The Department of Health’s Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund, which has £4m to give out to charities, social enterprises and community interest companies in 2015/16, has opened for applications.
Voluntary sector organisations that deliver health and care services in England are eligible to apply for the money. Applicants need to have been established for more than a year and must be able to demonstrate the ability to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of people in England.
Applications are open until noon on 27 March for projects starting in September. Organisations will be informed directly in late summer whether or not they have been successful, a DoH spokeswoman said.
"The voluntary sector plays an important role in our community, so I am glad to be able to offer this funding to support strong and resilient communities," said Norman Lamb, the care minister, who launched the latest funding round. "Last year we funded 30 projects through this fund, and they are now being implemented – from dementia-friendly swimming to providing support for those bereaved by suicide."
There is no maximum or minimum amount for which organisations can apply, but bids should be "realistic", according to the information pack for applicants.
Applications must be made under one of three funding strands: innovation, for new and creative approaches to improve people’s health and wellbeing; excellence, for projects that replicate effective practice and proven models of health and care services; or strategic development, for projects that promote greater partnership and collaboration with other organisations.
The IESD fund was created in 2008 as part of the DoH’s voluntary sector investment programme, which replaced the old section 64 grants. The scheme gave out £4m last year.