Small Grants scheme for children with disabilities

The aim of the Small Grants scheme is to increase the number of activities/short breaks services children and young people (0-18) with additional needs/disability and their families can access across Devon. The scheme helps groups who support specific disabilities and groups that help children to become involved in their local community, reduce social isolation and encourage peer groups. The activities should where possible support inclusion into the community and allow children and young people to take part in activities alongside their friends. We would like to see the grant being used mainly for activities to support children and families but will consider other applications if appropriate (see ‘What will the scheme fund’ below).

Who can apply?

You can apply to the Small Grants scheme if you are a:

  • voluntary or community organisation (predominately parent led)
  • registered or unregistered charity
  • co-operative
  • Community Interest Company
  • not for profit organisation.

Applications from schools

We will consider applications from schools but we will not pay for activities or services that schools have a statutory responsibility to provide, for example curriculum based activities, any activity taking place during the school day, or items that are considered as normal family expenditure. We would expect activities to take place before or after school, at weekends or during school holidays. We will not fund anything set out as a responsibility for schools under the SEND Code of Practice and will expect activities to support greater inclusion into the community

What will the scheme fund?

Organisations can claim up to £5000. We will consider a larger amount from consortia bids that demonstrate added value. The scheme can fund:

  • activities, trips and associated costs, for example, transport
  • hire of facilities
  • resources and materials
  • equipment (less than £2500 per item)
  • staff and volunteer costs/expenses
  • a contribution towards start up costs for new groups
  • advertising and promotional material (a small contribution will be considered).

If you are unsure if we will fund your requirements please contact us before you submit your application.

To apply for a grant please complete the Small Grants scheme application form.

How we assess applications

All applications will be scored against the following criteria:

Criteria Score (out of 100)
Parent lead group/Have parent reps on the committee 15
Provide activities for children with disabilities 15
Supports children to become involved in their local community and reduces social isolation 20
Demonstrates creativity 10
Demonstrates sustainability outside of the Small Grants Funding 10
Demonstrates added value 15
Demonstrates partnership working 5
Provides evidence of how monitoring will be conducted and that the child’s voice/views will be included in the feedback 10

The panel will then consider this score along with other information supplied in your application. The panel will also take into account how the funding will help meet at least one of the outcomes below:

  • increased independence
  • increased opportunities
  • improved confidence
  • life skills
  • sense of achievement
  • ensuring the child/young persons’ voice is heard.

The panel are only able to judge applications on the information received so it is important that you include as much detail as possible on your application form.

When will applications be assessed?

We will assess applications on three dates during 2016:

  • 10 June 2016
  • 16 September 2016
  • 2 December 2016.

Any applications received after 1 December 2016 will not be considered.

Please ensure you submit your application well in advance of your funding requirement and at least 2 weeks before the assessment dates. Applications will be considered subject to funds available.

Policies and insurance

We will ask you to specify in your application if you have the following policies/procedures in place:

Safeguarding/Child protection
If your organisation works with children or young people you must have a policy that explains how you will make sure they will be safe.

Safe Network is a partnership between NSPCC and Children England and provides an extensive range of free child safeguarding advice and information to the voluntary and community sector.  This includes step-by-step guidance, a standards self-assessment and a toolbox of resources.  For more information please go to or email or call 0845 608 5404.

Public liability insurance (min £5 million)
Depending upon your organisation you may also need public liability insurance. It is your responsibility to have adequate insurance in place, including cover for any assets you buy or events and activities you run using our grant.

Health and safety policy
You will need a health and safety policy, including any information on how you conduct and apply risk assessments. Particular attention will be given to how risk assessments are reviewed in light of different individual child’s needs. If you do not have a full policy, please advise us how you manage the health and safety implications of your work.

We may ask to look at these policies at any time.

DBS (previously CRB) checks (where applicable)

What happens if we offer you a grant?

Following the decision we will contact you to confirm you application has been successful. We may request additional information before making a final decision. A grant agreement will then be sent to you. You must sign and return one copy of this along with an invoice for the agreed amount and send to Devon County Council, Small Grants scheme, First Floor Annexe, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD (or email to

Once we receive the signed grant agreement and invoice we will process your payment within 10 days. Payment can be made by cheque or BACS (please include bank details on your invoice).

Promoting the Small Grants scheme opportunities

If you are successful, we will add your organisation’s details to our Local Offer website and the Devon Parent Carer Voice site to ensure other parents are aware of the community services available to them.


The grant awarded must be spent before 31 March 2017. We will ask you to complete quarterly returns to show how many children have benefitted from the grant, their age group and how much of the grant has been spent and on what. Please make sure you get receipts for all the items or services you buy with the grant and that you keep them somewhere safe as we may ask you to provide them. We will also ask you to provide a year end report summarising how the grant has been spent and the outcomes, including feedback from users. We may also visit you to check how the grant has been spent. End of year reports will be due by 31 May 2017.

Please ensure you keep us up to date if any contact details change during the grant year.

For further information on the scheme please phone 01392 383000 or email

The closing date for applications is 1 December 2016.