Helping Working Families

Helping Working Families funds projects that improve the lives of working families who are in poverty.

Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations
Funding size
Approx. £500,000 per project. Four year duration (ends 2022)
Total available
£6 million
Application deadline

Midday 15 March 2018

How to succeed

Helping Working Families funds projects that bring about positive change in the lives of working families who are affected by poverty and supporting a child.

Part of your grant will be used to fund the development of your project. This is a very different approach to other programmes and this is reflected in the application process.

We don’t expect you to describe what the project will deliver when you apply; instead we’ll fund an initial phase during which you work with the families you want to help to coproduce your plans and decide what the project should deliver.

Because of this, you won’t be able to describe your plans in detail when you first apply, as these won’t become clear until you’ve completed your development phase.

A strong application will have a clear plan and budget for the initial co-production phase. We want to see a good understanding of how to involve working families in your area.

Successful projects will show us that that they’ve worked in an equal partnership with the families who will use the service to plan and deliver the project.

What we mean by ‘poverty’

We mean that a family doesn’t have enough money or resources to meet its basic needs, including being involved in the community and wider society.

What we mean by ‘working families’

We mean that there is at least one person in a household who has a full or part time job, or who is self employed supporting at least one child under 18.

Coproducing your project with working families

  • There’s no single way to co-produce a project – it’s up to you to decide what will work best for the families in your area. Talk to the families in your community to help choose the right approach.
  • Even if you already understand your beneficiaries well, we still want to see that you’ve developed your plans in partnership with them. Think of yourself as a facilitator, rather than a service provider.
  • Tap into existing networks (such as workplaces, schools and places of worship) to engage with harder to reach families.
  • Show us that you have the relevant skills and experience to co-produce your project; if there are gaps in your experience let us know how you’ll address them.
  • There’s no specific length for the co-production phase – it will depend on your experience and the families you’re working with. We’ll talk to you during the assessment process about how long it will take.
Before you apply

1. Check if you’re eligible

Find out if you’re eligible

2. Get in touch

Give us a call to tell us about your idea. If we think it’s something that we’d fund, we’ll send you an application form.

3. Develop your application

Read about what makes a successful project.

4. Send us your completed form

Email us your completed application form. We’ll let you know when we’ve received it.

5. Tell us more about your project

We’ll get in touch to talk about your application in more detail.

At this point, we may ask you to send us more information about your project to help us make a decision.

6. Get a decision

The application deadline is midday on Thursday the 15 March 2018. Candidates will be contacted in early July 2018 with decisions.

Check if you’re eligible

To apply for funding, you need to be a voluntary and community organisation, such as a:

  • charity
  • community group
  • co-operative
  • social enterprise

You need to be able to work closely with:

  • working families
  • your community
  • formal or informal partners (this could include local organisations from the public, private or voluntary sector)

We can’t fund:

  • branches that don’t control how they’re run and how their money is spent
  • organisations that are applying on behalf of someone else.
Get in touch

When you have a project idea you want to put to us please give us a call to talk it through. We’ll be able to tell you if it’s something that we’d fund.

Before you get in touch, make sure you have:

  • checked your eligibility

  • read our guidance on how to succeed

  • thought through what you want to tell us - this chat will be part of the way we assess your project.

You can reach us by phoning 0300 123 0735 or emailing Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm (not including public holidays) to book an appointment to speak to one of our team, who will call you back within three working days.


As an organisation that gives out public funds, we carry out some checks on the information you provide us. Learn more about our checks