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The power to make a difference is in your hands

The Aviva Community Fund offers support and funding for the causes close to your heart. Put forward a project for a local cause and you could get funding of up to £25,000.

The Aviva Community Fund opens for entries on 13 September 2016.

The Aviva Community Fund opens for entries in

12
DAYS

How the competition works

Whether you’re looking to solve a problem, speed up an ongoing project or help in some other way, this is your chance to make a real difference to your local community. And it all starts with your great idea.

Put your thinking cap on

What projects does your organisation need financial support for that will make a positive impact in your community?

Submit your project

Fill in our short entry form. There are four categories you can enter into, and four levels of funding to choose from.

Rally the voters

Promote your project to as many friends, family members and neighbours as possible to secure their votes.

Fingers crossed…

The projects with the most votes will become finalists and judged before the winners are announced.

Guide to submitting a project

The Aviva Community Fund offers you the chance to get funding to support an important cause in your community.

We want you to enter a project for your community and tell us what a difference these much-needed funds could make.

You can submit a project by filling in our short entry form once the Aviva Community Fund opens on 13 September 2016.

Get enough votes from friends, family and supporters in your community and you could reach the finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.

You have six categories to choose from:

Health, disability and well-being

Projects related to looking after people’s health and well-being. These projects could include anything from active living and hospice care to community centres running well-being initiatives.

Supporting the younger generation

Projects that look after younger people, support family life and young people, education programmes, scouts groups, and more.

Supporting the older generation

Projects that offer help and support to the older generation, such as befriending and listening services, dementia charities, projects helping people older people get online, and more.

Sport in the community

Projects for community and grass roots sports clubs. This could include all-ages, or age-specific projects, or sports activities aimed at encouraging particular groups of people to become more active.

Environment in association with the Mirror

Projects that restore, protect, connect communities with and/or encourage the use of green spaces such as community parks, wildlife habitats and woodlands. Or projects that support or enable environmental initiatives such as recycling, renewable energy projects or environmentally friendly building methods.

Community support

Use this category if your project will have a positive effect on your community, but doesn’t fit into the categories above. It could be a community development project, a project looking after the welfare of animals, or something else entirely.

The funding levels you can apply for are:

  • Up to £1,000
  • Up to £5,000
  • Up to £10,000
  • Up to £25,000

We offer additional awards for entries submitted by insurance brokers and financial advisers in each of the funding levels.

Download the project submission guide (pdf, 1MB)

Terms and conditions (pdf, 270KB)it's not just the small print, it has really important information about submitting an entry.

Aviva Community Fund 2015 in numbers.

The difference the funding has made to our winning projects.

75% of projects provided additional products and services

79% of projects helped more people

70% of projects increased their profile

34% of projects have been able to secure additional money or support from others as a result of Aviva Community Fund

88% of projects have seen an increase in the morale/motivation of their employees/volunteers

The Aviva Community Fund has benefited over 323,105 people through 431 winning projects across the UK

Winner success stories

Last year’s winners covered a wide range of projects and are making a huge difference in their communities

Blood Bikes

Video transcript

We were founded in about 2012. It was essentially a group of like minded motorcyclists who got together to look at the idea of having a Blood Bike group in this area. Volunteer riders I think we have around about seventy to eighty. We have quite stringent rules about riding, you can’t ride a blood bike until you have got your advanced riding qualifications.

The first person the hospital will contact will be our co-ordinator, our shift co-ordinator who’s a volunteer who sits at home by the telephone with a computer. They’ll take the call from the hospital and take some vital information, where it’s going to, where it’s going from, what the parcel is and how fast it has to get there.

They’ll ring the most appropriate person, that may be the nearest person, the person who’s freest. They’ll pass the job from there. I mean everything we do relies on our volunteers you know having bikes to do it. This has just increased the strength of our fleet to be able to support the air ambulance. We do it three hundred and sixty five days a year and having these these these vehicles on the fleet just supports that. It’s two hundred to three hundred miles a night that we’re doing and over the period of three or four years that’s a lot of miles.

We’ve recently gone through a quite a significant milestone in terms of five hundred thousand miles covered but we we need funds to buy these bikes. One of these bikes costs a thousand sorry fifteen thousand pounds to buy and put on the road and then three or four thousand pounds per year so we can’t do that without funds We provide our service free of charge but we have to pay for it somehow and that’s all down to fundraising and donations such as Aviva where we can apply for large pots of money to help us buy bikes.

I sent a message to the rest of the community to say “Guess what?” And that was it and several very excited emails came back “What – we’ve won it? The big one?” Yes we’ve won it! Excellent!

Raddlebarn

Video transcript

It came about that Friends of Raddlebarn are the Parent Teachers Association and we asked the children what we could do for them a couple of years ago and they asked for playground improvements so we started to have a look and we could see a few things. But what they asked for fundamentally was somewhere quiet, somewhere to sit, somewhere in the shade so we started to look at what facilities they were and it became apparent that the Infants were in desperate need of a new shelter.

I like the Happy House because you get to do fun things and you get to imagine and read books and create stuff and use your imagination a lot.

I became aware of the Aviva community award when it was launched. Local community policing told me about it but also Duncan Sutcliffe from Sutcliffe insurers.

We’ve been sent lots of photos of when it opened and lots of happy, smiling children. And it’s great to see the construction of the Happy House has gone on to spiral into lots of other things and the way that the community and the school has really come together.

It’s used by our before and after school clubs. The breakfast children come and do it and have a bit of fresh air, a bit of free time before the lessons start.

And then during the school day it’s used at break times and lunch times for children who not necessarily want to run around and go mad you know children, some children like to just to sit and read or chat quietly or play and then again sort of used for the after school children for that to be outside but still inside.

I like it because you can play with Lego and read some books.

And it’s also I know when the weather gets better it has already happened but used as an outdoor classroom. I know my daughter is lucky enough to still be in Infants and she’s had quite a lot of reading sessions in there at the end of the day. It’s just a different way of learning and it’s known to be a good way of learning. Children who have additional needs at school they come out and they have 121 sessions in there so it’s a very special place.

We hold lots of community events during the year. We have a charity coffee morning. At our Christmas bizarre it was the carol-oke station which the children just loved. At Easter it was a special book stall that we had. As we learn how to use it it will be used more and more with the community that it’s really helped us forge links with.

Thank you Aviva!

Newcastle Roller Derby

Video transcript

Newcastle Junior Roller Derby is a spin off from Newcastle Roller Girls which is an adult roller derby league and it’s been around for nearly seven years. Newcastle Junior Roller Derby was started in September last year after we decided that we wanted to accommodate younger people.

With roller derby being a full contact sport we can’t accept anyone under the age of eighteen and we had more and more enquiries about people joining us and we realised that there was demand for it so we set up the league.

Anybody between the ages of eight and seventeen can join/play junior roller derby. It’s really really good exercise. It works all your different muscle groups. It’s good cardio vascular.

For me one of the biggest benefits is teaching kids particularly about body confidence. It’s kind of transformed the way that they think about themselves and you know even in the short space of time that we’ve been doing it we can see such a difference particularly in some of the younger girls. They no longer see their bodies as kind of something it should look a certain way. They are starting to appreciate themselves for what their bodies can do as opposed to what they look like which is fantastic.

A lot of the people who come in to the sport have never played sport before because they didn’t find one that they liked or they didn’t feel like they fitted in. Roller derby is completely different it is very inclusive and you find for a lot of the kids as well it’s the first sport that they’ve tried and that they’ve enjoyed. It’s got a lot of benefits.

You know it changes people. It’s so good for their self esteem It’s a safe space for them to make friends you know it’s totally non judgemental.

I enjoy it because I get to see my friends and it’s nice to learn things that we haven’t did before.

We were able to buy kit so that we could hire it out so that people didn’t have to buy. The kit/safety equipment like your pads your helmet all stuff like that is quite expensive. So we wanted to be able to make it as inclusive as possible. We didn’t want anybody to feel like they couldn’t join in with roller derby. We’ve also started selling merch, so stickers t-shirts things like that.

We’re really kind of seeing this as an investment in the future of you know roller derby in Newcastle.

We couldn’t be playing the game without you guys so thanks a lot!

Read even more stories from our 2015 winners here

Community Archive for Channel Island Evacuation was one of the 431 organisations that benefited last year; they required – and were awarded – £1,000 to hire their local church in Stockport to hold events for World War II evacuees to reunite after 70 years apart:

‘The first reunion was attended by 150 evacuees and their families, and it marked the 70th anniversary of the return home of World War II evacuees in 1945. People travelled from as far afield as Wales, Devon, Bristol and Guernsey for the day. After an emotional service at the church, evacuees were able to sit down together informally, over coffee and biscuits, to share and compare their wartime memories — both happy and traumatic.

Many of the evacuees told us that they seldom leave home because of mobility problems so are socially isolated and many live alone. Our event gave them the chance to share their wartime memories with people of the same age who had undergone similar experiences during the war. Some had never revealed their stories to anyone before and have decided to start to write them down for their grandchildren.’

I brought my father to the event and within 5 minutes he had spotted someone he had not seen for 70 yrs. They both had tears in their eyes, and were able to catch up and exchange telephone numbers. Thank you so much.

Paul Hartington, Manchester

WellChild Children’s Nurse programme, winner of a ‘helping hand’ award in 2015, used their funding to help provide vital nursing care to seriously ill children, young people and their families across the UK. Helping children like Josh…

Josh (pictured) has a condition his parents, Emma and Philip, currently understand to be Central Alveolar Hypoventilation. This means that whenever he is asleep Josh ‘under breathes,’ and as a consequence oxygen levels in his blood drop to life-threatening levels. In order to help alleviate this, his parents use Non-Invasive Ventilation to force pressure in to his lungs to keep them open.

Josh was born 14 weeks premature and spent the first four months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was finally able to leave, but was home for only three days before being rushed back to hospital, and then spent a further 6 months in hospital.

For his parents, this meant splitting their young family in two. Emma stayed with Josh in hospital whilst Philip stayed in the family home with four year old, Erin. Then, Josh’s parents were introduced to WellChild Children’s Nurse, Rachel. Emma describes how Rachel ‘immediately filled her with confidence’ having someone alongside both her and Philip, with the same aim of keeping Josh out of hospital, and well.

Josh’s parents are waiting for further testing to see whether Josh’s condition is all related to his pre-maturity, or if it can be treated. But for the time being Josh is home with his family — who are being supported by Rachel. WellChild Children’s Nurses play a crucial role in enabling children to leave hospital and be cared for at home, reducing the practical, emotional and financial impact on the family along with the need for long-term hospitalisation or frequent hospital re-admissions.

Rachel, our WellChild Children’s Nurse has honestly given us back our life. We now plan holidays and Erin — Josh’s sister — has her family back together.

Joshua’s mother, Emma

The charity also used some of the funding towards their Helping Hands scheme, creating safe and practical spaces for children in their own homes.

One World Festival 2015 received £1000 from the Aviva Community Fund to go toward the running of their event in October last year, held not only to raise awareness of the diverse cultures in our community, but also wider global issues such as waste reduction and recycling. Emma Sutton explains how our contribution helped the festival go off with a bang…

‘The festival welcomed all members of the local community and spanned the generations. It aimed to celebrate the richness and diversity of cultures within our community – which is exactly what it did! Community members who have origins in &nash; or links to – other cultures displayed items and foods and interacted with the festival visitors throughout the event. In addition, we facilitated a range of workshops within our local schools in the two weeks prior to the festival, to explore elements such as dance, drumming and singing. Each school in the area received two half day workshops and an assembly exploring One World themes.

180 school children benefited from the in-school workshops delivered by One World 2015. In addition to the children who attended the workshops and performed on the day, another 500 attended the event and took part in craft activities, visited stalls and displays, learned about recycling and sustainability.

The One World event increases awareness of common global issues such as waste reduction and sustainability as well as aiming to increase tolerance and understanding of cultural differences. As such, our aspiration is to make our local community more tolerant and accepting of others as well as considering these global issues. The funding from Aviva, with other additional fundraising and support, allows us to continue this annual event, building awareness year on year.

The recognition of this as a worthwhile venture by a large national organisation like Aviva affirms our purpose and has been a positive motivator to all involved. It’s also raised our profile in the area.

Shine Camp 2015 – A camping trip for young adults with cancer

Another worthy winner from 2015 was the Shine Camp project, awarded with £5000 towards their cause. Ceinwen Giles told us how much the experience meant to the young adults with cancer who were able to attend the event:

Shine Cancer Support is the only charity in the UK exclusively focused on supporting adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis. Too old for children and teenage services, but too young for traditional cancer support activities, many young adults with cancer feel isolated and lonely. For their partners, friends, family and children there is also little support available. We developed Shine Camp as a way of enabling younger adults with cancer to meet and support one another while also contributing to Shine’s broader aim of building a UK-wide community of young adults with cancer.

The Shine Camp is an annual event by which the people we support, and their families, join us for a camping trip for the entire weekend. This is hugely valuable in maintaining our understanding of the challenges they face and allowing us to provide appropriate support.

Shine Camp has been running in various formats since 2008, however, the Aviva grant this year has enabled us to scale up and improve both the camp and its format. As an example, we were able to rent ‘posh portaloos’ which were especially appreciated given the number of children and attendees with compromised immune systems and/or mobility issues.

Tremendous organisation made the camp very smooth and effortless (for us anyway!). It is such a novel idea and a great way of meeting others without fear or judgement.

(Shine Camper 2015)

Because of improvements like this, 2015 was our biggest and best event yet and the feedback we have received has been exceptionally positive with 92% of Campers telling us that they planned to return next year. Shine Camp gave our attendees the opportunity to meet one another and also enabled their friends and family to meet others who have been – or are going through – similar experiences.

I had such a wonderful time, both meeting with existing friends and meeting new friends who I know I will continue to stay in touch with. It is reinvigorating and refreshing to be surrounded by people who "get it" and who you don't have to worry about upsetting, as I do sometimes with family and friends, and most importantly just having fun.

(Shine Camper 2015)

As a small charity, it can be difficult to have the ‘profile’ of other larger charities. Winning the Aviva Community Fund award meant that we were able to reach more people in our community, particularly through social media and also that people who had never heard of us before learned about Shine for the first time.