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Helping charities to transform the lives of young people.

We support UK charities, CICs and small charitable groups that share the belief that all young people deserve every chance to create a better, fairer life for themselves. We fund employment, education or health and social care projects that help local young people to see and reach their full potential.

The Building Brighter Futures Fund supports:

  • Projects designed to help young people between the ages of 11-19 or up to 25 years of age for young people with additional needs
  • Projects which deliver improvements in young people’s perception of their personal development and sense of purpose. This can include:
    • Relationships: Projects that help young people to develop the right network around them – whether that’s through nurturing interpersonal skills, deepening their understanding of others, or developing their respect for people from all backgrounds
    • Health and wellbeing: Projects that help young people across all the areas of wellbeing – whether that’s helping them to feel happier, better manage feelings and emotions, increase their confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem or make more informed choices for their own physical, mental and emotional health
    • Career and education: Projects that open doors for young people – helping them to build important new skills; achieve their full potential in education; move into a job or start work-related training

What funds are available?

  • The Fund will make grants of between £8,000 and £40,000
  • Grants will be awarded for work completed within the timescale outlined in the Building Brighter Futures 2024 Fund Programme Document
  • The Fund is particularly keen to support charities in areas where EMR operates; supporting projects delivering within a 5-mile radius of an EMR site (up to 10 miles with more remote areas). For a full list of EMR sites visit: uk.emrlocal.com/yards

Applicant organisations must:

  • Be a small to medium sized charitable organisation – with an income of no more than £500,000. Regional organisations are not eligible to apply
  • Be able to demonstrate that the project is designed to support young people between the ages of 11 and 19, or up to 25 years of age for people with additional needs
  • Be able to demonstrate how the project delivers activities with measurable impact based on one or more of the key objectives within the timescale outlined in the Building Brighter Futures Fund Criteria Document
  • Have a strong understanding of the issues affecting young people and a proven history of delivering services and activities, making a positive difference to their lives
  • Demonstrate the use of best practice methods, with proven success, which contribute to long-term impact in young people’s lives
  • Prove how the programme is shaped by young people, addressing their feedback and needs
  • Provide ongoing support to young people, with a development plan in place, following the grant period – or have sources of referral at the end of the grant
  • Have the expertise to collaborate effectively with partners, referral agencies and other stakeholders
  • Have robust outcome monitoring and reporting methods and be able to contribute to the Fund’s Social Value questionnaires

To apply for a grant, you must meet our minimum requirements:

  • Be a non-profit organisation with your own constitution and governance document
  • Demonstrate governance by providing the following information:
    • Copies of your constitution or governing documents. If your organisation is a community interest company, your governance document should describe your asset lock
    • Your most recent set of annual accounts or, if you’re a new organisation, your financials
    • Plan for the year
    • A bank statement for your organisation dated within the last three months
    • Your safeguarding policies, including the details of the person who leads on safeguarding in your organisation. You cannot submit an application for funding without these
    • Name your key people: you must have at least three unrelated trustees, members or directors, depending on your constituted structure
  • Be able to tell us how you’ve thought about – and acted to minimise - the environmental impact of your project

What cannot be funded:

The Building Brighter Futures Fund will not generally consider applications which are related to:

  • General day-to-day operational running costs of the organisation, which aren’t directly related to the delivery of your project
  • Grants or bursaries to individuals
  • Fundraising events
  • Work that is primarily the statutory responsibility of public agencies
  • Promotion of religious or political messaging
  • Event sponsorship
  • Advertising, promotion or marketing of events or services
  • Overseas appeals
  • Conferences or seminars
  • Equipment which will be retained by individuals rather than the charity
  • Animal charities, unless the objective is to improve the lives of vulnerable or disadvantaged young people
  • Projects delivered outside England, Scotland or Wales
  • Projects which could harm the reputation of the Fund
  • Counselling or other mental health therapeutic activities unless delivered by qualified, BACP-registered or accredited professionals using an established ethical framework
  • Any activity which takes place before you accept the terms and conditions of a grant offer from us

The programme will only fund complete projects – it cannot make contributions to wider work. The Fund only supports costs which are directly related to the delivery of the project.

Who decides on the success of my application?

Your application will be assessed and scored against this policy and the Fund criteria. A grant panel will then consider all applications made to the Fund and make decisions on which are fundable. Cheshire Community Foundation trustees then authorise all decisions.

Can I appeal a grant panel decision?

Your application will be assessed and scored against this policy and the Fund criteria. A grant panel will then consider all applications made to the Fund and make decisions on which are fundable. Cheshire Community Foundation trustees then authorise all decisions.

Can I appeal a grant panel decision?

Cheshire Community Foundation Trustees can only decline or alter the decisions made by the grant panel if they have reasonable ground to do so. To make a formal complaint about a grant panel decision, please email hello@buildingbrighterfuturesfund.com

How often can I apply?

If you have previously received a grant donation, you can apply for further funding at any time after completing and submitting a post grant report. Any subsequent applications will be treated as new, and not viewed more or less favourably.

Successful applicants

If your application is successful, then the terms and conditions will apply to any funds paid by us to your charitable organisation, to support the project identified in the application, and no other.


  • We may use your reports for our reporting purposes and to publicise the activities of The Fund
  • You must comply with any reasonable requirements that we may have for site visits, compliance visits and meetings with your team at any reasonable time and on reasonable notice
  • Upon completion of the Project, you must submit a Post Project Report which outlines the benefits/outcomes delivered and information for us to establish that the grant has been used properly in accordance with our terms and conditions; this is usually at the end of the grant funding period

Publicity and marketing

We may publicise details of successful Projects. We may publicise the nature of our relationship with you for publicity purposes and use the information and images included in your application (or provided to us separately) to use in our literature, online and/or to display in the relevant EMR sites for publicity purposes.

We look forward to your application!