Active Communities

The application process

There are four steps to Stage 1 of the application process:

  • Step 1 - Establish whether your organisation is eligible for funding - read the eligibility criteria
  • Step 2 - Tell us if you are a ‘neighbourhood-based project’ or a ‘community of interest’ (we explain these terms later on)
  • Step 3 - Establish if your neighbourhood or community is fundable
  • Step 4 - Submit the completed Stage 1 application form

We will tell you whether you will be invited to complete the full Stage 2 application form after 10 working days after the advertised closing date for your area.

Eligibility criteria

You are now at Step 1 of 4.

Projects need to:

  • Be designed and led by local people
  • Support their neighbourhood or community to come together to address an issue that is important to them
  • Create stronger connections between people by supporting them to meet up regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly, for at least one year)
  • Be for people who experience greater social and economic disadvantage than people living in other parts of the country
  • Be either:
    • small and local, for example, involving residents living in a few streets, an estate, a small village and working in one or more of our 'fundable neighbourhoods', or
    • a community of interest - a group of people who have shared experiences, characteristics or common interests and wish to come together to address specific issues that are important to them. They may live across a wider area but they must live close enough to each other to meet up regularly. 

The Trust will consider projects with delivery online if applicants can demonstrate:

  • they meet the core criteria
  • there is evidence that participants have asked for it and it works well for them
  • there is a way to ensure that 80% of participants are coming from fundable neighbourhoods
  • digital exclusion and online safety has been considered.

We support new and existing projects which last between one and two years.

The minimum grant that you can apply for is £5,000 over one year, £7,500 over 18 months, or £10,000 over two years.

The maximum amount of funding we will invest in a project is £40,000. We are highly unlikely to fund a grant of £40,000 over one year.

One organisation can apply for a maximum of two projects in one area that is open for funding.

Existing Active Communities grant holders can only apply if their current grant ends within twelve months from the closing date of their funding area.

Here are some ideas we have funded:

  • A group for local older and younger people to get together in a local area and do activities together (for example craft, technology, history)
  • A group for adults to learn English and enterprise skills connected to sewing
  • A local magazine written by and for the benefit of disabled people, giving information and calling for action on matters affecting disabled people locally
  • A community cafe created and run by single parents as a space to meet, seek support and socialise
  • A peer support group for families with disabled children
  • A tenants action group for people living on an estate

What we’re looking for:

  • We will assess your Stage 1 and Stage 2 application against the following key criteria:
    • The project is:
      • designed and led by local people
      • supports your neighbourhood or community to come together to address an issue that is important to them
      • creates stronger connections between people by supporting them to meet up regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly for at least one year)
      • clearly explained
  • When we assess your Stage 2 application, we will be looking at the amount you apply for to ensure that the costs you are applying for are reasonable and appropriate. You will need to demonstrate that the delivery of your project offers good value for money.

We get more requests for grants that we can fund, so unfortunately sometimes even some really good ideas cannot be supported. Due to the volume of applications we receive at Stage 1 we are unable to give individual feedback to applicants. We can only take forward to Stage 2 those projects that have the strongest fit with our programme criteria. We are able to provide verbal feedback for unsuccessful applicants at Stage 2.

What we don’t fund

We don’t fund:

  • Projects that aim solely to address specific health conditions, for example cancer, diabetes and stroke.
  • Health promotion activities which aim to change behaviour, for example, lifestyle advice such as healthy eating or advice on nutrition, giving up smoking, losing weight and exercising more.

We also don’t fund:

  • Projects where local people are not in control of the design and delivery of the project
  • Projects that do not bring people together regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly for at least one year)
  • Applications from individuals or that benefit just one individual
  • Community of Interest projects where the members live too far apart to meet up regularly in person. Online networks may be used to support projects but cannot be the only way that people get together.
  • Projects that offer mainly one-to-one support
  • Projects where a significant part of the grant will be passed to another organisation to deliver activities
  • Profit-making organisations which includes all Limited Liability Partnerships and Companies Limited by Shares
  • Tax-funded projects, such as projects within the NHS, or projects for school-aged children in school time; projects which should be funded by public services
  • Activities which are political or religious in intention, practice or appearance
  • Activities already funded by another organisation
  • Projects that are part of a bigger project (our minimum contribution must be 50%)
  • Projects that have already happened
  • Loan repayments
  • Capital items only (e.g. equipment); you must include running costs
  • Capital items that are more than £15,000 in total
  • Contingency, evaluation or unspecified costs
  • Fundraising costs
  • Organisations that are non-compliant with their regulators (for example, Charity Commission, OSCR or Companies House) at the time of application. We will also not consider applications from organisations which have a significant history of non-compliance. We may take an exception if there are clear mitigating circumstances for your organisation's non-compliance. 
  • Organisations that have been funded previously by People’s Health Trust and have a consistent record of non-compliance in the management of their grant.

If you have one or more protected characteristic/s under the Equality Act 2010, we can make reasonable adjustments and help you with any part of the application or process. You can contact us to discuss this by:

Telephoning: 020 7749 5151

Emailing: [email protected]

Writing to us at: 2 Bath Place, Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DR


You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

Begin a new application