Big changes start locally

The Community Anchors' Fund

The Community Anchors’ Fund has reopened

The Virgin Money Foundation believes everyone has the right to live in a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood and we want to support local organisations that are the bedrock of that community. For this reason, we launched the Community Anchors' Fund in May 2019 across the North East of England.

So what is a community anchor organisation?

Community anchors have people at their heart. They provide local people with support, services, activities, and volunteering opportunities. Local people shape their work and inform their activities. Typically we expect community anchors to work with a broad cross section of the community. This would include people of all ages, genders and ethnicities, designing work that meets the needs of the community at large and the demographics it contains.

The Foundation is keen to support Community Anchors run by and for members of communities subject to racial inequity

We recognise that communities who have faced racial inequity may be better served by specialist anchor organisations that provide a broad range of services specifically designed for individuals and families from specific ethnic minorities. We welcome applications from these specialist anchor organisations. We will assess these applications against the criteria listed below, but without the expectation that they will work with the whole community, and acknowledging that the locality they work across may be wider than neighbourhood level.

Can you apply to the Community Anchors’ Fund?

To apply to the fund you will need to evidence that your organisation provides a range of services and practical support relevant to the needs of the neighbourhood in which you live. We expect a community anchor to:

Provide services

Provide local services and act as a gateway to helping people access the other services they need.

Bring in money

Make a difference to people’s pockets by bringing money, training and jobs into a neighbourhood.

Be a voice for local people

Community anchors perform an important role in speaking out on behalf of local people, making sure they have a about local issues and services that effect their daily lives.

Support other community organisations

In many neighbourhoods there are several groups or organisations working with different sections of the community. Community anchor organisations support these organisations, helping them to develop and grow.

Protect local assets

Many community anchor organisations own important community assets within an area. This can be a building, an area of green space, the local library or housing.

Provide safe spaces

Community anchors provide safe spaces for members or groups of the community to meet, share and develop.

The Community Anchors’ Fund will award grants to community anchors to support them to become strong and resilient hubs which enable the community to come together and thrive. This is supported with volunteering, training and networking opportunities using the skills of colleagues from across the Virgin Money business thereby adding value to the award.

If you are unsure whether your organisation is a community anchor or would like to discuss your application please email: – we are very happy to talk to you.

Example of Community Anchors:

Meadow Well Connected

Meadow Well Connected is a community hub which has been serving the residents of North Shields for almost 30 years. In response to the challenges of Covid-19 it has adapted and shifted the way it provides services, concentrating on improving its extensive outdoor spaces so that people can meet safely. It works to reduce social isolation and increase human connections to improve the wellbeing of residents, empowering them to confidently make better life choices. It is blending the way it works to include online activities, small groups meeting outside wherever possible, one-to-one support and activities delivered to individual households.

Ready to apply?

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