Click on titles for further information

  • API Associates of Play Industries offer advice on accessing funding for playground projects. Funding solutions for playground projects should try to be as inventive as possible. Some of the most successful playground projects have used several sources of funding; from section 106 payments to council match-funding and community-led fundraisers.

    • Coop Community Fund                                                                                                                     
    • Creating a Forest for Learning Funding and support available for schools based in the National Forest to develop their school grounds and local woodland for learning, access to training is also available (including Forest School training).


  • Community Priorities Programme DCC councillors who represent areas already identified as having a greater need can apply for funding for projects which would benefit the most from financial support
  • People’s Postcode Lottery – Open for applications twice per yearThe type of projects that can be funded include:
    • Good causes which enable local people to benefit wildlife and engage with the natural environment
    • Projects that enhance biodiversity or renovate/create new green habitats
    • Sustainable energy projects benefitting local areas and local people
    • Enhancement of play areas vital to a local area
    • Volunteering initiatives of local importance.
  • Sport England Community Asset Fund – As well as traditional sports facilities where people enjoy physical activity, there are thousands of outdoor spaces up and down the country – like canal towpaths, woodlands and open spaces – all with great potential to be used and enjoyed as part of an active lifestyle. We’re keen to hear from any sports club or community organisation with a great idea that will make a difference to the places where people play sport and get active.
  • Local School Nature Grants Scheme  Helping schools branch out into nature – What do birdboxes, bee hotels, den making kits and nature experts all have in common?  They are all available free to schools as part of Learning through Landscapes new Local School Nature Grants Programme, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The grants provide an assortment of nature equipment up to the value of £500 and a two hour training session. The packages are customisable, enabling schools to choose from a menu of items which best suit their learners and their setting. All schools in England, Scotland and Wales are welcome to apply, and with 72 different products on offer there is something for everyone.
  • Alpkit Foundation

Alpkit, the Nottingham-based Alpine adventure sports brand and online retailer, has set up a new charity to help individuals, schools and leaders organise trips and projects which would not otherwise be possible. The Alpkit Foundation, an independent charity is looking to support projects that help people get outdoors such as Forest School, outdoor learning, environmental and conservation projects.  “The criteria are simple: if your project meets our aims and we have the money then you’ll get our support.” This could include contributions to transport, training or equipment.  The foundation meets every 2 months

  • Plunkett Foundation – Making Local Woods Work Expressions of interest are now being accepted for Making Local Woods Work, an exciting pilot project working to help support and grow woodland-based social enterprises across the UK. The project is being led by the Plunkett Foundation in partnership with a range of organisations.

The money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland will be used to pay for a large number of local projects to improve green spaces in communities. Projects that will get the green light as a result of the funding will include building new pocket parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens. Administration of the local funding will be managed by the community charity with a green heart, Groundwork, which specialises in transforming communities and the local environment for the better.

Foundation Derbyshire has been asked by the People’s Health Trust to promote their Active Communities Funding programme across Derbyshire and Derby City.

The People’s Health Trust are seeking projects that bring small communities together to share, learn, or play – projects that bring communities closer together and by doing so improve our quality of life and well-being.

If you are a local community group with an annual income of under £350,000 and would like between £5,000 and £50,000 for a two year project (existing or new) then you are welcome to call us for a telephone funding surgery slot. You will also need to be based in certain eligible wards as the programme is geographically specific. The wards selected are a limited number of areas of high disadvantage across the City and County.

We will also be providing a unique and useful service of checking through any Derbyshire Active Communities applications, before the submission date of December 10th to ensure you have the best possible chance of being awarded a grant.

Call the Foundation on 01773 514850 to see if you are in an eligible ward and to book a 20 minute funding appointment

  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Sutton Trust Parental Engagement Fund Now OpenThe Parental Engagement Fund is aimed at assisting children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are in the early years and early primary phases (ages 2-6 years). The Fund wishes to support the growth, increased effectiveness and measurement of the impact of parental engagement projects aimed at improving children’s cognitive development.The Fund will support interventions or approaches that aim to improve child cognitive development as evidenced by early years foundation stage profile, performance on standardised tests or teacher assessments. The primary beneficiaries of work supported by the fund will be children who are disadvantaged by social and economic factors such as lack of parental education, low family income, parents in receipt of means tested benefits or living in areas of high deprivation.Not-for-profit organisations (including community groups, voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises) based and working in the UK can apply for grants of between £50,000 and £200,000 for each project over the two to three year funding period. The initial grant will be made for one year. Following a review process after the completion of the first year of delivery, a further grant for the following years may be agreed.The organisation should have promising parental engagement approaches and the organisational potential to grow and improve their work in order to reach more children and families.Projects should target one or more of the following areas:
    • Literacy
    • Numeracy
    • Language
    • Behavioural, social, and emotional
    • Parenting and home learning environment
    • Parental involvement in setting activities and/or strategic decision making
    • Home School Partnership

    The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 5 December 2014 (5pm).                                                                            

  • Safer Derbyshire  This page contains funding sources for partners and voluntary groups in community safety work (some pots of funding may be relevent if you are improving an area for community use or involving the wider community in your Forest School programmes)
  • Using the Pupil Premium for Learning Outside the ClassroomThis funding stream can be used to support your Forest School provision. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom have published a paper which gives some general advice about using the pupil premium for learning outside the classroom here LOtC Using the Pupil Premium for learning outside the classroom
  • Chesterfield Community Assembly Community Chest, Community Chest Grant Programme

Registered charities, community and voluntary groups that are based within Chesterfield Borough or have a strong link to the Borough that meet the funding conditions can apply for funding.

The funding will be awarded to facilitate projects, services and activities that improve the overall quality of life and wellbeing of residents in Chesterfield Borough, in line with the priorities for each Community Assembly area and the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities. Funding will also be directed towards areas of the Borough with specific needs for example health inequalities, deprivation issues etc.

The minimum grant award from the Community Chest is £1,000 per project and the maximum is £5,000 per project.

Deadline for applications is the 19th September 2014 to receive grant money in November 2014.

Please contact Wendy Blunt, Community Development Worker at or telephone 01246 345344

The Asda Foundation support requests which have the direct support and involvement from their colleagues locally. Please contact your local Store or Depot to see if this is something they are able to support. This is a rolling programme.

We give grants for…

Children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:

  1. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  2. Any kind of disability
  3. Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  4. Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

We fund organisations working to combat this disadvantage and to make a real difference to children and young people’s lives.

In our Small Grants programme we are looking for projects where a relatively small amount of money can make a big difference for children and young people. We are unlikely to fund applications which top up funding for salaries or larger projects where a small grant would only make a marginal impact on its success.

Who can apply?

  • Not-for-profit organisations that work with disadvantaged children and young people of 18 years and under who live in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
  • If your organisation currently has a grant from us, you can apply for further funding providing your current grant is coming to an end within the next 12 months. You will need to be able to provide convincing evidence of the differences our grant has made to the lives of the disadvantaged children and young people you have worked with.

For larger grants see Children in Need Main Grants

Secondary schools can sign up for £250 per eligible pupil (for a one week summer school) or £500 per eligible pupil (for a two week summer school).

The funding applies to all pupils transferring in to Year 7 who:

•             Are registered as eligible for FSM or who have been registered at any point in the last six years (known as ‘Ever6’); or

•             Have been looked after by the local authority for a day or more; or

•             Were previously looked after and left care through being adopted on or after 30 December 2005; under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005; or under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991; and

•             Who have been recorded on the January Schools Census as being in one of these categories.

Schools will be free to ask third parties, such as voluntary groups, to run the summer schools for them or work together with other schools.

  • Forest School and Primary School Sport and PE Funding                                                                                                                 For those of you seeking funding to either have a member of staff trained or for a member of staff to deliver Forest School programmes at a Primary School you may want to consider using the current Sport and PE funding. Forest School although perhaps not an obvious choice can offer a number of important health benefits including improved physical health, mental health and value for money in that it costs very little to run in the long term.Focusing upon the stated purpose of this funding and the need for schools to demonstrate the impact of this spending we have put our heads together with the DCC School Sports Development Officer and have drafted an outline example case study of how Forest School might be eligible for a portion of the funds available within a school.School X spent £1000 training one member of staff as a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner:  The trained member of staff ran sessions each week, all year round in a nearby woodland environment.  The Forest School sessions targeted the least active children and those with poor self-esteem who generally did not participate in additional physical activity or sports offers in the school.  The Forest School sessions included building self-confidence, self-esteem, co-operation and increasing levels of activity through – walking, climbing, running, jumping, team games and wider general health promotion including healthy eating and good mental health.  In the following years (at no additional cost) the Forest School Practitioner was able to continue to offer sessions to the target group and expand to offer sessions to other cohorts including an out of school ‘Fit for life’ club involving children and families from the community who were not motivated by traditional sport or outdoor physical activity and sessions for pupils to develop their leadership skills for those showing sporting promise

The Tree Council has funds available to assist schools and community groups proposing to undertake well-planned orchard planting projects during National Tree Week, 29 November to 7 December 2014.

Schools and community groups are eligible for funding, but must meet to the following criteria:

  • Children under the age of 16 must be actively involved in the planting process.
  • Planting must take place on publicly accessible land, usually in public or charity ownership.
  • The School or Community Group must be able to raise 25% of planting costs.
  • Apple and pear trees on selected root stocks are the only trees eligible for funding.
  • Planting must take place during National Tree Week.

The fund is open to projects where the total tree planting costs are between £100 and £700.

Eligible costs include the cost of the trees and any reasonable cost of necessary supports and aids: stakes, ties, guards, fertiliser, mulch and soil amelioration (where conditions make this appropriate). The project costs should total at least £100 in order for the application to be eligible for consideration.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2014.

Possibly of interest to independent practitioners or Forest Schools programmes with a strong community connection Power to Change is a new £150 million initiative to support the development of sustainable community-led enterprises across England.

Funding to help more people respond to local need and opportunity, and change the places in which they live for the better, will be delivered through an independent grant-making Trust from autumn 2014.

The Big Lottery Fund is currently working with its Power to Change media partner, Trinity Mirror Group, to raise awareness of the good work being done by community enterprises, connect people with enterprising projects and inspire more people to get involved.

Until the programme opens for formal submissions in 2014, community groups can contact the Big Lottery Fund to find out more about how to set up their own community enterprise or to share best practice.

The communities we serve have always been important to us. With our Community Fund the money donated in your area stays in your area, so you get to see first-hand the good things that are happening as a result of your generosity. If you know or are involved in a local group or community project, you can find out more about applying for funding here. (Please note – Whilst schools are not eligible to apply, independent groups within schools such as PTA’s can apply)

With Grow Wild you could get between £500 and £5,000 to create a community site in your local area.

We’re looking for local groups and organisations across the UK to come forward with exciting and inspirational ideas to give neglected and uncared-for sites and spaces a new lease of life. We’re particularly interested in hearing great ideas from groups of young people.


  • Relief of persons in need, hardship or distress by reason of disaster or as a consequence of social or economic circumstance.
  • Provision/Maintenance of care and accommodation for the sick and elderly.
  • Promotion of education – in particular within the Derbyshire region.
  • Environmental Conservation/Preservation/Protection/Improvement – in particular where this would encourage the provision of access by members of the general public.

It is the trustees’ present policy to assist smaller organisations with core costs.

If you are considering self funding your Forest School L3 training and are over 24 and a British resident you may be able to access this learning loan.

DCF is an independent charity, building an endowment fund to provide vital grant funding to voluntary and community groups across the county, supporting the most vulnerable in our society and helping enrich the lives of people living in our communities by funding a wide range of groups, including those involved in supporting carers, survivors of domestic abuse, children, young people and isolated elderly residents.

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making trust which has been supporting charities across the UK for over 50 years. The Foundation supports a broad range of organisations and activities that share a commitment to making a positive impact to the lives of the communities in which they work, and that are driven by a desire to achieve excellence. They support various fields of work, including education, investing in formal and informal learning, supporting organisations across the country that demonstrate excellence, from universities and special schools to museums and out-of-school provision.

Available from Derbyshire County Council,  up to £500 funding and includes ‘Forest Schools Schemes’ under projects that are eligible and schools can apply individually.

Available from the National Forest Company, up to £3,000 or 50% of total cost towards projects within the boundary of The National Forest.  Schools and Community groups can apply.

Open Gate is a small charity set up to support grassroots environmental, technological, and educational projects to benefit small communities, both in the UK and abroad. Schemes advancing social equality and fairness and those designed to become self-supporting will be viewed favourably. Individuals and overseas-based charities are not supported and the trustees have not supported purely medical charities.

The charity was registered in July 2000. The trustees hold quarterly meetings to discuss applications. The meetings usually fall in January, April, July and October. Letters of application for grant need to be received six weeks in advance of a quarterly meeting to be included on that meeting’s agenda.

AFA England offers grants of between £300 and £10,000 for projects that improve communities, and the lives of people within them. It is for voluntary and community groups, schools and health organisations, parish and town councils.

  • B and Q Waste Donation Scheme

Groups will need to complete a waste donation form, which is available from the environmental champion, diversity champion, or duty manager in store.  The form must be returned to the store, together with a covering letter (on headed paper) to the Manager of the B&Q store from which items are requested, indicating the school/charity/community group’s interest in receiving waste items.  Subject to the request being authorised, the school/charity/group will be added to a list of potential recipients.

Applicants are advised to keep in contact with the store to check on availability of materials. Stores may also contact applicants, should appropriate items be available for donation

The Mark Leonard Trust   The Sutton Trust both trusts as a rule no longer accept unsolicited applications, if your project is very strongly aligned with the aims of either it may be worth contacting them directly to find out if it would be considered.  

Lists and search tools

Creative Star Learning have put together a lovely long list of funding sources many of which could be utilised to support FS

The Green Space Fund Search tool provides information on funding for green and external space projects and allows you to search for funds by type, size and geographic location. To access the tool, click here

Funding For Trees/Free Trees For Schools

The Woodland Trust

The Tree Council

DEFRA – Now closed but the site still contains useful information about choosing and planting trees


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