Strategic Partners

Strategic Partner Fund

The Strategic Partner Fund programme (2017 to 2024) focuses investment on the changing pattern of need across the borough. Many councils are cutting such investment to zero, so this is a major expression of the council’s belief in the local voluntary sector’s expertise, trust and connections with residents, as well as its proven ability to innovative and stimulate community resilience. 

The Strategic Partner Fund focuses on 3 areas: 

  • Strategic Partners Fund: Neighbourhoods
  • Strategic Partners Fund: Equalities
  • Strategic Partners Fund: Projects

Strategic Partners Fund: Neighbourhoods

We want to:

  • maximise the use of existing strengths, assets and resources within the investment zones for the benefit of local residents
  • improve opportunities for residents to ensure that they are not held back because of background, circumstance or identified community
  • increase opportunities for residents from different backgrounds to be more connected and involved in local social action, to help themselves and each other

Our list of investments include:

Organisation Amount per annum
West Zone  
Abbey Community Centre £60,000
Kingsgate Community Association £50,000
Sidings Community Centre £90,000
North Central Zone  
Hampstead Community Centre £50,000
South Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership (SHAK) £38,369
North East Zone  
Highgate Newtown Community Centre - project funding £90,000
Central Zone  
Castlehaven Community Association £95,000
Kentish Town City Farm £75,000
Queens Crescent Community Association £100,000
East Zone  
Kentish Town Community Centre £60,000
Maiden Lane Community Centre £85,000
South East Zone  
Somers Town Community Centre £85,000
St Pancras Community Association £49,000
South Zone  
Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust £45,000
Holborn Community Association £100,000
Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association £100,000
Calthorpe Project £25,000
South West Zone  
Bengali Workers Association (project funding) £30,000
West Euston Partnership (project funding)


Strategic Partners Fund:

We want to ensure mainstream services deliver for all, prioritising race (black and minority ethnic and refugee communities), sex (women) and sexual orientation (lesbian, gay and bisexual communities) equalities characteristics by:

  • Identifying and tackling the barriers faced by the above groups
  • Identifying ways to increase access
  • Increase levels of participation, social action and influence in civic society by those communities currently underrepresented
  • Improve life chances and opportunities for residents to ensure they are not held back because of background, circumstance or identified community

Our list of investments include:

Organisation Amount per annum
The Kosmos Centre (Camden Cypriot Women’s Organisation)  £30,000
The Camden LGBT Forum  £65,000
Home Start Camden £45,000
Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre  £75,000
North London Cares £30,000
Somali Youth Development and Resource Centre  £60,000
West Hampstead Women's Centre £55,000

Strategic Partners Fund:

There were gaps in certain areas where no strategic partner funding had been identified. Further projects were commissioned to invest in outcomes for residents in these areas.

Our list of investments include:

Organisation Project Amount per annum Length of Project
Equalities Projects      
British Somali Community Parents Support Project £25,000 3 years
Camden Disability Action The Advocacy Project £40,000 2 years
Camden Somali Culture Centre Advice Support Project linked to Kingsgate Community Association (SPF Neighbourhood Partner). £20,000 4 years
Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre (in partnership with Bengali Workers Association and Home Start Camden) Partnership Support to the Bangladeshi Community £50,000 3 years
Neighbourhood Projects      
West Euston Partnership Job Co-op £55,000 2 years
Bengali Workers Association Beyond Boundaries £30,000 2 years
Highgate Newtown Community Centre HNCC Community Hub £45,000 3 years


Healthy Families Projects Project Amount per annum Length of funding
South East Zone      
St Pancras Community Association (in collaboration with Somers Town Community Association) Fun Routes to Fitness £34,000 3 years
North Central Zone      
The Winchester Project Healthy Parents HealthyChildren £21,600 3 years
South Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership SHAK Healthy Champions £21,600 3 years
Swiss Cottage Community Centre Swiss Cottage Healthy Families £21,800 3 years
East Zone      
Kentish Town Community Centre Your Health Matters £35,000 3 years
Central Zone      
Queens Crescent Community Association (with
Castlehaven Community Association and Kentish Town City Farm)
Family Health Matters £89,000 3 years

Funding Support for VCS in Camden

There are a range of funding opportunities and funding support available for Voluntary and community sector organisations in Camden. VCS organisation may also be commissioned to deliver services for local resident. 

Camden Council Grants  

Camden Council runs a number of different grant programmes for VCS organisations working in the borough.  

Open funding programmes

Community Climate Action Grant

Community Climate Action Grant  is to help enable communities to kickstart local climate action, the Camden Climate Fund is offering up to £5,000 for projects that can demonstrate carbon savings and community benefit. Examples of projects may include a tree planting scheme or a local communications campaign focused on behavioural change. Apply here 

Closed funding programmes 

Strategic Partnership Fund  

Camden’s Strategic Partnership Fund 2017-2024 provides £1.67 million per annum, in core grants funding to Camden’s VCS, including multi-use community centres and organisations that deliver community-based services for our diverse communities. The funding enables these organisations to respond to changing patterns of need across the borough.  

Infrastructure Alliance funding  

A £150,000 per annum fund for organisations that provide capacity building support and networking opportunities to Camden’s VCS   

Advice Grant Fund  

Camden’s Advice Grants Fund 2020-2027 provides £1 million per annum in core grant programme to establish a comprehensive, independent community advice offer for residents on issues such as welfare benefits, debt, housing and immigration.

Camden Community Impacts Resilience Fund  

Camden’s Community Impacts Fund 2021-2023 is a £1.92m unrestricted grants programme designed to support VCS organisations to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The programme opened in November 2021 and is open for two years (2022/23-2023/24). Applications to the second year of the programme will open later in 2022.  

Camden Community Impact Phase 1  

We’ve invested up to £1.6 million and worked with local voluntary and community organisations to tackle some of the most complex issues in Camden. The Camden Community Impacts scheme focused on youth offending, rough sleeping, emotional health and wellbeing, and supporting people with social care needs in the community. 

Community Impact We make Camden Kit  

Previously known as The Social Action Fund. This programme provides small grants to resident led social action. The programme is administered by Camden Giving. 

Edward Harvist Fund 

A on-off small grants programme totalling £125,000 restricted to develop or extend a sustainable model for food distribution, meeting the needs of groups at highest risk of food poverty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. 

Other ongoing restricted funding opportunities and financial support 

Local Community Infrastructure Levy fund  

25 per cent of the Camden Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is allocated locally by ward councillors. Allocations of CIL are guided by a Local CIL priority list for each ward. These have been developed by ward councillors in consultation with local residents. Details of LCIL availability and the priorities for your area can be found here  

Mandatory Rate Relief  

Registered charities are entitled to an 80% reduction in their business rates. Details of the Mandatory Rate Relief can be found here 

Discretionary Rate Relief  

Charities in receipt of mandatory charity relief and non-profit-making organisations can apply for a further 20% discretionary discount on their rates, up to the value of £2000. You must be in receipt of Mandatory rate relief to apply for discretionary rate relief. Check your organisation’s eligibility here  

Local Funding 

Camden Giving  

Camden Giving runs three grants programmes for VCS organisations in Camden, the Equality Fund, We Make Camden Kit and Future Change Makers programmes. Their grants programmes are based on participatory grant giving, meaning that if you receive funding from Camden Giving, it will always be given by a panel of local people, who receive money and training to make decisions. Details of their funding programmes can be found here. 

Young Camden Foundation 

Is a local organisation set up to address the growing uncertainty of long-term investment in the children and young people sector in Camden. Their yearly featured small grants are the Summer Opportunities Fund and the Holiday Hunger Fund. Details of their funding programmes can be found here  

Hampstead Wells and Campden 

Hampstead Wells and Campden provide grants to organisations, individuals and families. The principal objectives of The Hampstead Wells and Campden Trust are the alleviation of poverty and the advancement of health. Their area of benefit is north and west Camden, though organisations serving a wider area, but whose activities can be shown to benefit residents in our area of benefit, among others, may also apply for help. 


Camden are committed to supporting local small and medium sized enterprises and voluntary and community organisations to tender for private and public sector contracts. Go to Business with Camden to find out more. To view all available council contracts worth between £5,000 to £100,000 sign up to the London-wide portal Compete For 

Other funding support 

There is a range of other funding support for Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in Camden.  

Funding database

Camden 4 Community funding kit 

Camden Council has set up the Camden 4 Community funding Kit, a database of local, regional, national and international funding opportunities. You can register for access to the fully searchable database and to set up a regular bulletin, personalised to relevant search criteria.  

Fundraising support

Voluntary Action Camden 

Voluntary Action Camden, provide expert advice and direct support to community groups needing help with fundraising and income generation 

NCVO funding section  

Wealth of information on grants, fundraising and public services. 

One Camden  

OneCamden is a portal by VAC to help you access Voluntary and Community Sector support in Camden. 

Data and Evidence for funding applications 

Camden renewal Commission 

The Camden Renewal Commision was set up by Camden Council and UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) to develop practical solutions to help achieve a fair, sustainable economy and address inequalities in the borough. The renewal commission website contains information and insights gathered through community engagement. 

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 

The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is a process by which local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups assess the current and future health, care and wellbeing needs of the local community to inform local decision making 

Camden Open data portal  

Open Data Camden is the place for the public, researchers and developers to access, analyse and share information about the borough 

Advice and Support for VCS Organisations

Advice and Support for Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations 

There is a wide range of support available for voluntary and community organisations in Camden. 
This support includes advice and guidance on setting up or developing your organisation, recruiting skilled volunteers to support your work, training and development opportunities for you and your staff, and peer support networks. 

Our Community Partnerships Team 

Our Community Partnerships Team works directly with a portfolio of organisations and provides assistance in areas such as fundraising, governance, organisational strategy and development, business planning, monitoring and evaluation. 

The team are available to offer advice and support to all Camden-based VCS organisations, irrespective of whether they receive council funding. If you would like to work with us, please contact us at or if you know who is your Community Partner, get in touch with them directly.  

Voluntary Action Camden 

Voluntary Action Camden provides a range of services to support small and emerging organisations with their developmental needs as well as individuals who wish to set up a voluntary or community group. This includes support with governance, funding advice, training, volunteering and partnership working. Focussing on organisations with an income of less than £100,000 per annum, they offer: 

  • Signposting to a range of support and information 
  • Diagnostic and organisational development support through face-to-face consultancy (eg on governance, policies, constitution, employment) 
  • Bi-monthly funding application workshops 
  • In depth one-to-one bid-writing support 

If you are in the process of forming a new voluntary or community group or are interested in finding out more about what services and funding are available to you in Camden, we recommend you visit Voluntary Action Camden or email them at 

Safeguarding resources 

Camden’s Safeguarding Team has developed a policy and procedure template to help VCS organisations develop a safeguarding policy. 

Further information about how to recognise abuse or neglect of adults, report any concerns and help people to stay safe can be found here Help keep adults safe from abuse and neglect (PDF) 

Camden Community Impacts Resilience Fund

This fund is now closed for applications. 

There will be a further funding round in 2022/23.

To sign up for the Community Partnership Team mailing list for updates and announcements please subscribe by entering your email address and then selecting ‘All VCS’ under topic.

More than £850,000 awarded to Camden voluntary and community organisations

£857,834 has been awarded to 65 voluntary and community groups working in Camden through the Council’s Community Impacts Resilience Fund.

Among the organisations receiving grants of up to £15,000 are Umoja Health Forum, Queen’s Crescent Community Association, Somali Community Development Trust, and the Third Age Project.

Camden Council launched the fund in November to support local organisation to recover from the financial impact of Covid-19 and to provide backing for new partnerships and new innovative ways of working, which have been developed in response to the pandemic.

This is the first round of funding to be awarded from the fund, which is worth £1.92 million over two years (2022/23-2023/24).

Cllr Anna Wright, Cabinet Member for Promoting Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: “Our voluntary sector has been essential in the local effort against Covid-19. Their work in our communities – in the face of enormous, unprecedented challenges – cannot be underestimated. With this fund we are now supporting Camden’s voluntary and community organisations to build back and flourish, and to overcome the new financial pressures they have been facing as a result of the pandemic.

“Camden’s community is one that cares. This can be seen in the huge number of organisations that have applied for this funding as well as in the vast ways they are bringing residents together and the breadth of the issues they are working to overcome.

“Whether it is building up residents’ financial resilience, supporting those experiencing food poverty, providing additional education to children who have had their education disrupted by Covid, fighting loneliness, helping people into work, creating safe spaces and offering refuge, or simply providing a shoulder to lean on – every one of these organisations is a pillar in our communities and, through this fund and the development of long-term funding packages, we will continue to support them to go on delivering vital support and services in Camden.”

For press announcement and lists of awarded organisations see below:

List of organisations awarded funding from the Recovery Fund

List of organisations awarded funding from the Partnership and Networks Fund 

Press announcement 

Camden Community Impacts Phase 1

We’re investing up to £1.6 million and working with local voluntary and community organisations to tackle some of the most complex issues in Camden.

The Camden Community Impacts scheme focuses on youth offending, rough sleeping, emotional health and wellbeing, and supporting people with social care needs in the community.

These are long-standing issues that we know can’t be solved by any one organisation, so we’ve been developing ideas with a wide range of partners, including the Camden Community Centres’ Consortium (C4), Age UK Camden, the Roundhouse and New Horizon Youth Centre.

The projects we’re funding as a result of these conversations will bring the skills and creativity of a range of local organisations together in new ways to tackle these issues:

  • Youth offending: £200,000 to support community responses to serious youth violence in Camden, and £200,000 for a pilot demonstrating the role the voluntary sector can take in reducing youth reoffending.
  • Rough sleeping: Up to £70,000 will go towards an engagement project to understand the experiences of people rough sleeping, and give them a voice so that they can be better supported off the streets.
  • Emotional health and wellbeing: £200,000 towards a partnership to encourage residents to build their personal resilience and independence, linking them to opportunities and activities in their community.
  • Supporting people in the community: Up to £100,000 will go towards a fund the voluntary sector can offer to ideas that break down the barriers older and disabled people face in accessing community facilities.

If you have any questions email

Business Rate Relief

The following resources and sources of information are available to voluntary and community organisations in Camden. You can also search for funding opportunities

Discretionary rate relief

Discretionary rate relief helps the council reduce the business rates liability for charities and not-for-profit organisations that are providing valuable facilities and services to communities within Camden.

Registered charities are entitled to rate relief, which is an 80% reduction in their business rates and fully funded by central government. Councils can decide whether to provide further discretionary rate relief to cover some or all of the remaining 20% of business rates.


Discretionary rate relief can be applied for by any voluntary, charity or not-for-profit organisation that operates within Camden and is liable for business rates, and which provides services that meet the eligibility criteria.

We do not usually award discretionary rate relief to the types of organisations listed below:

  • Charity shops and shops operated by trading arms of charities
  • Premises used mainly for religious worship
  • Organisations with a turnover more than £1.5 million 
  • Overseas aid organisations
  • Administration offices for national charities
  • Social clubs
  • Private nurseries, schools, colleges and other educational establishments
  • Bodies operating a restrictive membership policy
  • Organisations that already receive funding from, or are commissioned by, the council
  • Organisations applying for discretionary rate relief must demonstrate how their service provision directly benefits Camden residents. The council will need to consider the overall benefit to the community of the organisation, and what effect the award of rate relief will have upon the organisation.

Organisations need to demonstrate how their activities meet one or more of the following service themes:

  • Economic inclusion and equality – providing services to overcome the barriers that prevent people from participating fully in the workplace.
  • Access to work and training – providing services to people in most need of support to access work and training.
  • Childcare services related to the above themes – services that deliver the free entitlement for three and four year olds, target low income families, work in areas of disadvantage, and demonstrate inclusive practice.

If discretionary rate relief is awarded, it will be capped to a maximum of £2,000. If an organisation delivers services from more than one building, the maximum will be £2,000 for each location where business rates are due.

Discretionary rate relief applications are only valid for one financial year. It is your organisation’s responsibility to reapply for discretionary rate relief for each financial year.

Application form

Submit a discretionary rate relief application form 

Until we advise you of the outcome of your application, you must pay any demands for business rates that your organisation receives. If discretionary rate relief is later awarded, your organisation will be given a refund.

Policy review

We will be reviewing the discretionary rate relief policy based on the council’s available financial budget.

Information for Organisations who work with Camden citizens

Learning and Development

The VCS organisations on the attached list (PDF) have access to the Camden Learning and Development Hub. Staff from these organisations should follow these instructions and to create an account.

Safeguarding training for Camden’s Voluntary Community Sector

Adults safeguarding training

For adults safeguarding training, contact 

Children's safeguarding training

The Camden Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) provides a range of free Level 3 safeguarding courses available to all organisations working with Camden children or their families.

The CSCB's training programme does not include Level 1 or Level 2 safeguarding training. If you do not have access to the L&D Hub and you are looking for Level 1 or Level 2 safeguarding training for your organisation,  the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has a range of courses available.

If you are working with Camden 0-8 years old children or their families, Camden's Early Years Quality Support provides free Level 1 or Level 2 safeguarding children training. Please email for further details.

Advice Grant Programme 2020 - 2027

Camden 2025 sets out a bold vision for Camden – a place where everyone has a chance to succeed, where nobody gets left behind, and where everybody has a voice.
To help us deliver this, we intend to create a network of advice services that have the resident at the heart of all they do.

Camden Advice Services will:

  • deliver high quality proactive advice
  • be able to respond flexibly to resident’s’ needs
  • be rooted in the community
  • work collaboratively to ensure all residents are empowered, resilient and able to thrive.

We will be funding advice services through grants because we recognise the value in providing voluntary and community sector organisations with core funding. This enables service providers to be flexible and innovative in how they respond to local needs and opportunities, whilst supporting resilience and sustainability.

Through the establishment of an advice network, we envisage a much closer collaboration between the Council and advice providers which can include both larger and smaller community organisations.
The aims of the grant programme are

  • residents have the right information and support so that they feel empowered and equipped to deal with problems themselves
  • residents are able to access advice in a way and location that is best for them and they know where they can go for support
  • a reduction in poverty as a result of people accessing the benefits they are entitled to (‘income maximisation’)
  • all residents from across our diverse communities have equal access to advice and no one is excluded
  • the amount of contact with services is reduced as residents are able to get information, advice and support from the service they trust  
  • all services in the advice network are working collectively and are in regular contact, so that emerging concerns and trends are regularly being identified and appropriately responded to.

Funding is via a competitive Grant process

We are committing a total of £7million over a 7-year period, which will be allocated through a competitive grant. This equates to approximately £1million per year. We will develop a wide advice network that incorporates and supports the broad range of existing services offering advice, so that all residents have access to advice in a way that is easy for them.

Areas of advice to be provided

We have identified a number of topic areas for specialist advice which would sit alongside general provision. For the purposes of the grant award we will ensure that all topic areas are covered and the available funding will allocated accordingly. The topic areas are as follows:

General advice

As well as providing general advice, it is expected that an organisation with sufficient capacity to do so would also take on a central triage role to link in with the rest of the network. This would provide a single point of contact for those unsure where to get support, however residents could also approach other organisations directly if they already have a relationship or know what specialist support they need.

Specialist advice

This would be broken into a series of subcategories as follows:

  •     over 65s
  •     young people (16-25)
  •     people with disabilities
  •     welfare/benefits
  •     housing
  •     employment and immigration
  •     debt and money

A further priority for advice provision is ensuring a good spread geographically. Any consortia bids will be expected to demonstrate that organisations will work together to provide good coverage across the borough.

Indicative Funding Allocation

Topic Indicative amount allocation
General advice £350,000
Advice and advocacy for older people (over 65) £125,000
Advice and advocacy for young people (16-25) £50,000
Advice and advocacy for people with disabilities £100,000
Debt and money £100,000
Housing £100,000
Welfare rights/benefits £100,000
Employment and immigration £75,000


Expectations of grant-funded partners

As well as delivering the specified service you will outline in your application, advice partners will be expected to

  •       actively participate in the advice network, coordinating delivery with the Council and other advice organisations.
  •       collect data, monitor impact, identify emerging trends and develop a system response.

Throughout the first two years, we will invest in capacity building to ensure all providers are equally involved in the network and equipped for data collection and reporting requirements.