Summit in Bury St Edmunds to help social sector maximise grant cash


- Credit: Gregg Brown

A conference aimed at helping charities and community groups to increase the success of their grant applications is being held in Bury St Edmunds next month.

The first Smarter Funding: Better Outcomes conference is aimed at helping community, charity and voluntary groups gain a greater understanding into what grant bodies are looking for.

The event, which will take place at The Apex on July 15, has been organised by Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, working alongside Suffolk County Council, Community Action Suffolk and the Suffolk Community Foundation. Many funding bodies are now looking more closely at how money is made available to charities and voluntary organisations to help achieve their own targets in terms of social impact.

That in turn means that in order to be more successful in their grant applications, these organisations are having to shift their focus to identify need and what measurable outcomes they will achieve in return for the money.

Robin Millar, cabinet member for families and communities at Forest Heath District Council, said: “The work of ‘social sector’ organisations with families and communities here in Suffolk is growing in importance every year.

“As national and local funding mechanisms change, so do the demands and expectations of commissioners.

“We need to be shaping this change, not playing catch up. This conference is a free event, which is designed to help charities, community and voluntary organisations understand the thinking behind this new way of working and how they can maximise the success of their grant applications from a wide range of organisations, and to explain some of the new forms of funding now available.”

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Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for families and communities, said it would also provide a chance for grant bodies to find out the frustrations for potential applicants when it comes to making their bid.

Guest speakers at the summit will include Craig Dearden-Phillips from Stepping Out, Ann Griffiths from the Early Intervention Foundation, and Jamie Conway from the Big Lottery.

To book a place at the event, from 9.30am, call Kirsty Downes on 01284 757040 or email