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Voluntary and community sector in Camden

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VCS Grants Programme 2024 to 2031

Resilience Fund 2024 

Camden’s Voluntary and Community Sector Resilience Fund is now closed.

The aims to support Camden’s VCS organisations to address immediate risks and to make changes that will increase organisational sustainability and resilience in the medium to longer term.

Organisations that have applied will be informed of their outcome in September 2024. 

Other Funds Coming Soon 

As part of Camden’s new VCS grants programme, we will be launching new funds later in 2023 and into 2024, including:  

  • Project funding 

Details of new funds will be added to this website as they launch.   

Read our summary report for more details of our future funding plans (PDF).

Please do keep an eye on our webpage and sign up for our newsletter for the latest announcements. 

Community Partner Fund 2024 - 2031

Community Partner Fund 

Community Partner Funding has been awarded to 38 organisations who are deeply rooted in Camden’s communities with a strong focus on neighbourhoods and equalities.  Seven-year grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 per year have been awarded. 

The fund supports Camden based organisations who take a preventative approach to social challenges; empower communities and support social action; and tackle inequalities and disproportionality. Applications to this fund are now closed- but please do check our website, as all new funding opportunities will be announced here
The organisations awarded Community Partner Funding are listed below. Click on each name to be taken to their website and learn more about each organisation’s work.

Abbey Community Centre
Bengali Workers Association
British Somali Community Centre
Calthorpe Community Garden
Camden Chinese Community Centre
Camden Disability Action
Castlehaven Community Association
Coram's Fields
Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust
Doorstep Homeless Families Project
Elfrida Rathbone Camden
Fitzrovia Community Centre
Fitzrovia Youth in Action
Henna Asian Women’s Group
Highgate Newtown Community Partners
Holborn Community Association
Home Start Camden and Islington
Hopscotch Women's Centre
Kentish Town City Farm
Kentish Town Community Centre
King's Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association
Likewise Community
Maiden Lane Community Centre
NW5 Community Play Project
Queen's Crescent Community Association
SHAK (South Hampstead & Kilburn Community Partnership)
Sidings Community Centre
Somali Youth Development Resource Centre
Somers Town Community Association
St Marys Centre Community Trust
St Pancras Community Association
The Sherriff Centre
The Third Age Project
The Winchester Project
Training Link
West Hampstead Women's Centre


Data support for VCS in Camden

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 organisations may also be commissioned to deliver services for local residents. 

Camden Council Grants  

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

Open funding programmes

These funding programmes are currently open and can be applied for.

We make Camden Kit  

This programme provides small grants of up to £2,000 to resident led social action.

The We Make Camden Kit is a partnership between Camden Citizens, Camden Council, Camden Giving, and Camden businesses. We're funding and supporting great ideas that will make Camden a better place. The goal is to help achieve Camden’s Core Missions by 2030; everyone eats well every day, young people have great opportunities, there’s diversity amongst people in power and we’re living in sustainable neighbourhoods.

There is a rolling deadline and applications are reviewed every two weeks. You can apply at any point and will usually receive an outcome within 3 weeks.

Find out more about We Make Camden Kit including how to access support to develop your idea.

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 for the Community Climate Action Grant

Closed funding programmes 

The following programmes are now closed.

Cost of Living Community Response Fund 

Camden hosted a series of community workshops to develop Camden’s Cost of Living Community Response for winter 2023/24. These workshops aimed to identify ways in which voluntary sector organisations, community and faith groups, public services (council, health and schools) and active citizens can work together to provide support to those who need it most. Small grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 were available to organisations to develop long-term partnerships that support and improve outcomes for those most impacted by poverty and economic exclusion.

Active for Life VCS fund

The aim of this fund is to boost initiatives that support the overall aims of the “Active for Life” campaign. “Active for Life” aims to encourage Camden’s inactive residents aged 60 and over to become and remain physically active in the long term. This fund invites VCS organisations to work in collaboration with us to increase the reach and impact of the campaign.

Four organisations and partnerships have been awarded funding for community outreach proposals to reach residents aged 60 and over to promote the offer and help them find a suitable physical activity opportunity. There is a particular focus on proactive work in reaching people who may not be sufficiently active.

The campaign is scheduled to begin in March 2024.

The grant awards are as follows:

Organisation Amount
Holborn Community Association in partnership with King’s Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association, Third Age Project, YMCA and Dragon Hall Trust) £9601
Abbey Community Association £9955
Castlehaven Community Centre £8827
Hopscotch Women’s Centre £9331

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.  Find out more about Strategic Partnership Fund

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. Find out more about Advice Grant Fund

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 is now open with a deadline of 31st January 2023 at 12 noon. Apply for the Community Impacts Resilience Fund 2022/23

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. 

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 (LCIL)

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. Find out more about LCIL

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

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

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 

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. Find out more about Hampstead Wells and Campden


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. Find out more about Camden 4 Community

Fundraising support

Voluntary Action Camden 

Voluntary Action Camden, provide expert advice and direct support to community groups needing help with fundraising and income generation. Find out more about Voluntary Action Camden

NCVO funding section  

Wealth of information on grants, fundraising and public services. Find out more about NCVO

One Camden  

OneCamden is a portal by VAC to help you access Voluntary and Community Sector support in Camden. Find out more about One 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 [email protected] or if you know who is your Community Partner, get in touch with them directly.  

To sign up for the Community Partnership Team mailing list for updates and announcements, please subscribe here.

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 [email protected] 

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) 

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

Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) provide comprehensive training programmes for Camden voluntary and community groups. VAC also run regular seminars on topical policy issues and themes, and host regular events aimed at the specific needs of the local community.

Read more about VAC training and events 

If you are a small local voluntary, community, charity or not-for-profit organisation, you can get limited access to the Council’s learning programme. This offer includes access to Health and Safety, Safeguarding and First Aid training. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Safeguarding training for Camden’s Voluntary Community Sector

Adults safeguarding training

Free safeguarding adults training is available from the Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board. For more information, contact them by email at [email protected]

Children's safeguarding training

For organisations working with Camden children or their families, a range of Camden Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) courses are available. 

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) training courses are also available.

If you work with Camden children aged 0-5 years old, or their families, Camden's Early Years Quality Support provides free Level 1 or Level 2 safeguarding children training. This is particularly relevant for volunteers in registered early years settings, as it is linked to the requirements of the Early Years Statutory Framework (EYFS). For more details, please email [email protected].

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.    

Our work on equalities and cohesion

The Community Partnership Team’s work on Equalities and Cohesion has 3 key areas of focus:  

Grants programmes and funding  

  • Funding relationships with Equalities led organisations.  
  • Ensuring that our grants are inclusive and support VCS organisations from across Camden's diverse communities 
  • Capacity building- such as training, workshops or peer learning opportunities- to support Equalities led organisations to access funding opportunities   

Partnerships and networks  

  • Convene key networks such as the Camden Interfaith Network and Borough of Sanctuary VCS Forum  
  • Seek to connect organisations with each other and relevant Council services and teams to enhance work  
  • Input into existing networks and support the development of new networks where they may be gaps, for example convening a network of women’s organisations  

Promoting community cohesion through events and awareness days or months 

  • Profile and highlight the work of the VCS through their events and activities, for example LGBT History month  
  • Work with organisations to develop and deliver events, such as Hate Crime Awareness events during National Hate Crime Awareness Week  
  • Organise events that support community cohesion, for example Interfaith Tree Planting  

View Camden's 2024 inclusion calendar.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at [email protected]