Projects within school (like new bins or a school garden) usually need to find funding. There are some ideas in the pages below.
Funding from Devon County Councillors
Each of the 62 Devon County Councillors has a locality budget fund of £10,000. They can, if they wish, make grants to support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent – this includes schools. If you are interested in accessing this fund, then contact your County Councillor directly.
Tel.Group Go Green Scheme
The Go Green Scheme is an initiative founded by Tel Group. Allowing the education sector to apply for £1000 funding towards a eco project within their school.
Schools are currently focusing on improving their sustainability and environmental habits, not only for learning, but for the planet. Tel Group’s Go Green scheme opens up the education sector to additional funding towards their eco projects within the school. For more information and to apply for up to £1000 for your school see the Tel.Group website.
South West Water Community Fund
The Neighbourhood Fund is all about supporting our local community. There will be £100,000-a-year funding available for projects in schools which inspire physical activity, education, health and wellbeing and deliver positive environmental outcomes.
Learning through Landscapes – Local School Nature Grants Programme
The Learning through Landscapes grants provide schools with equipment and training. Since their launch in 2017, Local School Nature Grants have helped nearly 2,500 schools across England, Scotland and Wales to improve their outdoor learning provision, enabling thousands more children to profit from time in nature. The outdoor learning grant fund can provide a fully funded outdoor learning training for your staff and up to £500 of equipment for outdoor learning.
Community Recycle is a scheme established by companies operating within the external school environment sector. The initiative collects, coordinates, and donates overstocked, unsellable items, returned goods and second-hand equipment to schools across the UK. It’s a great scheme that ensures goods, that would otherwise be left in storage or even go to landfill, are put to good use in the community, saving schools money and brightening up school grounds across the UK.
The types of materials typically include Polycarbonate sheets, Shade sails, Post pads and outdoor furniture items.
Linnean Society “Our Local Nature” Grants
The “Our Local Nature” Grants are available to fund innovative projects, designed and led by young people in the UK, which aim to increase access to local natural spaces and encourage a deeper appreciation and understanding of nature.
Applicants should seek to affect change or empower local young people and the surrounding communities to increase access to natural spaces and improve understanding of the local biodiversity.
The maximum award is £1,000 per proposal. They welcome and encourage applications for significantly lower amounts. The Society is happy to co-fund any project with another organisation.
This grant is purposefully broad and welcomes novel ideas. Some examples of possible proposals could be: running a school festival about nature; painting community murals showcasing biodiversity in the area; building a community garden; creating a nature walk; hiring a speaker to come and talk about local foraging.
The Ernest Cook Trust
The Ernest Cook Trust is an educational charity and their vision is for an environmentally engaged society. Many grants are considered and include environmental education projects, outdoor learning and ‘learning from the land’.
The CAF Tourle Foundation Fund
The Tourle Foundation Fund has a £4.5 million budget available for distribution to local charitable organisations delivering services for local people across the UK over the next 10 years.
The list of examples of eligible projects includes funding a charitable organisation set up by the community in a village and a small community group on an estate providing drop in sessions for teenagers.
Organisations must be able to evidence that the project will be delivered to local people, while demonstrating the need and difference it will make.
Tap Water Awards
Tap Water Awards is a grants programme that aims to help schools provide access to mains drinking water on campus while reducing the use of plastic bottled waters. Grants are available for between £300 and £3,000. Schools, colleges and universities can apply.
Wilko Helping Hands Programme
Helping the local community is really important to Wilko. Every store has a budget to give a little helping hand to local groups and community projects. You could get Wilko gift cards, products or volunteers to help with whatever you’re doing for your community – whether it’s a raffle prize to help with fund raising or tins of paint and extra helpers to do up a community centre – they’d love to help you!
Apply by filling in a form which you can pick up from the store or download online here. Applications are reviewed at the end of every month.
Garfield Weston Foundation
Founded by a famous Canadian philanthropist, MP, biscuit producer and owner of Fortnum & Mason, the Garfield Weston Foundation donated it’s billionth pound in 2019. A consistent theme of the Foundation since its inception in 1958 has been the importance placed on the support for education, from small local projects such as reading schemes and after school clubs, to major institutions such as universities.
Awards for All – Big Lottery Fund
Awards for All offers grants of between £300-£10,000 for projects that benefit the community.
B&Q Community Re-use Scheme
The B&Q Community Re-use Scheme donates unsellable products and materials (slightly damaged tins of paint, off-cuts of timber, broken tiles etc.) for re-use by local schools.
Co-op Local Community Fund
Co-op’s Local Community Fund allows members to give to a local cause that matters to them. Your school can apply for the next round of funding. Grants considered are up to £2,500.
Esmee Fairburn Foundation
Esmee Fairburn Foundation supports organisations on different themes including ‘Connecting people with Nature’. Grants can range from £5,000 to £1.5m and can cover projects or core costs, including staff salaries and overheads.
Greggs Foundation Environmental Grant
The Environmental Grants programme aims to improve people’s lives by improving the environment. An example of one of the community initiatives they will fund is ‘a growing project in a local primary school.’ The maximum amount they will award is £2,000.
The Naturesave Trust
The Naturesave Trust are a Totnes based insurance company who give small grants to environmental projects. Previously funded schemes include beehives, pond lining, solar panels and compost bins; amounts range from £200 to £1500.
DPD Eco Fund
Schools and educational facilities across the UK are being encouraged to apply for funding for their green projects from DPD’s Eco Fund.
The Eco Fund for 2020 has £140,000 to allocate to worthy sustainable projects, with typical funding per project being approximately £1,500.
Tesco Bags of Help Grant
The Bags of Help grant is a rolling grant scheme funded by Tesco customers through the carrier bag charge. It supports projects that deliver a physical environmental improvement or encourage use and long term sustainability of outdoor spaces e.g. school grounds.
The Devon Educational Trust
The Devon Educational Trust are a small charity helping young people in Devon. Grants of up to £500 are available. Applications are welcomed from residents of Devon aged under 25. Voluntary organisations can also apply, in particular those helping vulnerable young people.
Devon Education Fund
Every year over £50,000 is made available by Devon County Council and Babcock LDP to fund programmes or projects that will benefit learners in Devon aged between 0 and 25 years old. Schools, organisations and educational projects are all invited to apply.
School Farmers Markets
The Soil Association have resources available to help schools run their own Farmers Markets. This gives members of the local community the opportunity to purchase local food, crafts and produce. Schools can make an estimated £300-£400 profit, while children can learn from the experience. Children can learn about food production while raising money for the school and helping the local community source local food.
RGB Community Fund
RGB Building Supplies offer up to £1000 worth of building supplies to a project local to one of its depots. With branches across Devon, from Bideford to Holsworthy, Ilfracombe to Exmouth, there is likely to be one fairly close to your school.
The Rotary Club often support local good causes with grants. Check out their website to find the nearest branch to apply to.
Local Round Table groups are often very supportive of small projects in their communities. Check the website to find your nearest branch to write to ask for help.
Dartmoor Communities Fund
Is your school on Dartmoor? You might be able to get money from the Dartmoor National Park Communities Fund. Check out their website to see if your project qualifies.
Coastal Recycling Community Fund
Coastal Recycling have over £300,000 every year to award to local community projects, close to their facilities. Check out the website to see if you qualify and find out how to apply.
Devon Gardens Trust
The Devon Gardens Trust is committed to investing in Education in Devon. To this end they will support schools with advice and mentoring as well as with their small grants scheme. They offer bursaries to students intending to take up horticulture as a career. The Trust’s Events programme includes lectures and workshops, open to members and people interested in the county’s considerable legacy of historic gardens and open spaces.
Fancy a clothes swish, bring-and-buy sale or want to raise money for your school while reducing waste. There are lots of ideas that will promote sustainability within your school while raising money…
Teachers! Why not link these events to the curriculum by getting the kids involved in planning and organising them.
Printer Cartridge Recycling
In our new Covid world you might find you get through more printer cartridges! Did you know you can raise money for your school by collecting and recycling them through The Ink Bin? See the Ink Bin website for full details.
Book and CD Recycling
There are a number of companies who will take your unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and games and exchange them for cash!
This can be a good way of raising money from stuff that is sitting around people’s houses, especially as many charity shops are now closed or not accepting donations due to Covid.
School Uniform Swap Shop
School uniform is so often outgrown before it wears out, so clothes in good condition can end up being thrown in the bin. In just the South West alone 80,000 school uniforms end up in the bin. What a waste!
Encourage students and parents to swap clothes or sell them secondhand to raise money for the school.
Some schools (like Maynards School in Exeter) have a shop where secondhand uniform is handed back to the school and sold on to new pupils and the money raised goes back to the school. This could help create a culture where new uniform is the exception rather than the rule.
Honiton Community College asked parents to donate uniform, which it was then able to distribute to pupils who needed new sizes.
Torbay has a charity called Punks Against Poverty which last summer collected uniform to donate to people across the area.
Did you know there are multiple companies set up that will pay for your unwanted textiles?
Textiles can include clothes, curtains, bedding, shoes, bags, and soft toys. Companies will pay a set price per kilogram of textiles collected, however, it is often worth shopping around to find the best price. Perhaps if you have some clothes lying around after your Table top sale/Give and Take/Uniform Swap, you could organise to get them recycled and earn those extra £££’s.
Here are a some links to companies you could arrange to do your textile recycling with:
Each company will work in a slightly different way, but as an example if you were to choose Bag 2 School, here is how it works:
- You promote your collection through posters and letters home.
- Bag 2 School provides clothing bags for children to take home.
- You arrange a collection day with Bag 2 School and get all clothes bags to be brought in on that day to avoid storage problems.
- The driver will weigh and load the bags.
- You will receive your payment within the week!
Table Top Sales
You can promote Table Top Sales (also called jumble sales or Bring-and-Buy sales) to your whole school community as a fantastic opportunity to clear out the house!
- Encourage parents to donate their books, records, bric-a-brac and good quality clothes.
- Allow time for volunteers to sort donations into categories ready for the sale day.
- On the day make sure all items can be seen clearly with price tags on show.
Give and Take
Similar to table top sales, but without the price tags. Not everyone has to give in order to take!
- Organise for the donations “Drop-off” to start before the event officially opens and to end 1 hour before the event finishes.
- Categorise donations as they arrive, in the same way you would for a table top sale. (See the ‘Give and Take Category Labels’ download).
- Consider asking for £1 entry or donations on the door.
- 2 hours is usually long enough for the “taking” part of the event.
- Ask some of your volunteers to run a coffee and cake stand alongside to increase the amount raised.
A swish is a clothes swap where good quality clothes are swapped. There is usually an entrance fee, maybe including a free drink, and you can then swap a certain number of items. See this guide on Recycle Devon.
- Encourage parents to bring good quality clothes.
- Advertise it well and include your wider community to get a good range of styles and clothes for everyone.
- Make it a social event with refreshments and background music.
- On the day make sure all items can be seen clearly on rails ready to browse.
Other easy ways to raise funds
Instead of throwing away used ink cartridges, why not sign up to have them recycled? Companies such as Empties Please have school recycling schemes already set up!
Mobile Phone Recycling
With new phones coming out every year there is an increasing need for phone recycling. Educate your school about the need to recycle batteries and mobile phones with our KS2 workshop about batteries and our KS3 workshop about the important elements in mobile phones and their impact on the environment. Forgotten Mobile is a company that works alongside schools providing phone recycling, they also recycle CDs/DVDs, jewellery and foreign currency! Every phone/CD and DVD has a value, so get collecting now!
Don’t forget to promote your event, this will make a massive difference to the amount you raise.
Parents need plenty of time to plan clearing out the house and organise getting the stuff they have found into school.
Send letters home, use posters around the school, get the kids excited and talking about it!
Perhaps encourage the children by awarding the class who bring in the most donations a non-school uniform day.
Disclaimer: There are many companies that can provide these services, those mentioned above are a good starting point. Devon County Council does not accept any responsibility for the service provided.