Gateshead small awards micro-funding programme

This case study is an example of the practical use of asset-based approaches in communities.


Gateshead Council has connected The Ballinger Trust with ‘Bensham and Saltwell Alive’, a charity committed to using assetbased approaches in their work, in order to distribute a number of small grants directly to their local community, to ensure that informal and grassroots groups can access funds to enable their ideas. It was agreed that:

  • no paperwork was required from the applicants
  • Bensham and Saltwell Alive would work with potential groups to discover and develop their ideas and prepare them to meet Ballinger Trustees to present their projects
  • Bensham and Saltwell Alive are the accountable body for the funding and take responsibility for following up with groups and reporting back results. The process was designed to be as easy as possible for the applicants. Grants of £500 were awarded to: Creative Youth Opportunities to work with young people to create a story about their diverse community; first aid training for community volunteers; Gateshead Open Studios to create a local ‘arts trail’; Peace of Mind to buy welcome packs of essential items for newly arrived asylum seekers; the Comfrey Project to run community gardening sessions; and a local church food cooperative to buy a much-needed fridge. Two £1,000 grants were used to buy muchneeded equipment – a cooker for the Alive Lunch Club and a keyboard for a refugee’s music group so they can come together and sing traditional songs.