Guidance notes and eligibility criteria for Youth Community Fund and Short Break Small Grants programme 
(1 April 2023 - 31 March 2024)

The Youth Community Fund is a grant application programme which forms part of the overall Integrated Youth Service offer. The main purpose of the Youth Community Fund is to provide a range of positive and engaging activities that meet the needs and wishes of children and young people across Knowsley.
The Short Break Small Grants Programme is part of Knowsley’s Short Breaks Programme and will support organisations working to improve the lives of disabled children and their families in Knowsley. This forms part of the wider range of services available to parents and carers of children with disabilities and special needs (SEND) called the ‘Local Offer.’

The annual community and needs led grant programmes are aligned to the Knowsley Better Together principles, and is aimed at supporting new, start-up community-led projects to become, over time, self-sustaining, and to enhance the wider local offer.

Eligibility criteria

1.   Evidence of Meeting Need
To be eligible to apply for a Youth Community Fund grant, the project MUST provide evidence and information that meets at least one of the following categories i.e. Those that have been identified by young people:

  • Computer gaming, coding, animation and app workshops or activities.
  • Outdoor activities including a range of sports and outdoor adventures (e.g., football, gym, roller-skating, canoeing etc)
  • Creative skills such as media, graffiti, photography, dance, drama, theatre etc.
  • Group project activities e.g., dance or music projects that end with a show or festival for young people.
  • Independence skills such as cooking, painting, and decorating etc that run alongside fun activities.

To be eligible to apply for a Short Break Small Grants programme, the project MUST provide evidence and information that meets at least one of the following categories that have been identified by young people:

  • Providing short break activities for children and young people with disability needs with a particular focus on mixed activity fun days, cooking and outdoor adventures. 
  • Providing short break activities for young people aged 19-25 promoting independence skills and supporting transitions to adulthood
  • Delivering support to parents/carers of children and young people with a disability (e.g., parent support groups, workshops, etc) 
  • Supporting families with a child/ren with additional needs aged 0-4 (e.g., stay & play, outreach, network groups, etc) 
  • Whole family activities/events (e.g., involving parents & siblings in events, trips out, regular gatherings/groups, etc – however please see further info within Financial Eligibility section) 
* Where an organisation is already delivery one of the above activities, the provider must be able to show additionality to be eligible for grant funding. For example, expanding the capacity of the service to reach more children and young people.

2. Evidence of sustainability

Evidence MUST include a plan showing how the project will be monitored and become self-sustaining by the end of the funding period (e.g., through securing other income streams, service user contributions, fundraising, etc).
The successful projects should support Knowsley children and young people. Successful applicants will need to work with the Council to market and communicate their offer and ensure it is fully utilised.

3.   Evidence of Compliance

All applications MUST provide with their application evidence to show that: -

  • Public Liability Insurance. Please note that Children's Services funded organisations are required to hold £5,000,000 Public Liability Insurance.
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance (where applicable) 
  • Diversity and Equal Opportunities policy
  • A risk assessment covering your organisation’s activities.
  • Safeguarding Policy for Children/Vulnerable Adults
  • Covid 19 policy for staff, volunteers, trustees, and clients
  • Copies of your organisation’s latest bank statement (statements within the last 3 months of the application date showing the bank name, the name of organisation that is applying, address of the organisation, sort code and account number)
  • Names of at least two signatories on the business account.
  • A copy of your latest accounts.

Financial eligibility 

Grants of up to £5,000 can be applied for under this application process, to commence within the financial year 2023/24.

For the purposes of this grant: -

  • The group / organisation MUST have a separate bank account.
  • Grant funding will not be paid into a personal account or into a bank that is not registered or recognised by the UK Government.
  • There must be at least two co-signatories on the bank account to administer funds.
  • Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves of more than one year's running costs, or where it is judged that these reserves are unreasonably more than what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes.

For information, the Charity Commission definition of reserve is:
Income funds that are freely available for its general (unrestricted) purposes. "Reserves" are therefore the resources the organisation has or can make available to spend, for any or all of the charity's purposes once it has met its commitments and covered its other planned expenditure. It is not yet spent, committed, or designated.
In the current financial climate, it is even more essential that projects and the organisations applying for funding can demonstrate cost-effective ways of delivering.


Things we CAN pay for:

  • Staff salaries:  Must be linked to current market rates e.g. For those facilitating activities such as coaches, instructors, tutors, or specialist staff. One to one (or higher) staffing ratios will only be funded where this is necessary, and a business case can be made from the evidence submitted.
  • Specific training:  Evidence showing reasonable costs for delivery of the activity(ies). Applicants are asked to consider E-learning methods where applicable/appropriate.
  • Associated Administration Costs: Only those directly attributable and related to delivery of the project for example staff time, overheads such as IT, photocopying.
  • Expenses and Training: Costs associated with volunteers who will help to run the activities / support for children and young people.
  • Smaller Value Equipment and Resources:  Appropriate to the participants’ needs for undertaking the activity(ies). Applicants must provide information of how this could be resourced through donations, fundraising or local / existing resources.
  • Adaptation of Equipment:  Costs for adapting equipment for children and young people with disabilities, where this is a reasonable and specific requirement.
  • Costs for the Hire of Facilities:  Reasonable costs for delivering the activities. Organisations must evidence any discounts either requested from or agreed with the venues. If an applicant requires funding to cover costs of its own or current accommodation additional information and overhead costs must be provided in the grant application / supplementary sheet.
  • Marketing and Publicity:  Funding required to publicise events and / or activities. Any contribution will be minimal as free promotion/publicity is provided via Knowsley’s Local Offer website
  • Transport:  Families should be encouraged to contribute to cover transport costs if extra trips out are included in the activity. However, if additional funding for transport is sought for example the applicant does not have the resources, then evidence is required to support the business case e.g., Transport is integral to delivery of the activity. Applicants must also consider the most cost-effective method of transport. Subject to the demand on the budgets, only additional costs for specific requirements will be considered.

What we WILL NOT pay for:

  • Residential overnight respite full costs
  • Training needs that could be covered via the use of e-learning (available free via KMBC Workforce Development)
  • Purchase of vehicles or other high-cost capital purchases
  • Larger value equipment and resources
  • Transport costs for transport required within an activity session, where providers have the resources to cover this themselves.
  • Management/Administration costs amounting to more than 10% of the requested total funding.
  • Buildings and large-scale refurbishments
  • Costs to adapt premises or equipment where this is already a duty of the activity provider under equality legislation.
  • Personal equipment, clothing, or other personal/commercial gain
  • Activities that are targeted for adults (post 25 years old)
  • Transport costs to and/or from a child’s home to the activity
  • Refreshment costs for any participants or staff/volunteer
  • Marketing collateral and/or publicity, and marketing that is not specifically and clearly targeted. Note:  A requirement of the grant funding is to publicise and promote any grant funded activities on Knowsley’s Local Offer website

Further info:

  • The contribution to a large one-off event is unlikely to exceed £500-£900.
  • The cost of entrance fees or tickets for trips and/or outings must be covered by parents/carers. Venues will frequently give group discounts/concessionary rates. In limited circumstances, the Panel may consider a contribution towards these costs, however this contribution will not exceed 50% of the costs of the expenditure.
  • Activities offered on a solus basis i.e. One to one support for an individual child/young person will not be funded.


A successful organisation is required to sign a Grant Agreement Form and submit regular information regarding the progress, monitoring, and outcomes of the activity(ies) of the grant funding, for example attendance (demographics and hours attended), financial spend vs agreed budget, the impact/outcomes specified within the initial application (this list is non-exhaustive).
The Panel would expect groups/organisations to report and provide information and/or feedback from those undertaking the funded activities. Where appropriate evidence should be provided to show the influence, participants have had on the shape and purpose of the service.
Regarding the above, further information will be provided to successful applicants once the award has been agreed. Applicants should note that Panel visits may be undertaken whilst activities are taking place.
Unless otherwise specified by the funding body (The Council) applicants are required to maintain records that evidence the impact of their interventions for scrutiny and inspection by the Council for 6 years upon receipt of funds. This will include evidence relating to payments, financial records and outcome monitoring reporting and will be regardless of whether any costs will be incurred by the organisation to retrieve such records.  
Grants will be paid in one instalment upon contract award via electronic bank transfer to the account details provided upon submission.
As part of the grant agreement, applicants must note that a clawback provision is in place if there is a failure to provide the required information within the timescale outlined by the Panel.
If there are changes in circumstances during the funding period, for example national or local restrictions are imposed due to COVID-19, Knowsley Council (“the Council”) will seek to work collaboratively and flexibly with grant recipients, however, the Council reserves the right to amend grant payment terms accordingly, and applicants will need to demonstrate that they have tried to mitigate any risk or impact.
If your project is likely to identify an underspend during the funding period, notification must be given to the Council, to advise further.


The Council will not award a grant to an organisation/group that does not hold, or is not willing to obtain the required level of insurance following risk assessment (irrespective of advice given to organisations by third parties), and organisations/groups must provide evidence of the following:

  • A Constitution/Memorandum and Articles of Association (please note if you have directors in place then to name three that are unrelated.)
  • List of Trustees/Directors/Management Committee members (you need to have a minimum of three that are unrelated in place)
  • Latest annual accounts or income and expenditure sheet
  • Relevant safeguarding policies that include a named officer, definitions and signs of abuse, review date in the past two years and any procedure that the group follows.
  • Copy of bank statement within the past three months.
  • Have policy statements and guidelines in place for Equal Opportunities, Health, and Safety (including adhering to Government guidance on COVID-19), and Safeguarding Children/Child Protection.
  • Ensure all staff, both paid and voluntary, have an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and appropriate training (as per application guidance form).
  • Comply with any reporting and monitoring requirements set by the Youth Community Fund and Short Break Small Grans Programme.
  • Apply for funding from other sources to support sustainability, such as trusts, businesses, or other sponsorship, or contribute to the costs in-kind.
  • Establish a reasonable charge/parental contribution towards the cost of the activity, where appropriate.
  • Promote and publicise the activities through the required channels. This will include, as a minimum, supplying and keeping up-to-date information on Knowsley’s Local Offer website
  • Work in partnership with other youth activity providers in Knowsley to share information and resources as appropriate, to benefit families using the service and ensure efficiency in the use of assets across Knowsley.
  • Present their proposal in the standard online application form (and any Supplementary forms) required by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.


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