We recently held three stakeholder events to give voluntary organisations further information about the upcoming Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) grant programme for 2020-2022. The events were held in York, Cardiff and London and gave voluntary organisations the opportunity to ask representatives from HMPPS questions about the programme and application process. The following blog summarises the key takeaways from the events.
Purpose of the grants and funding themes
The grants HMPPS is offering are for activity over two years (April 2020– March 2022) and are aimed at supporting rehabilitation of people in the criminal justice system. They are open to voluntary sector organisations to support the piloting of new services, approaches or extending/developing current programmes. This means the grants cannot be used to fund existing work. During the event, HMPPS representatives emphasised that the grants are for trialling new ideas and approaches, or developing current programmes within new settings or with a new group of service users. For example, taking an intervention that worked well in prison and trialling it in the community or one that worked in the youth estate and trialling it in the adult estate.
The total value of the grant scheme is up to £2.5m over the two years. Grants from £50,000 - £250,000 can be awarded. The project number is Prj_1662.
There are four grant themes that organisations can apply for funding under. The four themes are:
- Improving support for families and significant others (ITT 3674)
- Improving outcomes for those with protected characteristics (ITT 3675)
- Improving health and well-being (ITT 3677)
- Improving safer custody across the prison estate (ITT 3676).
The grant programme is open for applications via the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Sourcing Portal on Friday 4th October 2019. The timelines for the application process are short, and organisations only have four weeks to apply. During the events, HMPPS advised potential applicants to sign up to the MOJ Sourcing portal as soon as possible, if they haven’t used it before, to familiarise themselves with the system. Once logged in to the portal, organisations can find the grant programme themes by searching for "ITT". Organisations can submit clarification questions to HMPPS using the portal.
The following timescale is indicative and subject to change. Please refer to the MoJ Sourcing Portal for up-to-date timescales:
- 4th October 2019: Anticipated issue of request for proposals via the MoJ Sourcing Portal
- 10am 16th October 2019: Deadline for submission of clarification questions
- 10am 1st November 2019: Application deadline
- 1st November-22nd November 2019: Evaluation and clarification of applications by HMPPS
- 5th December-12th December 2019: Applicants will be notified if their application was successful or unsuccessful
- 1st April 2020: Commencement of grant agreement
- 31st March 2022: End of grant programme
In considering and preparing applications we would encourage organisations thinking of applying to make full use of the clarification question process offered by HMPPS via the portal, to ensure that they are able to submit the highest quality application possible given the timeframe.
Applicants should also be aware that grant funding under this programme will be paid in arrears. Grants payments will be paid in quarterly instalments after activities have commenced. Clinks and attendees at the events have raised concerns that small organisations may find this prohibitive and we will continue to raise this with HMPPS. (Update, 7th October: Please note, after concerns were raised, payments may be made in advance at the discretion of HMPPS. This information is included in the grant documentation).
Organisations may apply either as a single organisation or a consortium (made up of several organisations and could include a partnership with a University etc.). The voluntary sector organisation or the submitting member of the consortium must be either a registered charity, an exempt charity (as per the Charities Act 2011, Schedule 3) or a social enterprise. The grant can’t be used for activity taking place through Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) supply chains and can’t be used to deliver core services which HMPPS should deliver. Full details on eligibility are available via the MOJ Sourcing Portal under 'Instructions and Information'. Please check the criteria thoroughly.
Improving outcomes for those with protected characteristics
HMPPS has recognised that there are a number of groups, who have protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010), who experience poorer outcomes than others in the prison estate and under probation supervision and therefore require a tailored approach. It also recognises the value of small and specialist organisations that deliver vital services to these groups. HMPPS has therefore ringfenced £250,000 of the grant scheme total for improving outcomes for those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010).
Theory of change
During the events, a representative from NPC gave a short presentation on theory of change, which HMPPS highlighted as an important framework through which organisations can communicate their project’s activities and intended outcomes in their application. HMPPS emphasised that thinking about the outcomes and intended impact of the project and communicating these well in the application is very important. HMPPS also emphasised the importance of giving detail in the application on plans for evaluating the project as it runs and when it is completed, in order to track and measure success.
HMPPS highlighted that a wide range of organisations had been awarded funding during its last round. These include both large and small organisations working in a variety of settings and with a range of people. 13 organisations were awarded grants for 2018-2020, including: St Giles Trust; Barnardo’s; Nepacs; National Autistic Society; Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & County Durham); Shared Enterprise CIC; No Place Productions; Birth Companions; Samaritans; Design Against Crime Research Centre; Code4000; Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge; and Safer Living Foundation.
Grants for good
As a supporter of the Grants for Good campaign, hosted by the Directory for Social Change, Clinks welcomes this grant programme. We continue to work with HMPPS and MoJ to advocate for the principles of good grant making set out by the campaign.
After reading this blog or attending the events, you may still have questions about the grant programme and the application process. HMPPS encourages organisations to submit questions via the MoJ Sourcing Portal.