Paws for Progress

Safeguarding Training Fund - Phase 1

Paws for Progress

The Safeguarding Training Fund is a joint funded programme between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund. It will provide funding over two phases until 2022.

Suitable for
Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations
Funding size
Phase 1 is now closed. Phase 2 approximately £570,000
Application deadline

Phase 2 is still under development and further details will be provided in due course.

Image credit: Image credit: Paws for Progress, an example of a project funded for similar work under Medium Grants Scotland

Programme Intro

As part of the wider Government strategy to improve safeguarding practice across the voluntary sector in England, DCMS in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund are investing a total of £1.14 million to improve access to training, support and advice.

This will be delivered in two phases:

Phase 1: Safeguarding resources for England

We awarded a grant of £570,000 to NCVO as lead for the Safer Social Sector Partnership in March 2019 to develop high quality resources which will be freely available to the voluntary sector to improve safeguarding practice. We anticipate this work will be complete by the end of September 2019.

This phase of the programme is now closed to any further applications.

Phase 2: Safeguarding training and development

This phase will provide approximately an additional £570,000 of funding. Whilst this part of the programme is still under development, we anticipate funding a small number of organisations or partnership(s) to share the resources developed during Phase 1, and support grassroots charities and community organisations to improve their safeguarding practice.

Overall objectives of the Safeguarding Training Fund:

  • To improve awareness of good safeguarding practice through the delivery of a national and generic safeguarding training package, which will improve access to safeguarding training and support to protect both children and adults at risk, and promote a safe culture within charities.
  • To extend the reach of existing resources around safeguarding, and support innovative mechanisms to deliver safeguarding training which reaches both small and large organisations.
  • To provide an insight into the impact of the safeguarding training, which helps to build a long term legacy for this work and embed good safeguarding practice and awareness into the sector.

The National Lottery Community Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to support this programme and DCMS will use central Government funding.

We will update the information on this site once Phase 2 is fully developed and anticipate the window for applications will open during the summer of 2019, and grants will end by March 2022.

If you have any questions please contact us at:

How to succeed

This section refers exclusively to Phase 1: Safeguarding resources for England.

We will fund an organisation or partnership of organisations to provide, develop, and coordinate a national and generic safeguarding package which will help organisations to:

  • Increase their awareness and understanding of safeguarding* and safe culture**.
  • Improve their safeguarding practice and safe culture by developing the right organisational culture and strong leadership.
  • Support good decision making in reporting safeguarding/safe culture issues.

(*) safeguarding children and adults at risk (safeguarding)

(**) protecting charity employees and volunteers from bullying and harassment and sexual harassment (“Safe culture”).

We would want to see the successful applicant working alongside national bodies responsible for supporting the charity sector to build on their work on both leadership values and ethics, but also to utilise their reach and influence across the sector. This includes the Charity Commission, which is currently redesigning its guidance to make it more accessible for charities in England and Wales. The successful applicant will be connected with this work by DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund.

We also would like to work closely with the successful applicant over the development of the project, to help link into the wider Safeguarding Programme.

Applying as a Partnership

We would strongly encourage applications from organisations working in partnership, where it is led by an eligible voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisation. This organisation will be our main point of contact on behalf of the partnership.

The lead organisation will have legal responsibility for all of the funding we award, and be financially accountable for any funds that are distributed to the partners. We will expect this organisation to ensure our reporting requirements are being met, agreeing appropriate monitoring systems and ensure they are being used by all those delivering activities.

Partners will work together to develop and manage the activities and will have a role in decision making. They can also deliver services for the project. Other organisations may be involved in delivering services for the project (i.e. as a supplier), but won’t have a role in steering its direction and will not be required to enter into the partnership agreement.

When we make a grant offer, you will be required to provide a formal partnership agreement. We will advise you on this if you are successful.

What we want to see:

Alongside the following principles, any package which is developed must be aligned with the Government Digital Service Standard.

Coordination of existing resources
This bid should look to build on the best of what already exists in the sector.

Designed with users in mind
We would like any applicant(s) to explain how they will work with charities to understand their needs, and develop a package which is most appropriate for the intended users of this training. In particular, we will favour bids from applicants who can demonstrate their experience in learning design.

Track record of delivery
We are looking for organisations or partnerships who have experience of providing safeguarding training resources to charities, and are able to provide some evidence of its impact on charities’ safeguarding practice.

Value for money
We expect applicants to apply for any amount which is required to do the work, up to a maximum of £570,000. We will assess applications on the basis of value for money.

Simple and easy to access
These resources should be freely and widely available to charities across England, and arranged in a way which encourages interaction from those organisations who struggle most with their capacity to develop good safeguarding policies and procedures.

Learning for future improvements
It is important that these resources are not only available to charities, but lead to increased reach across the sector and improve practice. We would like applicants to demonstrate how they will track their use and relevance to inform future development of the platform.


Who can apply?

Phase 1: Safeguarding resources for England will be open to the following voluntary and community sector led partnerships or organisations, which includes:

  • A registered charity
  • A community benefit society registered as an industrial and provident society
  • A community interest company
  • An organisation of another type not listed above if you operate as a social enterprise and principally reinvest surpluses for social benefit.

We can’t accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations based outside of England and Wales
  • organisations where the grant represents over 50% of their annual income
  • anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation
  • organisations without at least two unconnected* people on the board or committee.
  • companies that are aimed at generating profits for private distribution.

(* not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address)

Public funding for organisations carrying out commercial activities, including those with charitable status, is governed by the European Commission’s ‘State Aid’ rules. If you are invited to submit a full proposal we will talk to you further about this.

Additional requirements for applicants

Please note that we will only be taking a maximum of three expression of interests to full application stage for Phase 1 and will only be funding one application.

Therefore we will assess applications against the following additional requirements:

You and/or your partner(s) will be:

  • Recognised as having specialist knowledge and experience in the field of safeguarding, and safe culture.
  • Skilled and respected in producing online training and support materials for charities which are simple to use and easy to access, and can demonstrate they've been developed through user research and designed with data.
  • Able to develop online tools or have existing partners or suppliers who can do this work for you without the need for capital funding.
  • Able to bring together existing materials, identify gaps and develop a comprehensive training resource that offers a standard level of safeguarding training to the sector.
  • Able to spend 75% of funds within the first three months and have experience of delivering within short timescales. Please bear this in mind when calculating your project costs.
  • Able to demonstrate realistic plans to complete all programme activity by September 2019 and to adhere to the deadline for grant drawdown by this date.
  • Able to commit to hosting and responding to feedback on the platform until 2022, and advise us of ongoing costs within your budget. This will enable applicants in Phase 2 to distribute the resources and contribute learning about the effectiveness of the national safeguarding package.

What can you spend the money on?

The following lists give you an idea of the type of spending that Safeguarding Training Fund can and cannot pay for. They are not exhaustive.

We can fund:

  • staff salaries
  • volunteer expenses
  • management costs
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • Overheads
  • Legal fees
  • General project costs

We can’t fund:

  • capital costs
  • activities where a profit will be distributed for private gain
  • activity that replaces or duplicates existing government funding
  • retrospective costs (costs incurred/committed before your funding has been confirmed)
  • loan repayments
How to apply

What happens when?

10 December to Sunday 13 January (11.59pm)

Phase 1 opens for Expressions of Interest.

Mid January

Up to 3 organisations will be asked to submit a full application for funding.

17 February 2019

Deadline for full applications

End of March 2019

Phase 1 project commences

Spring/Summer 2019

Phase 2 commences

Expression of Interest

Please use the short form linked below to express an interest in this funding. This will enable us to decide whether we would like to invite you to submit a full application. This is not a full application form.

The first section asks for basic information about your organisation.

The second section asks important eligibility questions.

The third section is made up of three questions. We will use the answers to these questions to assess the strength of your Expression of Interest relative to others and decide whether we would like to invite you to submit a full application. It is essential that you provide a full answer to each question that reflects your understanding of the aim and principles of the Safeguarding Training Fund whilst being mindful of the strict word limits (maximum 400 words per question). We will not consider any information that exceeds the word limits. Please do not submit any other documents with this form.

Email your completed form to by 12.00pm on Monday 14 January.

Download the form

You can view the questions we’ll ask below:

Maximum 400 words per question

1. What are your initial ideas for how you will make training and resources on Safeguarding available to charities across England? Please include:

  • How your proposal links to our aims
  • Your plans for scoping and design with users at the centre
  • How you will ensure it is accessible to small and medium sized charities
  • Effective tools and methods of engagement.

2. We are looking to support an experienced partnership that is capable of delivering this work and achieving value for money. Why are you and/or your partners best placed to deliver this? Please include:

  • How much money you are requesting and how will you achieve value for money and adhere to the financial criteria set out in the guidance
  • Who you will work with and any partnership arrangements that are already in place
  • Your track record particularly in regards to training, development of online resources or safeguarding expertise and similar projects you have worked on

3. We are interested in embedding a safe culture in the charity sector. Tell us about your vision and plans for this project, and how you will use the funding to achieve the aims of the Safeguarding Training Fund. Please include:

  • Your vision and changes you intend to make
  • How you will include both safeguarding training and resources linked to safe culture (as defined in the guidance)
  • How you will help us build a long term legacy for this work

Get in touch

You can email us with any enquiries at

Or if you’d like to talk to someone on the phone, please visit our Contact page.