VCFSE Support

The Cheshire East Social Action Partnership provides expert support and advice to enable VCFSE sector organisations to develop, grow, improve their quality, increase their impact and become sustainable.


We offer a structured package of capacity building support to help:

  • Set up new VCFSE groups or organisations
  • Smaller VCFSEs looking for funding and advice to develop
  • Larger VCFSEs that want to improve their quality, deliver commissioned services or expand
  • VCFSEs that are looking to grow and develop their sustainability through income generation, including through social enterprise development and community asset transfer
  • VCFSEs that are wanting to collaborate with others to develop partnerships, join services, or to become involved in consortia bidding opportunities

Our support includes:

  • 1:1 Support
  • Group based support
  • Peer to peer learning
  • Training
  • Tools and resources

The Cheshire East Social Action Partnership also has a wide range of partnerships with funders and social investors.


Funding Advice

The Social Action Partnership can provide VCFSE sector groups and organisations with funding support, including information about funding sources and advice with making funding applications.

Please see our latest Funding Bulletin CESAP Covid-19 VCFSE Funding Bulletin Dec 21 – Jan 22.

For advice and support for your VCFSE group or organisation please contact our Team.


Local Funding Sources

Two continuous sources of funding are available in Cheshire East. These small grant programmes from Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) will remain open and are detailed below.

1. Knutsford Fund – Small Grants Programme (Bi-monthly)

The overall impact that the CCF are aiming to achieve in Knutsford is as follows:

  • To improve mental health and wellbeing – particularly at an early intervention stage
  • To tackle poverty and disadvantage for people of all ages
  • To build stronger communities
  • To increase education skills and employment opportunities

Priority activities for the fund (agreed in consultation with a range of community groups and stakeholders in Knutsford) are those which support:

  • Lonely, disabled, disadvantaged and vulnerable people of all ages
  • Access to volunteering opportunities
  • Employment and skills opportunities
  • Regular transport
  • Befriending services
  • Peer support
  • Social activities and key public services
  • People to feel more valued and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing

There is a particular emphasis on supporting:

  • Disadvantaged and vulnerable people affected by the covid-19 outbreak
  • Lonely isolated older men
  • New mum’s
  • Young people
  • Carers (of all ages)

​The geography of the fund will cover projects supporting beneficiaries in the four Knutsford wards of Nether, Norbury Booths and Over and Bexton and extend to the rural areas surrounding Knutsford town – including Tabley, Lower Peover, Tatton, Ollerton and Chelford where people rely on services delivered in Knutsford.

Apply for up to £2,000.

Bi-monthly deadline dates: 15th April, 15th June, 15th August, 15th October and 15th December.

If there are covid-19 applications needing to be reviewed responsively, these will be processed more urgently.

For further details and to apply visit the Cheshire Community Foundation website.

2. Small Grants Programme (Bi-monthly)

The CCF small grants programme is particularly interested in supporting smaller charities (with a turnover of less than £300,000) and to assist local grass roots organisations that support one, or more, of the following priority areas:

  • Disadvantaged and vulnerable people affected by the covid-19 outbreak
  • Homelessness
  • Disadvantaged and exploited young people, with a preference for prevention and early intervention projects
  • Education and skills (for ages 3 to 18)
  • Community support – to include support for older people

Applications from not-for-profit groups and organisations supporting disadvantaged people across Cheshire and Warrington of all ages can be submitted on a rolling basis and will go to a panel bi-monthly.

Apply for up to £2,000.

Bi-monthly deadline dates: 15th January, 15th March, 15th May, 15th July, 15th September and 15th November but covid-19 applications needing to be reviewed responsively will be processed more urgently.

For eligibility enquiries please email grants@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk.

For further details and to apply please visit the Cheshire Community Foundation website.


National Funding Sources

For the latest details of all the national continuous funding sources available, including the National Lottery programmes available across National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council, Sport England, National Heritage Lottery Fund and new Postcode Lottery, please see our list of Continuous National Funding Sources Jan 22.