Your Lifesaving Organisation is obviously very important to you. That’s why you are here. Whether it’s to grow a young Surf Lifesaving Club or to modernise and improve a historical Lifesaving Organisation with heaps of heritage: You want the best equipment that you can get your hands on. If you’re reading this, then you’re thinking about getting Red Rescue Boards for your club. To make it even easier for you to do that, we have put together a short guide on some starting points for you to get some funding to help you realise the dreams you have for your club.
This guide is focussed on the UK, but there are similar programmes and initiatives run all over the world so (if reading this outside of the UK) it is worth checking in with your local authorities and please feel free to get in touch if you would like a hand looking for funding opportunities in your region. Whilst there are many grants, below are the five most common avenues to access grants to fund your lifesaving club.
#1 – Sport England
Sport England is a National Body that are concerned with everything from Grass Roots Sport, all the way up to peak Elite Performance.
They have a relatively large pot of funds and currently have a heavy focus on developing Community Projects – especially if they involve the youth & even more especially for disadvantaged groups. If you have an idea on how your Organisation (with some more funding for some great new Red Rescue Boards) will be able to reach out to new groups of disadvantaged youngsters – then all the better for your application. After all, what’s better for young kids than getting out on the water, learning some skills to keep them and their friends safe, getting exercise and having fun?
The Small Grants Programme offers £300-£10,000 for a “voluntary or community club or organisation, registered charity, not-for-profit company or community interest company.” They are generally looking to fund something tangible, so applying for money to but some new equipment is ideal. Because the Red Rescue Boards are so easily stored and transported, they are perfect to help you have more flexibility to get your sessions onto the water, wherever and whenever the conditions are best.
#2 – Local Giving
The Magic Little Grants is a smaller pot of money, given in association with the Postcode Lottery “awarding over 900 grants to community projects across Great Britain. Successful projects will support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise, with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants”. They started this project in 2017 and it is annual – the deadline for Applications in 2020 is October 31st.
Similar to the Small Grants Programme, it has a focus on driving engagement in communities in physical activity, with a particular focus on improving peoples physical health.
#3 – National Lottery
The National Lottery offer huge funding for large projects and developments, but they also have a smaller fund, which is perfect for expanding a small organisation by getting them access to some new equipment – whether it’s replace old kit to keep you going, or to get some new stuff in to help you grow. Their Awards for all grant has very similar parameters to the Sport England Grant and also offers £300-£10,000. At the moment, they are mainly looking to approve applications “where the main aim is to strengthen your community in some way”.
#4 – Local Supermarkets
Large Local Supermarkets like Tesco’s and Asda will have a ‘Community Champion’ who you can approach to become one of their chosen Community Projects. Tesco’s for example promote 3 local groups, every 3 months and give out £500, £100 or £2000, depending on how you do in their Bags Of Help Programme. Many of their chosen projects are often looking for new equipment – these can be a great way of getting some extra cash. Check your local supermarkets for opportunities and get in contact with those Community Champions.
#4 – Local Planning Agreements
This avenue for funding requires some great local knowledge. Often large developments require a ‘Section 106 Agreement’ in order to be granted. S106 Agreements are negotiated between a developer and the local council to help make their project more attractive to communities.
If you, or any one in your organisation has a link to any developer who is planning on building something large in the vicinity of your club, then getting into their S106 could be great way for you to potentially get a large sum of money. Plus, the developer is happy because their project is more likely to get approved.
We have heard of a SLSC that has been completely redeveloped and got all new equipment in this way. They even got someone to write their application and the fee was part of the grant – it didn’t cost them a thing – the only problem is that they’re so well kitted out, that all the other local clubs don’t like them anymore!
If you need a hand writing your grant application, there are lot of great sources for help on the web, but this guidance article for Writing Funding Applications is concise and informative – it is as good a place to start as any.