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Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness funding - frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions from the launch event

How will the programme work?
What types of projects will be funded?
Filling in the application forms
Application and partnership support

How will the programme work?

1. How are Macc keeping their independence whilst administering this funding programme?
Macc is programme managing the fund on behalf of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). It will not have a voting role in the allocation of funding. The governance of the fund is reviewed by the CCGs and by Macc’s Board of Trustees to ensure it is managing the fund correctly.
Application advice and support is being delivered by Macc’s Capacity Building Team and this process is kept separate from the programme management of the fund.

2. What is the involvement of Age-friendly Manchester?
The Valuing Older people board have representatives on the programme board and the selection panel for this funding programme.

3. Who is on the selection panel?
The selection panel for this funding programme will be made up of representatives from CCGs as well as expertise in reducing social isolation and loneliness, health and social care, equalities and older people’s reference groups. All members of the selection panel will receive a briefing concerning the strategic aims of the fund and the wider context of reducing social isolation and / loneliness within Manchester, the voluntary and community sector and the decision making process. The section panel will looking to fund a range of approaches applied to the diverse communities of Manchester. The selection panel will only award to projects of a suitable quality and may not award all the money.

4. How will the decision making process work? Will the panel see all applications or will they be spit up according to CCG area? What are the CCG priorities?
There is one selection panel with representatives from each of the CCGs, they will assess all eligible bids. The aims and objectives of the fund are outlined in the programme guidance and these are the same for all of the CCGs.

5. What is the total amount of funding available for Manchester?
The Manchester CCGs have allocated £550,000 to help tackle and reduce social isolation and loneliness of older people in Manchester. The independent evaluation team have been allocated £50,000 to work with both small and large grant applicants to collect appropriate data.

6. Is there a difference between the large and small grants?
Yes, the small grants are for £500-£10,000 and the large grant applicants are applying for between £10,001 and £50,000. There are different application forms for each type of grant. Small grants are assessed on the application form only and large grants on the basis of application plus interview.

7. If organisations/groups are not able to bid this time, will there be another opportunity to bid for this grant funding programme?
This is a one off funding programme from the Manchester CCGs and it is expected that all the funds will be distributed during the programme. However the Programme Board reserve the right not to allocate the full funding in this grant.

8. When will applicants hear about the decision if they are successful?
Applicants should expect to hear about the decision of the application no later than 4 June 2014.

9. When is the start date of the projects?
Applications will be given a three month timeframe to establish and start delivery of their projects. This timeframe is between 16 June 2014 and 15 September 2014.

10. Will organisations receive the results from the standardised evaluation forms that are completed and submitted to the external evaluators?
Yes, successful applicants working with the independent evaluation team will receive results of the evaluation data collated.

11. When will groups receive the funding?
Small grant holders – Projects will receive the full award allocation at the start of the programme.
Large grant holders – Money will be paid in two tranches. 50% at the start of the programme and the remainder after nine months subject to satisfactory monitoring and evaluation.


What types of projects will be funded?

1. Will existing projects be funded or is this fund specifically for new projects?
This funding programme is open to applicants applying for funding for both new and existing projects.

2. Are groups/organisations able to bid for funding for projects that work with all adults not just older people?
For the purposes of this funding programme, “older people” are defined as people 50 years or older.
This funding programme is open to applications from groups/organisations that provide universal services to people in Manchester.
Applicants would need to demonstrate how their project would reduce social isolation and loneliness of older people and any specific activity/approach you would undertake to ensure older people benefitted from the programme.
You will have the opportunity to explain the wider social value of the programme and the wider outcomes of your programme on the application form.

3. The majority of our service users will be from Manchester, but if these service users access activities we run outside of the City of Manchester, will this be permitted by this funding programme?
This funding programme aims to support those applying to deliver projects in the City of Manchester. The programme will fund activities that take place within the City of Manchester. If your service users access or are expected to access other services that you run outside of the City of Manchester, you can tell us about this in your application and how they may add value to the project you are applying for funding for.

3. Do you have a preference for particular approaches, size of projects or a total number of beneficiaries in mind?
The programme board wants to support a range of projects that meets the required eligibility, aims and objectives of this programme. The aim of the fund is to generate learning as to which methods are most effective, in particular circumstances to reduce social isolation and loneliness. As such the board will fund a range of approaches of varying approaches and sizes in order to maximise the learning and will judge this through the application process. There is not a pre-defined distribution between small or large grants.

4. Is there an advantage of working in more than one area?
There is no advantage or disadvantage of working in one or more of the CCG areas. The funding programme is looking for a spread of projects both large and small across Manchester. There will be moderation overall to ensure distribution across the CCGs and maximise learning about the effectiveness of approaches in different areas of Manchester.

5. Do applicants have to work in partnership to bid for funding?
Partnership working is key to this grant fund but this can be in a formal (with a partnership agreement) or through wider networking and informal partnership working and collaboration.

6. What type of track record of working do you require?
We would want to see evidence of the type, quality and learning generated from applicants work within Manchester. Depending on the nature and intensity of the work an organisation may be able to generate a strong track record in a relatively short time. However, if an organisation has done a small amount of work for a short period of time it is unlikely to have generated enough evidence of a track record to be successful in this grant fund.

7. Can applicants build in costs for staff time around learning and developing?
Yes, applicants may include staff time for learning and development into the costings. Learning from this project to build capacity and knowledge in organisations is a key part of this funding. Any application should demonstrate why staff learning and development is necessary and the impact it is expected to have.

8. Are the funders more interested in projects that will carry on after they have funded the project? Will you be penalised for saying that your project will have to apply for funding to continue?
Organisations should be able to show how the impact of the funding will be sustainable beyond the lifetime of the funding other than just through seeking additional funding.
For the purposes of the grant fund sustainability is considered to be about:
• The lasting impact on clients/participants
• The creation of mechanisms/networks/facilities that will have a lasting impact on the ability of older people to participate within the community and help themselves.
• The increase in the learning/capacity/skills of the organisation to help older people.
It is important that applicants have factored this in to their project plan and are not just relying on securing future funds to continue service delivery and raising expectations that service provision will continue.
Where a direct service to older people is being supplied all services to clients must have been completed within the grant period without raising expectations for a continuing service, unless there is a guaranteed follow-on source of income.


Filling in the application forms

1. What are the criteria for referees for larger grants? Do they have to be an individual or organisation?
The referees for larger grant applicants will be required to be someone who knows the work of your organisation and about the project you are applying for. This person could be a trustee of your organisation or groups, a committee or steering group member. They will be required to state how long they have known your organisation and in what capacity. They will be required to provide an understanding of your organisation/group and the individual project you are applying for funding for. Only one reference has to be from someone from Manchester and one can be from someone based outside the city of Manchester.

2. How do applicants measure value for money?
This programme is looking for funding to be spent effectively and economically whilst still proving quality service provision. Good value for money can be demonstrated by projects comparing competitive quotes for purchasing items, building work or maintenance or if you are working with other organisation to share or manage costs of project or sourcing elements of support for free i.e. the project is supported from volunteers from the local community or free advertising from local businesses etc. They are also expected to take account of social value. If you are making decisions that take social value into account rather than being the cheapest then please tell us about this and what value they add.
The programme is expecting to fund a range of approaches, extensive and intensive, community based and online. As such there is not a fixed price expected per outcome generated.

3. Some groups may experience difficulty in expressing themselves on paper; will this be taken into consideration?
Macc recognises that some applicants will experience more difficulty than others when completing the application form. As a response to this need, Macc are delivered a number of support workshops to help applicants with practical elements of completing the application form. If you would like to attend one of these events, please visit: www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/reducing-social-isolation-loneliness-... for more information.

4. Will specific needs of particular communities be taken into consideration in the grant process, e.g. volunteers expenses, cost of interpreters, creation of documents in accessible formats?
Applications for this funding programme welcome groups to include details of necessary costing for projects such as interpreters and volunteer expenses or other approaches to make their project accessible. Groups will need to demonstrate why such approaches are necessary to achieve the aims and objectives of the grant fund and that the costs represent best value.

5. There is an expectation that services will be involved in the design of services, what evidence is this funding programme looking for?
This information can be found on page 14 of the Funding Programme Guidance

6. What are partnership management costs?
These are costs for the lead partner in a partnership associated with managing the delivery of a partnership project. Each project will run differently and there may be a range of time and resource costs involved specific to the nature of that project that may include, planning, monitoring, supervision, communication, events, relationship building and training. Applicants can put up to 10% towards management costs. Any partnership costs added on to partnership applications must be fully explained in the bid and justified in relation to the project.

7. Can research be sent in with the application form if it is referenced within the application form?
Any relevant research done by the applicants or other relevant bodies should be referenced / quoted where relevant in the application form. Supplementary documents and appendices will not be used as part of the assessment process.

Application and partnership support

1. Will all prospective applicants have access to the same information about this funding programme?
Yes, all information about this funding programme is available on the Manchester Community Central website pages here: www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/reducing-social-isolation-loneliness-.... The information is available to all potential applicants.

2. What support is Macc is providing to potential applicants?
The Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness funding pages on the Manchester Community Central website provide all information about this funding programme. If groups/organisations cannot access this information, they are welcome to contact Macc and this information can be posted to them. Support events will be held to provide help with practical elements of completing the application form. If any prospective applicants have questions about the funding programme, they can contact Anna at Macc on 0161 834 9823, or email: anna@macc.org.uk

3. Could Macc help organisations/groups make partnership links?
Macc is unable to match make organisations or groups as we don’t think this is appropriate for us to do so. However the groups/organisations offering to work in partnership have provided their contact details for interested parties to contact them directly.

4. What is meant be partnerships and informal partnerships?
Partnerships are key to the grant programme. For the purpose of this funding programme this means any of a range of formal and informal partnership working, networking and collaborative activity between one organisation and another group.
Formal partnerships are when groups and organisations are applying together and delivering the project jointly in relation to premises, delivery and support of service users. Informal partnerships are when the lead applicant may use other services on an irregular casual basis for example, when ideas sharing or making referrals.

5. Are partnerships bids more likely to be successful than single bids?
It is not necessary to be in a formal partnership to bid for this money. However all bids are expected to show evidence of formal or informal partnership, working with organisations and communities in the voluntary, public or private sector. The selection panel will be looking to fund a range of approaches to partnership working.

6. In a formal partnership, do you need the policies of all organisations involved?
No, we only require the policies of the lead applicant.

7. Do the accounts in a partnership bid need to be from the lead organisation?
Yes, the bank account details and associated account information are required to be from the lead applicant applying on behalf of the partnership.

8. Is it ok if there are partnerships with people that are also users of the service?
Service user involvement and empowerment is key to the grant fund and you must demonstrate how you do this.
Partnership working is concerned with the formal and informal ways that you work with other groups or sectors.
Approaches that combine service user involvement with partnership working outside of your organisation will be welcomed.

9. Do informal partnerships require a formal partnership agreement?
No, a formal partnership agreement is not required when the lead applicant is working with groups and organisations informally, i.e. making referrals to other services on behalf of their service users. Lead applicants will be required to include, within their application, details of the organisations they will be working with on an informal basis. However, if you have a partnership agreement with these informal partners you may tell us about it in your application.

10. Do you need to send in the partnership agreement with the application form?
Formal partnerships are required to submit a partnership agreement with their application.
Partnership agreements are not required for those working in informal partnership arrangements.