ESF Community Grants

We are very pleased to announce that we have been successful in our bid to manage the delivery of the 2016 –18 ESF Community Grants programme in York and North Yorkshire, working with the lead partner, Humber Learning Consortium.

ESF Community Grants are part of the European Social Fund (ESF) programme and the aim of the fund is to help unemployed people progress towards employment through access to learning and training opportunities.
Funded activities must be aimed at unemployed individuals aged 18 years and over from the hardest to reach communities. The identified priority groups for our region are as follows;
  • Disadvantaged geographical areas
  • People with disabilities and health conditions
  • Lone parents
  • People aged 50 and over    
  • People from ethnic minorities         
  • Females
However applications will be considered from any community that can evidence deprivation, for example homeless people and ex-offenders.


How Much Can You Apply For?
Grants of between £5,000 and up to £15,000 are available.
The funding for the project must be for the full programme cost and not matched to any other funding source.  An organisation can re-apply, but there is a maximum of £15,000 per organisation in any 12 month period.
Who Can Apply?
There are strict eligibility guidelines to be able to apply for a grant. Organisations must be small not for profit or charities, based in or providing services in the York and North Yorkshire .
Company turnover must not have exceeded £1,000,000 in the last three years
Organisations must employ 20 or less staff (FTE)
Organisations must not be in direct receipt of funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
What Kind of Activities Will Community Grants Fund?
Any activity that will help an individual progress towards employment and improve employability skills will be considered, examples include;
  • Help with basic skills
  • Taster work experience and voluntary work
  • Information and support relating to training and work
  • Job search assistance, including the provision of equipment and other assistance necessary to secure employment
  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Training, advice & counselling
  • First contact engagement to provide support with overcoming barriers to learning and/or employment
  • We can fund any revenue costs relating to the learning activity and capital expenditure up to £1,000
Examples of what can be funded include:
Staff costs, including administration
Tutor fees, including freelance tutors
Participants costs
Rent and room hire
Stationary, postage and learner resources



The Clock, Thirsk
Changing Lives…
The Clock is a social support project based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.  ESF Community Grants funding has enabled them to provide much needed flexible and community focused support – helping change lives for the better and opening up pathways to gain employment.
 We interviewed three people who have received support from the staff at the Clock and this video can be seen here…


Northdale Horticulture
Hopes and Aspirations…
Northdale Horticulture is a charity based in Northallerton, North Yorkshire which provides work and volunteering experiences to adults with a range of challenges.  The main focus of the work is in gardening, horticulture, woodworking and craft.
The organisation has recently delivered flexible learning sessions to over 30 participants based on the ASDAN qualifications programme and this was funded through ESF Community Grants.  We recently met with Hannah and Jane on site and interviewed them about their experiences.  You can see the video case study here…


Claro Enterprise and Veterans Woodcraft
Working Hands Helping Communities…
Claro Enterprises is a registered charity and sheltered workshop based in Starbeck, Harrogate.  They have been working in partnership with Veterans Woodcraft  – an organisation that supports  ex armed services personnel – to offer practical woodworking sessions to a range of community members.  We recently visited the workshop and produced a new video highlighting the great work both organisations are undertaking.
You can view it here…
More information about Claro can be found on their website here and information about Veterans Woodcraft can be found here…