit the Bolton CVS website before October 2, 2022 deadline.

Staff at Bolton CVS are available to support groups with their applications.

As well as access to funding, Bolton CVS can provide charities or community enterprises with a wide range of practical advice covering everything from governance to financial management.

Case study: Overcoming digital exclusion

Bolton’s Fund has already supported a number of local voluntary groups and social enterprises to help people into employment by encouraging them to learn new skills.

Among them is Recycle-IT, which refurbishes old computer equipment and addresses digital exclusion by giving residents the equipment and skills they need to find a job. 

Previous rounds of Bolton’s Fund have helped Recycle-IT to purchase a van and to get the necessary environmental licenses required to collect and refurnish the old equipment.

Bolton CVS supported Recycle-IT with their applications and helped them find volunteers for their projects.

Since 2021, Recycle-IT has refurbished 500 laptops, tablets and phones while supporting people from Bolton to overcome digital exclusion and get into work.

Recycling-IT founder John Hastings said:

“I don’t think there’s enough groups and enterprises applying for the Bolton’s Fund, I think there needs to be more.

“Bolton CVS has done so much, from helping us create business plans to helping with initial funding and then the Bolton’s Fund application itself.

“We’re looking to create our own board of directors, trustees and a steering group, and that’s another thing I’m going to come back to Bolton CVS for, advice on how to do that.”