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Funding and Volunteers vital for community projects

Funding and Volunteers vital for community projects

Ask Connecting Ripon Network members what they need, and the answer is always funding and volunteers. These vital elements not only ensure survival, but give capacity to thrive and make an impact, improving the lives of local residents. 

Whether it's through donations from generous individuals, grants from foundations, or support from corporate sponsors, resources are essential for covering operational costs, developing projects, and reaching out to those in need.

The other vital ingredient is volunteers who bring community projects to life, dedicating time, skills, and energy to support causes they believe in, offering invaluable expertise, compassion and personal connections that money cannot buy.

With adequate financial resources, charities can recruit and train volunteers, providing the necessary support to give everyone a safe and enjoyable experience.  Also, passionate volunteers often inspire others to contribute, which can create a ripple effect of generosity.

However, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, securing both funding and volunteers can be challenging. Charities must navigate competitive grant processes and shifting funder priorities to maintain a steady stream of financial support. Attracting and retaining volunteers can be difficult with people needing to work more hours, having busy lives and other commitments. 

Two funds which support local community organisations, Ripon City Council Small Grants Scheme and THE LOCAL FUND, are currently open for applications. The City Council awards grants of up to £1,000 to not-for-profit organisations for work that benefits people in the city. They also have a partnership grant scheme, and we are grateful for their support for our HADCA Connecting Ripon Network. 

THE LOCAL FUND for the Harrogate District is open for applications for grants of £200 to £3,000 until 13 May.  This fund addresses inequality, hidden poverty, loneliness and social isolation and give grants to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.  

You can find out more at and on the Two Ridings Community Foundation website where there are also details of other funding opportunities.    

During 2023, 36 community organisations received over £92,000 from THE LOCAL FUND. Grants were awarded to a variety of projects, from lunches for people who were homeless to a rural community choir. The fund also provides support with running costs so doors can be kept open, bills paid, staff and volunteers trained.
To grow local volunteering, our HADCA Power of 10 Awards and Rewards Scheme is working with young people, Connecting Ripon charity members, local schools and businesses to inspire the next generation of volunteers. Together, and working with youth workers at Ripon YMCA, we are creating meaningful, safe and inclusive opportunities for young people to create a culture of volunteering and a sustainable, pipeline of new volunteers.    

If you know any young people who would like to explore new opportunities, you’re a community organisation which would like to benefit from the energy and ideas of young volunteers or you would like to sponsor a young person please email Jo at or visit