Developing Women in the Community Programme 2021 - 2024 - information and guidance notes

It is important that you read the information and guidance notes as they will assist you with your application and provide detail on the application process for the Developing Women in the Community Programme.

The Developing Women in the Community Programme

The Developing Women in the Community programme has been designed to:

  • equip women with the confidence and skills required to take on roles within their communities
  • give participants the opportunity to volunteer within their communities
  • provide participants with the opportunity to design and develop a small programme using the skills and knowledge gained from the programme
  • include an element of family support, which will give the women the skills and knowledge needed to increase capacity within their own families, thus provide the support and guidance to influence family members to make positive life choices
  • be delivered within existing community infrastructures in areas which have been identified as areas in need

Programme aims

The Developing Women in the Community programme will ensure that women are equipped to take on more leadership roles in public decision making.

The long term outcome will be an increase in community resilience and cohesion, where people feel safe in their communities and are confident to make decisions and contribute to influential community decisions.

Programme objectives

The Developing Women in the Community programme seeks to fund projects that will achieve all of the objectives. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how their programme proposal will meet these objectives.

Good relations

All Developing Women in the Community programmes must promote good relations between the women they engage with.

Neither ‘good relations’ nor ‘promoting good relations’ is defined in legislation. However, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has developed the following working definition of ‘good relations’:

The growth of relationships and structures for Northern Ireland that acknowledge the religious, political and racial context of this society, and that seek to promote respect, equity and trust, and embrace diversity in all its forms. (Equality Commission, 2008)

Women and target groups

The Developing Women in the Community programme will target women of all ages. Young women, in particular, should be encouraged to take part, as well as parents/carers of young people. The programme will not be exclusive to those young people and parents/carers.

Research tells us that what parents do is more important than who parents are. Encouraging and supporting parents to understand their role as first and ongoing educators is key to ensuring they can confidently establish and sustain positive home learning environments and take an active role in supporting their child’s early education and development. The support which the programme will provide will have a long term impact on participants which will enable them to influence their families and communities for years to come.

It is essential that women who are currently disengaged from community development activities are identified, encouraged and enabled to participate in the programme. The participants must be from the communities in which the programme is being delivered.

Delivery areas

The Developing Women in the Community programme will be delivered in a number of District Electoral Areas (DEAs) which have been identified based on the level of paramilitary related incidents. The identified DEAs are as follows:

Local Council Area DEA
Antrim & Newtownabbey Macedon
Antrim
Airport
Ards & North Down Newtownards
Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Lurgan
Belfast Oldpark
Court
Black Mountain
Titanic
Castle
Collin
Botanic
Balmoral
Causeway Coast & Glens Coleraine
Ballymoney
Benbradagh
Causeway
Limavady
Derry & Strabane The Moor
Ballyarnett
Foyleside
Waterside
Sperrin
Fermanagh & Omagh Erne East
Omagh
Lisburn & Castlereagh Castlereagh East
Mid & East Antrim Knockagh
Braid
Ballymena

Each DEA is split into a number of Wards. You will also be asked to identify the Ward within the DEA in which you are located. Please note, not all Wards will be eligible as need for this intervention has not been identified in all Wards. You will be notified if you are ineligible for this reason.

A list of all Wards within the above DEAs which are eligible to apply are available.

DfC will welcome a ‘Single Location Project’ only. The application will propose a single project, located in a single area local to the applicant.

Duration and funding limits

Developing Women in the Community programmes must be completed by 31 March in the same financial year in which the funding is awarded. Eligible groups can apply for grants up to a maximum of £30,000 per project*

*Subject to budget availability, funding limits may be subject to change.

Application process

Applying to the Developing Women in the Community programme has been made as simple and stress free as we can possibly make it. Your organisation will be required to complete an online application form. The application form includes two stages.

Applicants should ensure to:

  • Read the Developing Women in the Community Programme information and guidance notes
  • Familiarise yourself with Developing Women in the Community Programme specification and what it seeks to achieve
  • Decide if your organisation is eligible to apply and if it has capacity to deliver a project

Stage one - organisation eligibility

Your organisation will be required to register with or update the Government Funding Database (GFD) and upload the requested governance documents. (This does not apply to Public Bodies/Agencies). This is to ensure your organisation is fit to spend public money. You will also be asked to indicate the DEA and Ward where the programme will be delivered.

You will be asked to confirm that the following key documents have been uploaded to the GFD:

  1. Constitution/Memorandum of association
  2. Annual Accounts
  3. Organisation Chart
  4. List of office bearers

Please ensure all documents are up-to-date and the latest versions available. They must be signed and dated by two Office Bearers.

Registration with the Government Funding Database (GFD) is essential for applying to the Developing Women in the Community Programme. Guidance on GFD registration, updating records and uploading documents is available online.

You will also be asked to confirm which of the following policies/procedures your organisation has in place:

  • Strategic/Operational Plan
  • Procurement/tender procedures
  • Statutory requirements i.e.
    • Equal Opportunities
    • Fair Employment
    • Disability Discrimination
    • Age Discrimination
  • Fraud Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Employer and Public Liability Insurance
  • Mobile Phone Policy
  • Child Protection Policy/Safeguarding Policy
  • Information Management Policy (GDPR)
  • Information Asset Policy
  • Internet Policy
  • Document Retention Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Register/Policy
  • Travel Policy
  • Volunteering Policy
  • Recruitment Policy
  • Reserves Policy

The final step of the first stage is to indicate which District Electoral Area (DEA) and Ward your organisation will deliver in. Your organisation will be asked to fully demonstrate previous experiences of providing training and support in the selected area as part of the application process.

Stage two

In this section you will be required to provide details of a project proposal which will achieve the objectives of the programme. Projects must specifically target women from the identified areas and deliver within these areas.

The DfC Fresh Start team recommends that organisations carefully consider the Project Specification and decide whether your organisation is best placed to deliver a women’s training and family support programme that will make a difference to the individual’s lives, their families’ lives and the community.

You will be required to provide:

  • information on your organisation and its experience
  • a project proposal
  • detail on how you will meet the project objectives
  • a breakdown of costs. The total cost required from DfC should not exceed £30,000. The information provided should include budget heading, total cost per budget heading, how this was calculated and amount required from DfC

The application period will stay open for three weeks.

Please note:

  • You should submit your completed application form online – the closing date is 12.00 noon on Monday 4 October 2021
  • Late submissions will be deemed ineligible
  • Take care to review all sections when completing the application form
  • Ensure you provide up-to-date organisational contact information
  • Provide your GFD Unique Reference Number (URN)
  • Submissions with no URN or missing key documents will also be deemed ineligible, apart from Public Bodies/Agencies
  • If you wish to receive an email to acknowledge receipt, please ensure you enter your e-mail address when submitting your application

Assessment of application

DfC officials will then check if your organisation is fit to spend public money and is located within an identified area.

The first stage of your application and GFD records will be checked by DfC officials against the following criteria:

  • Your constitution permits your organisation to deliver a project
  • Your annual accounts show that your organisation is in good financial health
  • Your organisation has a structure that shows capacity to deliver a project
  • Your organisation has at least 3 committee members
  • Your policies are in place
  • Your organisation is located within an identified Ward

If your organisation is found to be ineligible at this stage, your application will not be processed further and you will be informed of the decision.

All other applications will be further assessed by DfC staff.

Stage two assessment

Stage Two of your application will be assessed by DfC officials using the following criteria, and scored against the success factors listed below

Criteria one - organisational experience

Success Factors:

  • The applicant has demonstrated experience of delivering training and support projects
  • The applicant adopts a human rights based approach and gender equality and a gendered approach to community development
  • The applicant has delivered successful projects in the geographical area

Criteria two - project proposal

Success Factors:

  • The project is clear and unambiguous
  • The project has the potential to address the objectives detailed below
  • The project appears to have been well planned
  • The project is targeting areas affected by paramilitary related incidents

Criteria three - contribution to objectives

Objective One

To provide training and support to women, empowering them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become involved in transformational community development

Success Factors:

  • The project contributes to the objective
  • The project has the potential to bring about community development in women

Objective Two

To identify, recruit and sustain women who will benefit most from the support and guidance provided

Success Factors:

  • The project contributes to the objective
  • The approach to identify, recruit and sustain women has been outlined

Objective Three

To increase the number of women involved in leadership and decision making roles within their communities

Success Factors:

  • The project contributes to the objective
  • The project has the potential to give women the confidence and skills to undertake community roles

Objective Four

To improve mental health and emotional well-being

Success Factors:

  • The project contributes to the objective
  • The project demonstrates how it will provide training and support in mental health and emotional well-being
  • The project provides links to other support services delivered in the area

Objective Five

To support families and strengthen the family unit

Success Factors:  

  • The project contributes to the objective
  • The project demonstrates how it will provide family support
  • The project provides links to other support services delivered in the area

Criteria four - value for money

Success Factors:

  • How well have the project costs been calculated?
  • Are costs proportionate to the size and scale of project?
  • Are the proposed costs essential to project delivery?

Scoring

Your application will be scored using the following matrix:

Link at project level Score
No evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria 0
Little evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria 1
Some measures of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria 2
Good evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which addresses the criteria 3
Well documented evidence of the organisations ability to deliver a project which  addresses the criteria 4

Applications will be assessed and scored by DfC officials. A total quality scoring threshold will normally be set at 60%. All applications will be moderated by a decision making panel.

Following assessment, applications will be placed in merit order within their location. Funding will be awarded to the highest scoring application(s)* within these locations. Locations may be ranked according to identified need**

* subject to funding availability
** subject to volume of applications

DfC aim to make decisions within two weeks of the closing date, subject to volume of applications.

What happens if your application is successful?

  • Fresh Start will issue you with a decision letter
  • The highest scoring applicants for each area will be issued with a Letter of Offer, subject to volume of applications
  • All other successful applicants will remain on the ‘potential project call-off list’ 

What happens if your organisation is unsuccessful?

  • Fresh Start will issue you with a decision letter which will include an explanation/reason for why your application was unsuccessful
  • Your organisation will remain on the ‘potential project call-off list’ and will be entitled to submit further applications if opportunities become available

Note: The Developing Women in the Community programme has a limited budget and is likely to be highly competitive. It is therefore unlikely that Fresh Start will be able to support all eligible organisations and decisions taken by the Department for Communities will be final.  DfC reserves the right to create a reserve of projects in the event of additional budget being made available during the financial year.

Elements Fresh Start will fund

  • Projects that address the Developing Women in the Community programme aims and objectives
  • A management fee of up to 10 percent of the total grant awarded
  • Costs associated with Goods and Services that can be deemed relevant and appropriate to project delivery
  • Costs/Expenses that remove barriers to women’s participation in a project (eg child care, elder care, transport)
  • Facilitation Fees that are proportionate to the size and scale of the project
  • Accreditation Fees
  • Project specific venue hire
  • Costs to enable participants to develop and deliver a small programme.

The following is for illustration purposes only but will provide an indication of the activity headings that you may want to consider, there may be others that you will also need to add:

  • Management Fee (up to 10% of delivery costs)
  • Programme costs, such as:
    • Family Support Worker
    • Training/Facilitation
    • Venue Hire and Equipment
    • Transport 
    • Child Care/Caring Costs
    • Delivery of participants Small Programme
    • Celebration Event
    • Accreditation

Elements Fresh Start will not fund

The following activities and items are ineligible and will not be funded under the Developing Women in the Community programme:

  • Costs that are deemed not to be directly related to the Developing Women in the Community programme
  • Capital works
  • Loan repayments and endowments
  • VAT that can be recovered from HM Revenue and Customs
  • Retrospective funding or costs that will be incurred after the communicated grant period
  • External project evaluation costs
  • Costs that are deemed to be disproportionate to the size and scale of the project
  • Goods and Services which are being funded by another organisation during the timeline of your Developing Women in the Community programme
  • Consultancy fees, including those incurred in completing a Developing Women in the Community programme application

Note: Specific activities or items not listed above can be proposed by an applicant organisation. A decision on eligibility will be made at the discretion of the DfC Fresh Start team.

General information

Please contact us if you have any questions –

E-mail: FreshStart@communities-ni.gov.uk
Tel: 0739589301 or 07395849309

Data Protection

The Department for Communities (DfC) is fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the framework for data protection laws. Subsequently, DfC will manage any data you provide us with in accordance with the UK Government’s Data Protection Act (2018).

DfC may share some information with other Government Departments, Bodies, or organisations that have a legitimate interest in the Fresh Start programme, or for the prevention or detection of fraud. We may also use some information and data for our own research or promotion. DfC recognise the need to maintain the confidentiality of vulnerable groups and their details will not be made public in any way, except as required under the Data Protection Act (2018).

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives members of the public the right to request any information that we hold. This includes information received from third parties, such as, although not limited to, grant applicants, grant holders, contractors and people making a complaint. If information is requested under the Freedom of Information Act DfC will release it, subject to exemptions; although we may consult with you first. If you think that information you are providing may be exempt from release if requested, you should let us know when you apply.

Fraud

Suspected Fraud Applicants are advised that any materially misleading statements (whether deliberate or accidental) given at any stage during the application process or award period could render the application invalid and the applicant liable to return any money already paid out on the project in question. Any cases of suspected fraud may be referred to the PSNI. This includes falsification of information, inappropriate use of funds and misinformation at the application and evaluation stages.

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