Supporting Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

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Henry Smith Charity - Improving Lives


The Improving Lives grant programme provides grants to charitable organisations that help people when other sources of support have failed, are inappropriate, or are simply not available. They support established organisations delivering services directly to beneficiaries.

The six priority areas are:

  • Help at a Critical Moment: Helping people to rebuild their lives following a crisis, critical moment, trauma or abuse
  • Positive Choices: Helping people, whose actions or behaviours have led to negative consequences for themselves and others
  • Accommodation/Housing Support: Enabling people to work towards or maintain accommodation
  • Employment and Training: Supporting people to move towards or gain employment
  • Financial Inclusion, Rights & Entitlements: Supporting people to overcome their financial problems and ensure that they are able to claim their rights and entitlements
  • Support Networks & Family: Working with people to develop improved support networks and family relationships.

Premium information is available exclusively to SCVO members and supporters

Geographical areas funded: UK

Fund type

Type of funding:
Type of cost:
Revenue, Core costs
Applicant success rate:
Premium information

Fund award sizes

Premium information
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Annually awarded:
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Notes on award amounts: Premium information

Who can apply

They primarily fund registered charities but are willing to make grants to other types of not for profit organisations, such as Community Interest Companies (CICs) or constituted community groups if you can explain how you would use the funding for charitable purposes. Your annual income must be £50k – £2m (in exceptional circumstances up to £5m).

Minimum annual income:
Maximum annual income:


Premium information

When to apply

Applications can be submitted at any time. There are no deadlines. It will take up to six months from submission for you to hear the outcome, though you will know within eight weeks if your application is not being shortlisted.

How to apply

Guidance and application form available on the funder website.

Contact information

Activites funded: Housing & shelter Advice & information Advocacy Arts & culture Befriending & mentoring Community development & regeneration Community safety Education & training Employability services Financial advice & support Health care & wellbeing Mental health care Recreation & social activities Social care & welfare

Beneficiaries funded: People affected by drugs and alcohol Black & Ethnic Minorities Carers Economically/socially disadvantaged Families Homeless or badly housed Care experienced people People in poverty Mental health conditions Offenders & ex-offenders Older people Disabilities Refugees & asylum seekers Victims of crime & abuse Young people

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Last reviewed 4 months ago

All funds from this funder

Henry Smith Charity