Community Investment

Sanctuary’s Grand Ideas Fund offers up to £1,000 for projects which aim to make a difference to the lives of our residents and their communities. The fund is open to charities, residents’ groups and voluntary organisations.

Grand Ideas offers funding up to £1,000 for community projects that will make a difference to the lives of our communities.

You can apply if you are a:

  • Community or residents group
  • Voluntary group
  • Social enterprise
  • Registered charity
  • School
  • Statutory organisation or parish/town council

Applicant groups must have a bank account, equal opportunities policy and constitution as a minimum. Projects must support one or more of the priorities outlined further down this page.

We can’t accept funding applications from:

  • Individuals
  • Where there is no Sanctuary Scotland or Supported Living schemes who will benefit
  • Support people to develop new skills, gain a qualification or to access work experience leading to increased employability.
  • Increase levels of health and wellbeing – healthy eating workshops/events or fitness activities leading to feelings of improved physical health, art and craft events leading to improved mental wellbeing or activities leading to reduced isolation.
  • Enable people to feel safe in their communities and to have an increased sense of belonging.
  • Support people to access technology.
  • Enable residents to engage in improving spaces or places and to for them to be better used by the community.
  • Focus on financial inclusion, for example enabling people to access appropriate and impartial advice managing money or financial services or which lead people to have increased confidence to manage their money.

There are a few things that our funding cannot be used for, including:

  • Building, maintenance or structural improvements
  • Ongoing running costs e.g. insurance, utility costs, rent, salaries
  • Funding individuals or projects which only benefit one person
  • Fixtures and fittings e.g. chairs, tables etc. unless the project cannot run without the specialised equipment
  • Sponsorship or projects which are motivated mainly by marketing or branding
  • Alcohol

You can see examples of recent community projects further down this page.

Download and read our guidance notes (PDF 169KB) for further information.

If you have a great idea for a larger scale project i.e. over £1,000 please contact us on 01905 335 411 or email

Below is a list of the information that you will be asked to provide should you submit a Grand Ideas application:

  • Date of application
  • Organisation name and contact details
  • Organisation type – CIC, charity, residents association etc.
  • Charity/Company number and attach constitution
  • Project name (10 words)
  • Project location ( 10 words)
  • Project start and finish dates
  • Project description (250 words)
  • The need for the project (150 words)
  • Who will take part in the project and what difference will it make (200 words)
  • What involvement has the community had, or will have, in the planning, design and delivery of the project (150 words)
  • Who will beneficiaries be – provide an estimate of the number of people both Sanctuary and non-sanctuary residents expected to benefit (200 words)
  • How will you make this project accessible?
  • Total project cost – provide full project breakdown
  • Amount requested from Sanctuary and what specifically will it be used for?
  • Detail anticipated or secured additional funding
  • Are any other partners involved? If so what is there role?
  • Which elements of your project do you hope will continue after it ends?

Complete the Online Application Form. All applications must be submitted online via our website. We recommend that you use the editable Grand Ideas Fund Application Form (PDF 278KB) version of the form to draft your application as you will need to submit it online in one go. Please note that users are unable to save the application form mid-completion; you must complete the application form in its entirety and then submit it.

We will contact you within five working days to confirm receipt of the application.

All applications will be assessed on the first working day of the following month. You will be notified of the decision the same week by email or by phone. You should have a minimum of 6 weeks between submitting your application and the project starting to ensure adequate time is given.

If your application is successful, we will expect you to agree to the conditions of the funding which includes: recording your expenditure, working with us to monitor your progress and sharing stories. We will provide you with a Sanctuary contact to help you to make sure that your project is a success.

Successful projects should fit with one of our five priority themes outlined below:

  1. Employment, Education, Skills and Training

    We aim to help people to develop their skills and access training and support in order to enter into, and sustain, employment. We are particularly interested in projects which help residents to access volunteering, build self confidence, gain skills or qualifications, and find work.

  2. Health and Wellbeing

    We support people to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives, with access to the care and support services they need. We are particularly interested in projects which help residents to access activities which promote healthy lifestyles, create friendships and build links to support networks to help people live more independently.

    Local school children showcasing their artwork outside The Victoria development in Glasgow

  3. Community safety and infrastructure

    We aim to ensure that our communities are safe places to live and are equipped with the infrastructure they need to shape their aims and aspirations. We are particularly interested in projects which promote opportunities for people to play a positive role in their community, to design community-led initiatives, and build the capacity of local groups and charities to provide them.

  4. Environment

    We aim to make our neighbourhoods greener and cleaner places to live and to assist our residents to live more sustainable lifestyles. We are particularly interested in projects which involve local people in improving spaces and encouraging greener lifestyle choices such as growing their own vegetables or recycling.

    An architecture student with her winning design for a local community garden in Craiginches.

  5. Financial inclusion

    We aim to ensure that our residents are able to access the basic financial services products that are needed to participate in a modern society. We are particularly interested in projects which promote routes to local services that offer impartial financial advice, guidance and support to build people’s confidence to manage their money and make informed financial choices.

Helping St Maurice's High pupils experience nature

Cumbernauld Living Landscape is using grants from Sanctuary Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund to get S4 pupils from the town’s St Maurice’s High School outdoors.

The Natural Connections project enables hard-to-reach teenagers to experience something other than academia. Workshops include woodcarving and cooking outdoors.

This short film shows the positive impact of the sessions on those who attend.

Helping Aberdeen’s sheltered housing tenants get active

On Tuesday 7 March 2017 Sanctuary Scotland teamed up with two charities – Sport Aberdeen and Castlehill Housing Association – to run free taster sessions for sheltered housing tenants in Aberdeen.

Twenty-eight Sanctuary and Castlehill residents took part in activities including Chi Gung and Boccia at Westburn Outdoor Centre.

The event enabled sheltered tenants to socialise with other sheltered tenants who they otherwise would not meet. Tenants discussed the activities over lunch and received CFINE fruit bags to take home.

This short film shows the positive impact of the sessions on those who attended.

Working with two charities to start an after-school club in Glasgow

In January 2017, Sanctuary Scotland, teamed up with two charities – Inspiring Scotland and the Glasgow-based Jeely Piece Club – to provide an after-school club in Priesthill and Househillwood.

The grant awards received from Sanctuary Scotland and Inspiring Scotland will fund the club until April 2017. Local volunteers, including Sanctuary Scotland tenant, Irene McKean, are being trained so that the club can continue after the initial funding runs out.

This video shows the impact the club has made in a very short time. Both Irene and Grace Lamont, the Jeely Piece Club’s head of play, describe the positive outcomes for local children and families in the Pollok area of Glasgow.

You will hear whether you have been successful within four weeks of your application. If successful, you will be given a named contact in our Community Investment team for guidance and advice.

If you want to talk your idea through with someone, or ask a question about the Grand Ideas Fund, please call us on 01905 335 411 or email