Independent Age is a national charity with a vision of supporting older people to live a happy, connected and purposeful later life.
As well as offering regular, in-person support to older people in four areas of the UK – Middlesbrough, Tyne & Wear, Essex and Nottingham – via our Connections service, we also provide a strong campaigning voice, as well as free and impartial advice and information on the issues that matter most to older people.
In 2020 we became grant-makers for the first time – and, by June 2021, made 277 COVID-relief grants across the UK totalling just over £3.3 million.
New local grants programmes
We are now delivering local grants programmes in our Connections areas, with Middlesbrough one of the first. We make grants because grant recipients can help to improve the lives of more older people than we could by ourselves, and have more local expertise and understanding of their communities than we currently have.
How much and when?
We aim to start awarding grants amounting to £250,000 in Middlesbrough in September 2022. These will be two-year grants. Each grant is expected to be between £2,000 and £40,000 a year so, overall, each two-year grant will total between £4,000 and £80,000.
Poverty and inequalities
We are specifically using our local grants to help reduce the effects of poverty and inequality on older people in Middlesbrough. So, we are strongly weighting our funding towards groups and organisations that are led by and/or working with people who are:
- experiencing poverty or money difficulties, or living in the poorest areas of the town
- facing inequalities, particularly black and other racially minoritised groups and LGBTQ+ groups.
We want you – older people and organisations in Middlesbrough, particularly those experiencing inequalities, poverty or serious money concerns – to tell us what we should spend this grant money on. We want to support you in general as well as to directly tackle poverty and inequalities.
To do this, we’re holding two public meetings and running a survey to gather your feedback. These will shape the funding priorities that govern who and what we fund.
The first public meeting is on Thursday, 16 June 2022 from 2pm to 4.30pm, and the second on Thursday, 7 July 2022 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Both meetings will be held at the International Community Centre, 7 Abingdon Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2DP.
If you – or local older people you know – prefer, you can fill in this quick survey to tell us how you think we should prioritise our grant-giving in Middlesbrough. The survey only takes a few minutes.
We’re also establishing a panel of local people and organisations, plus Independent Age colleagues, to decide who and what gets funded. Let us know through the survey or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be part of the panel.
We want to establish healthy, long-term relationships with a range of organisations through our grants programme. For this reason, we won’t have an application process based on forms. Instead, we will get to know organisations through a series of conversations and offer funding to the ones in the best position to meet the locally agreed priorities.