Funding Alerts

Henry Smith Charity Improving Lives Grant Programme

by | Nov 3, 2017 |

Of interest to organisations dealing with Employment, Training, Soft Skills, Technical Skills, Literacy, Numeracy, Employability

The Henry Smith Charity aims to bring about lasting change to people’s lives, helping them to benefit from and contribute to society. They achieve this by funding organisations that work with people to reduce social and economic disadvantage.


Please only apply for the Improving Lives grant if you meet the following criteria:
Organisation size £50k – £2m (in exceptional circumstances up to £5m)
Organisation type Charities and not-for-profit organisations, including social enterprises

Please only apply for the Strengthening Communities grant if you meet the following criteria:
Organisation size £20k – £500k
Location UK-wide, must be within the 10% most deprived areas
Organisation type Community-led charities and not for profit organisations

What For?

Their Grant Funding Strategy includes their values and principles as an organisation and funding priorities for their two largest grants programmes Improving Lives and Strengthening Communities.

The Improving Lives gran rogramme provides grants to charitable organisations that help people when other sources of support have failed, are inappropriate, or are simply not available.

They support established organisations delivering services directly to beneficiaries. They are looking for services which can demonstrate a track record of success, and evidence the effectiveness of the work.

They have six funding priorities that describe the work they support and how they want to bring about change for the most disadvantaged people in the greatest need.

One of these priorities is Employment and Training: Supporting people to move towards or gain employment.

They wish to fund support and training for those who are the furthest from the job market giving them the opportunity to build their confidence, identity and self-worth and reach their personal potential to work.

Their requires outcomes for Employment and Training:

  • People have improved soft skills, are moving towards employment and/or being work ready.
  • People have developed appropriate technical skills (including literacy, numeracy and job-specific qualifications) and are more likely to gain employment as a result.
  • People have engaged in training to reach their personal potential to work or volunteer.
Examples of current grants
  • Career coaching and employability support for young care leavers.
  • ESOL and IT classes for unemployed people who have recently arrived in the UK.
  • Supported work experience for ex-offenders.
  • Café providing volunteering placements for people experiencing mental health problems.
High need groups
  • Young people
  • Ex-offenders
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • People with a disability
  • Refugees

Funding covers running costs, salaries and projects

The Strengthening Communities grant programme is designed to support small charitable organisations working at grassroots level. Through this grant programme they want to make sure that their funding reaches the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, targeting places that are economically marginalised and affected by poverty.

They fund established organisations with a track record of delivering services directly to beneficiaries. They are looking for organisations that are embedded within their communities and are addressing local needs.

They want to fund work that enables:

  • People from across the community to participate in activities which improve connectedness, opportunities and wellbeing
  • People who are excluded, vulnerable or facing other forms of hardship to have access to community-based services that support positive lasting change
  • A stronger, active, more engaged community

Funding covers running costs.

How Much?

Improving Lives is their largest grants programme, through which the majority of their funds are distributed. Grants are up to £60,000 per year for up to 3 years.

Strengthening Communities applications can receive between £20,000 and £60,000 for 1 to 3 years.


Applications can be submitted at any time. We have no deadlines and we assess applications as they are received.

More information