The Fore Announces its Spring 2021 Grantees

April 21, 2021

The Fore is proud to announce the completion of its Spring 2021 Funding Round, providing unrestricted grants to 19 small charities and social enterprises. The Fore provides critically needed seed funding, enabling small high-impact organisations to adapt their business models, drive greater impact, and increase sustainability.  

For this round, The Fore continued its  outreach to  micro-organisations  (incomes under £100,000) with the aim of reaching charities and social enterprises led by and working with marginalised groups. The results were  evident: 57% of applicants came from micro-organisations, who  in turn  received  58% of our  grants. This growing share of micro-organisations  strongly suggests we have tapped into an area where demand is not currently being met.   

The Fore provides each successful applicant with up to £30,000 in unrestricted grant funding, alongside access to strategic advice, and pro bono support and training over one to three years to help organisations as they navigate opportunities and challenges related to building evidence and impact.  

Our trained consultant grant assessors, each of whom has at least 15 years’ professional experience, conducted extensive due diligence on applications over a 12-week period, ultimately selecting a shortlist to present to The Fore’s funding panels, composed of representatives of the Fore’s business partners, senior representatives from past grantees, and other supporters. The inclusion of past grantee leaders on the Fore’s funding panels  ensures decisions are charity-driven and reflect the insights of community organisations creating tangible impact.  

Our inclusive, sector-agnostic approach to funding has yielded a vibrant new cohort of grantees, some examples include:  

  • 2020 Change, which is building future black leaders through mentorship, training, and corporate engagement via its new recruitment trading arm ‘2020 Change Talent’,  
  • AzuKo, which uses architecture, design, and civil engineering as a tool for sustainable development in Northwest Bangladesh,  
  • Family Counselling Trust, which supports children’s mental health with an early intervention, utilising a holistic, family-based approach, and 
  • Lifting Limits, which challenges gender stereotyping and promotes gender equality in and through education. 

The full list of organisations  ultimately selected  for funding are among the  very best  small charities and social enterprises in the UK. They include:  

Spring 2021 Grantees
2020 Change  Family Counselling Trust ReMade Wigan 
Ace Music Therapy Feathers Futures Sports Connections Foundation 
Anne Matthews Trust Goldhill Play Association Spring Into Action 
AzuKo Lifting Limits Trust Leeds 
BelEve UK Neath Port Talbot Mind Woking Mind 
Better Community Business Network PEGS 
Bounceback Raising Futures Kenya 

We would like to congratulate all the successful organisations and thank our grant assessors for their hard work, which made this Funding Round possible.  

For more information, email [email protected].  

About The Fore 

The Fore is a ground-breaking funder in the UK charity sector catalysing fresh solutions to pressing social issues. The Fore’s venture capital-style approach to grant-funding and skills support has opened up access to finance and professional expertise for hundreds of innovative small charities and social enterprises. The Fore’s charity-led approach aims to treat applicants as experts in social change, challenging the power imbalance of many traditional funding models and enabling organisations to apply for what they need most. 

Since its inception in 2017, The Fore has made over £5.3m in grants and offered over 4,000 hours of professional expertise to portfolio charities solving issues from knife crime to childhood obesity, to social isolation, food poverty and homelessness. The Fore works with a wide range of partners including BlackRock, Moody’s, Rothschild & Co., UBS, LGT Vestra, Golden Bottle Trust, Postcode Local Trust, The Four Acre Trust, Garfield Weston, The National Lottery Community Fund, Power to Change, The Lovington Foundation and other family trusts and individuals. The Fore’s collaborative model pools skills and resources to enable funding partners to efficiently find, fund and support innovative grassroots organisations. For more information, please see The Fore’s website: https://www.thefore.org and Twitter feed: @theforetrust. 

The Fore is part of The Bulldog Trust, registered charity 1123081.  

Please see below for more detailed information on our Spring 2021 grantees: 

2020 Change 

2020 Change is an award-winning social enterprise that leads the way to a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the UK. Through training programmes, mentorship, and career support, 2020 Change empowers young black professionals to flourish in the workplace. 2020 Change’s programme helps them to develop the right mind-set and confidence boost they need to thrive in today’s workplace. 2020 Change want to build on their success with corporate engagement and develop a recruitment trading arm ‘2020 Change Talent’. They are using the Fore funding to recruit a p/t recruitment manager, install a CRM software system and set up an accounting software package, as well as investing in marketing to enhance their visibility. 

Ace Music Therapy CIC 

Ace Music Therapy is a social enterprise based in Chelmsford providing music therapy to people affected by injury, illness, or disability to support their psychological, cognitive, communicative, and social needs. AMT’s beneficiaries are comprised of: disabled people, those suffering from mental health issues, people affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia, homeless people, victims of domestic abuse, children who have been adopted, new mothers and pre-school children. AMT are using Fore funding to develop a subscription-based video streaming platform. The platform will enable AMT to: i) reach a wider audience of beneficiaries and ii) provide resources and activities for beneficiaries and carers to use between therapy sessions. 

Anne Matthews Trust 

The Anne Matthews Trust (AMT) runs a unique residential centre in the village of Corris on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. It serves as a sanctuary, learning space and community hub for young adults from refugee and migrant backgrounds though welcomes any individual or group affected by inequality, poverty, discrimination, or oppression. AMT is partnering with Feedback Global on their EcoTalent youth apprenticeship scheme, part funded by the Government’s Kickstart programme. AMT are using Fore funding to offer 6-month placements to 4 of their apprentices from refugee/migrant backgrounds over 12 months, bringing much needed capacity to Braich Goch and advancing their mission. 

AzuKo 

AzuKo uses design as a tool for sustainable development in Northwest Bangladesh. AzuKo uses architecture, design, and civil engineering skills to co-design, with local communities, the solutions to climate change and poverty. AzuKo tackles these issues through a series of distinct projects, all developed with local people, mainly women. AzuKo champions co-design by involving many stakeholders in the design and delivery of projects. They build educational play spaces for disadvantaged children, double-storey bamboo houses to replace substandard buildings, toilets for families with no access to safe sanitation and infrastructure improvements to bring clean, fresh water to whole neighbourhoods in Bangladesh. AzuKo is using the Fore grant to introduce a new donor management system, develop and manage its relationship with donors and produce an impact report to support its messaging to donors. This will enable Azuko to better manage its donor relations, and release staff and trustee time so they can invest this time to raise more funds from individual donors. T 

BelEve UK 

BelEve is a grassroots, female-led charity based in the London Borough of Lewisham and founded by three sisters in 2013. Its goal is to inspire and support girls’ decision-making and leadership, using mentoring, peer support and structured activities. BelEve is facing a sharp increase in demand for their services and are therefore using their Fore grant to employ a part-time Outreach and Community worker to assist in capacity building. The new position will lift the pressure off the directors, enabling the implementation of the new strategy and a growth across programmes. The overall goal is to increase their beneficiaries from 800 to 2,000, adjusting programme design, delivery, and impact measurement to meet increased demand and complex needs of their beneficiaries. 

Better Community Business Network 

BCBN is a London-based charity, formed by a group of business professionals in 2011, as a Muslim-led initiative to identify and support community projects throughout the UK. To date, BCBN has raised £1.5m in funds distributed to community causes. Over the last two years, BCBN has been committed to supporting and co-producing community-led mental health programmes. BCBN is using their Fore grant to employ a Programme Co-ordinator to build organisational capacity and support their mental health strategy, enabling BCBN to share and facilitate knowledge, access and collaboration between statutory services, institutions, and community organisations for a more informed, focused and faith-sensitive approach to the mental health needs of Muslims in the UK. 

Bounceback 

Bounceback Food CIC is a community cookery school supporting people living in food poverty in the North West. Since Covid-19, it has mobilised delivery teams in the UK’s largest 20 towns and cities to teach people how to cook, donate food to foodbanks and provide catering services in disadvantaged communities as well as publishing best-selling cookbooks. Bounceback is using Fore funding to employ a f/t National Partnership Manager and p/t Project Coordinator, enabling them to train and launch delivery teams in new locations at a much quicker pace. The National Partnership Manager would oversee the onboarding of new partner charities, recruit corporate partners and assist with the training and development of new delivery teams. 

Family Counselling Trust 

FCT is a children’s mental health support organisation, working on a very effective early intervention, holistic, family approach. FCT reaches the child before the NHS would pick up an individual case, saving prolonged suffering for the child and their family and valuable time and resources for the NHS. It operates in 4 counties in the UK (Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire).  The Fore grant will fund the CEO salary to enable implementation of structural changes to increase capacity; and enable more efficient volunteer work. FCT is moving from an organisation relying on goodwill and relatively small-scale funding to a strong and structured charity. 

Feathers Futures 

Feathers Futures (FF) brings women together in a connected community group, providing a safe and non-judgemental environment. The aim of the charity’s work is to empower and enable women to make positive choices about their futures. FF deliver a range of courses and workshops in areas including confidence building, resilience, domestic abuse, and preparing for employment. FF are using their Fore grant to employ a Volunteer Coordinator, allowing the charity to plan and continue the recruitment and development of volunteers and the peer mentoring support, thus enabling the charity to deliver more support and services to a greater number of women. 

Goldhill Play Association 

The Goldhill Adventure Playground (GAP) has been providing play, learning and social opportunities to children and young people (5 to 25 years old) in Leicester for more than 40 years. Over 2,000 children and young people are registered with GAP, including many with behavioural, learning, and other disabilities who live in and around the large housing estate of Saffron Lane, which is in the most deprived 5% of areas nationally. Responding to a request from local schools and supported by the local council, GAP want to develop their alternative education provision service for children unable to cope with mainstream educational settings. GAP are using the Fore grant to hire a qualified part-time special education needs teacher to develop, deliver, and monitor its custom curriculum to support the educational advancement of students, with the aim of returning them to mainstream classrooms. 

Lifting Limits 

Lifting Limits (LL) aims to challenge gender stereotyping and promote gender equality in and through education. Based in Camden, it currently delivers a programme for primary school children that supports schools to recognise and address gender stereotyping and equips and empowers their pupils to challenge it. LL aims to have national reach through scaling its programme and building capacity with income generation. It wants to develop a scalable version to be piloted through the middle-tier in education using a train-the-trainer model supported by a digital platform for members to access resources. LL are using their Fore grant to contribute to the founder’s time to develop their model alongside training, expert consultancy, recruitment of schools and middle-tier organisations and the development of the member’s area of the website. 

Neath Port Talbot Mind 

NPTM is a mental health charity in Neath & Port Talbot. NPTM provides a range of services, in English and Welsh, to promote better emotional and mental health, including counselling, mindfulness, support groups (e.g. anxiety, self-harm, etc.), courses, and activities. NPTM is using the Fore grant to continue to employ a part-time Business Development and Sustainability Officer to help secure future funding. This role will focus its efforts on executing a business sustainability plan, adjusted for CV19, to secure services through medium to longer term funding and diversifying income streams. 

PEGS 

Parental Education Growth Support (PEGS) was founded in 2019 by Michelle John following her experience as a parent of an abusive child. Her experience of how she was treated by statutory agencies and the lack of support for parents in this situation led her to set up PEGS as a CIC to address these issues. PEGS is a young organisation and has achieved an enormous amount, notwithstanding lockdown. Some of the parents access support on a 1:1 basis, group sessions, ad hoc or attend the programmes. PEGS works with four local authorities, two health boards and one police force, and has received national broadcast coverage on the Victoria Derbyshire programme. PEGS is using Fore funding to address areas that will enable the organisation to consolidate and grow, including website development and PEGS staff time. 

Raising Futures Kenya 

Raising Futures Kenya (RFK) is a UK-based charity that works with vulnerable children and young people across Kenya to enable them to access free vocational education and counselling through their Seed of Hope programme, which is based in Nairobi. For over 20 years, RFK has supported people in Kenya to set up small businesses – empowering them, and their families, to build a financially secure future. The Fore funding is going towards developing a new Educational Business Hub at the Seed of Hope centre. The Hub will be a stepping-stone between f/t vocational education and running a successful business, providing access to tools, equipment and a Business/IT teacher. 

ReMade Wigan 

ReMade is a recently incorporated CIC established to redress the absence of women-only support services across Wigan. Exceptionally well researched, networked and partnered, ReMade will provide upcycling workshops as a vehicle to create a support community for local women who are vulnerable to abuse as a result of mental health issues, domestic violence, homelessness or substance misuse. ReMade’s 10-year ambition is to establish the borough’s first women’s resource hub, expanding to lease space to other women’s projects, providing a paid team of women peer mentors, offering accredited training programmes in women’s equality and domestic abuse and supporting women out of crisis by offering micro-grants for them to develop their own enterprises. Fore funding is allocated towards start-up costs, providing sufficient evaluation and proof of concept to secure larger commissioning funds. 

Sports Connections Foundation 

Based in Peterborough, Sports Connections Foundation (SCF) is a children’s charity that uses the power of sport to engage, inspire, empower & educate children and young people aged 5-21. Since 2010, they have engaged with over 550,000 children and young people nationwide through their programmes. SCF is using the Fore grant to fund the salary of a recently recruited Income and Engagement Manager (IEM), enabling SCF to build a programme of fundraising, corporate/individual giving and to secure grant funding in order for the organisation to grow to meet the increasing demand for its programmes. 

Spring Into Action 

Spring Into Action (SIA), based in Lancashire, has vision of an inclusive society where people with learning disabilities can fully participate. SIA operates a friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism, Meet N Match. SIA runs monthly events online or at local community venues; a free LGBTQ+ support and social group; and a walking project. SIA provides relationship training courses, which are always oversubscribed, and lack capacity to respond to increased demand. They are using Fore funding to employ a Business Development & Training Coordinator to develop SIA’s relationship training offer and increase this income stream.       

Trust Leeds 

Trust Leeds (TL) is a young, ambitious organisation that aims to tackle poverty, financial exclusion, and social isolation amongst the most disadvantaged in Leeds by building Self-Reliant Groups (SRGs) and providing microfinance to those in the bottom 20% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation. It follows in the footsteps of the only other SRG/microfinance organisation in the UK, Purple Shoots (PS) in Wales, adapting their model to work on a smaller scale. TL’s microfinance programme is designed to support the businesses emerging from its SRGs as well as the financially excluded in the wider community. With funding from The Fore, TL aim to be in a position by 2024 to provide finance to the business’ of up to 48 of the most disadvantaged in Leeds every year and for the micro-finance programme to be ‘breaking even’ (with a loan pot of £31,000 and all running costs funded by interest and top slice of capital donations). 

Woking Mind 

Woking Mind (WM) is an independent mental health charity in Surrey. WM provides a number of support services including 1-1 talking therapies; counselling, peer support, and creative/physical activities such as walking groups. WM are currently putting referral protocols in place with NW Surrey Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) to ease pressure on stretched GP services. As the only mental health support service of its kind in the locality, its continued growth is testament to its popularity. WM are using Fore funding to launch a text response service, an online chat facility and expand their current phone support provision to allow multiple call handlers. These support pathways will help to facilitate 24-hour support for their beneficiaries.