It’s the final countdown: our last ever round of the Skills & Opportunities Fund now open for applications…

The final ever round of the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund – Round 2, 2018 – opens for applications today.

English and Welsh-based not-for-profit organisations with an eligible project or project idea, have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £35k via the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund website, before applications close at midday on Friday 21 September.

Previous winners, Access Dorset, are a charity run by and for disabled people, older people and carers. A Skills & Opportunities Fund grant helped to get their SkillWorks project off the ground, giving 48 unemployed disabled people support to access adult education, voluntary work and employment opportunities, as well as boosting their confidence and motivation.

“The Skills & Opportunities Fund grant came at a critical time for developing our employability skills programme,” explains Access Dorset rep, Dave Thompson. “Too often disabled people feel ignored, discarded and not seriously supported to develop their vocational skills. We have received very positive feedback from our participants and are committed to continuing to engage with those who require further support, to maintain their progress.”

Participant Karen, describes what accessing this support has meant for her:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed SkillWorks and feel that I’ve really turned the corner in regaining confidence in my ability to overcome personal barriers. The job that I am starting… is like a dream come true and I’m convinced that focusing on what we learnt in the interview practice sessions helped me to overcome my nerves and stay on track.”

“The Fund is all about building stronger communities,” explains Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainable Banking Integration and Programmes at RBS. “This works best when we partner with local organisations to help people help themselves: by learning how to make the most of their money; or by gaining the skills and confidence to find work, progress their career or start a business.

“Since 2015, we’ve made funding available to many deserving organisations across England and Wales, who have committed to improving the lives of others in their communities. We’re very proud of all the Fund has achieved and want to go out with a bang for this final round.”

Help make R2 2018 our most successful yet

If you’re part of or know of a not-for-profit organisation that could benefit from Skills & Opportunities funding in your community, please visit the website to find out more, including full eligibility criteria and how to apply, then help us to spread the word.

A relatively modest investment of time to complete the online Skills & Opportunities Fund application can open up a wealth of opportunity and significant financial investment for eligible community organisations, with £1m of total funding available for one final time, in grants of up to £35k.

Thank you for your support with helping us to build stronger communities for everyone.

Here’s a quick reminder of the key dates for Round 2 2018:

• Application window:                     Mon 3 Sep – Midday, Fri 21 Sep
• Public vote:                                  Fri 26 Oct – Fri 9 Nov
• Announcement of winners:          Mon 10 Dec

Charities, Charity, Disability, Funding