Richmond VC share secrets of funding success

27th September 2019

Richmond VC share secrets of funding success

Richmond Volleyball is celebrating after being awarded £7,800 of National Lottery funding from Sport England and have shared its top tips to help other clubs bid for funding.

The grant will allow Richmond to deliver two additional beginner sessions per week to aid the retention and increase membership among younger boys.

“We are delighted to have secured this investment which means we can better tailor our junior boys programme to their skill levels and provide additional training sessions for the younger athletes,” says Luis Bello, Head Coach of Richmond Volleyball Men/Boys Division.

The club were successful in their bid for funding through Sport England’s Small Grants Programme. Clubs can apply for up to £10,000 to be used within 12 months. Here are Richmond’s top tips to help other clubs in their bid for a Sport England Small Grant:

1. Read all the guidance from the Sport England website to understand what types of activities it is willing to fund - their strategy may change. Typically, they will want to fund new projects or expansion of existing programmes.

2. Make sure you understand what costs Sport England will fund.

3. Based on this information, identify what part of your club's programme would be eligible for funding and prepare a clear delivery plan with a detailed budget. It is important that the impact of your project matches Sport England’s strategic objectives.

4. Download the application form and think about how to answer all the questions. There is detailed guidance for each question. There will be limits to the number of words you can use for each question which can be quite challenging. First make a write-up of what you want to say, then decide which sentences/words are not strictly necessary and leave those out.

5. Ask a few people to read the draft and ask for comments and suggestions. Let someone read it who does not know the project to see if they understand it.

6. It helps to provide evidence of the need for your project, which you can gather by using a simple survey among your members for example, or by searching online for publications about sport participation in your area.

7. Create a budget with realistic cost estimates. If the total budget is more than £10,000 you will need to decide what cost items you are asking Sport England to pay for (taking into account cost items they will not fund).

8. You can call or email Sport England if you are uncertain about anything on the application form – they are quite helpful.

9. Sport England will take at least 6-8 weeks to make a decision, so you have to carefully plan the timing of your application. If you need funding by September, make sure you apply by June at the latest. This means you need to start working on the application in April as it will take time to put it all together.

10. We were fortunate that one of our members is a professional bid writer, so ask around in your community if someone has good writing skills to help you.

11. Finally, it takes a lot of effort but do not be discouraged if your first application is not successful.  You can adjust and submit your bid again incorporating feedback and lessons learned.

For more information about these grants, you can visit the Sport England Small Grants section of its website.

Richmond Volleyball

Richmond will take the boost from Sport England to help develop an already thriving junior section, which has already been very successful in developing young talents in school and satellite junior clubs in Richmond, Kingston, Hounslow, Elmbridge and Spelthorne. Every year Richmond junior teams compete in the National Championships in all age categories.

Vera Kenyon, Chair of Richmond Volleyball commented: “We are excited to have received this funding which will have a big positive impact on sustainability of our junior development. This Grant will ensure that a younger generation of beginner players from the start of their pathway have access to suitable training, quality coaching and competition opportunities”.

In recognition of the club’s contribution to the development of volleyball, in the summer of 2019 Richmond Volleyball were awarded the prestigious Volleyball England Club of the Year award for the second time in the club’s 27-year history.

The club are recruiting new junior club members. If you’d like to join this friendly and award winning club please contact

Richmond VC share secrets of funding success