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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regional-vcse-grant-scheme/regional-vcse-grant-scheme-prospectus
Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) Welcome Programme
Prospectus for applicants: Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
A new immigration route opened on 31 January 2021, providing British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders and their eligible family members with the opportunity to come to the UK to live, study and work, on a pathway to citizenship.
This new route reflects the UK’s historic and moral commitment to those people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status at the point of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is leading delivery of a £43.1 million HMG funded national ‘Welcome Programme’ to support BN(O) status holders and their eligible family members to help them to successfully settle in their new communities.
The Welcome Programme has the following elements:
- English language and destitution support: funding is available for local authorities to support BN(O) status holders and their family members in need and has also been provided to deliver similar activity in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- An online resource providing all those on the BN(O) route with information on how to access services and understand life in the UK. Similar resources are being produced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- 12 new Welcome Hubs, across the whole of the UK, to prepare for the arrival of BN(O) status holders and their families, ensuring they have their own ‘welcome’ in place and local areas have capacity to integrate the new arrivals into communities. This is using the existing infrastructure of the Strategic Migration Partnerships.
- National and Regional Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) funds to bolster community-led activities, from befriending to employability support.
- As part of the national VCSE fund, MHCLG in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE), will support the development of dedicated Hong Kong educational resources for schools so that they can teach young people about our historic connection and commitment to Hong Kong and its people, and celebrate the contribution of the Hong Kong-British diaspora to the UK.
- Funding is also being provided to deliver a hate crime reporting service for BN(O) status holders and all other people of East and South-East Asian descent, to deliver hate crime reporting services and a hate crime helpline and website.
The aims of the Welcome Programme are to:
- Enable BN(O) status holders and their family members to fully contribute to life in the UK, both economically and socially, enriching our society.
- Provide support to both resident communities and BN(O) status holders and their families to feel safe and welcome, as well as ensuring any hate crime is tackled in a timely way.
- Allow BN(O) status holders and their families to feel fully part of British society, able to mix confidently with people of all backgrounds and provide a positive contribution to the UK and the areas in which they settle.
- Ensure that any instances of destitution and underemployment in the BN(O) status holder cohort is minimised and addressed through effective support.
Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
The Voluntary Community Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector has an important role to play in providing additional capacity, expertise, and knowledge to support the successful integration of BN(O) status holders who choose to settle in the UK.
To facilitate this, up to £1.4 million will be available for the Regional VCSE Grant Scheme, which will complement the National VCSE Grant Scheme, which has a separate prospectus and bid process.
The Regional VCSE grant scheme will support projects in line with the high-level outcomes of the Hong Kong UK Welcome Programme. The programme will ensure positive outcomes for central and local government, resident communities and BN(O) status holders, by:
1. Enabling all new arrivals to fully contribute to life in the UK, both economically and socially, enriching our society.
2. Allowing BN(O) status holders to feel fully part of British society, able to mix confidently with people of all backgrounds and provide a positive contribution to the UK and the areas in which they settle.
3. Providing support to both resident communities and BN(O) status holders so they are welcomed and able to settle into their new communities.
4. Enabling BN(O) status holders to get access to the right support services to support their settlement.
What are we looking for?
The regional VCSE funding is available to VCSE organisations to develop and run local projects seeking to support BN(O) status holders in areas such as employment support, supporting wellbeing through ‘buddying’ or ‘befriending’ schemes and to help access services such as registering for a GP, opening a bank account and registering for a National Insurance number.
Other examples of activities where we are keen to receive proposals include:
- Projects which provide clear information and advice on access to services, including housing, health and other social services.
- Targeted employment support, based on best practice, focusing on skills, employment sustainability and combating under‐employment.
- Supporting the involvement and settlement of BN(O) status holders in mainstream community and civic structures and groups.
- Projects which focus on community cohesion, social interaction, and public communication around the settlement of BN(O) status holders.
We would like bids to complement the support that will be provided through the Welcome Hubs, and encourage VCSE organisations to engage with the Strategic Migration Partnerships so that they understand the regional priorities and can match their bids to the local need.
We welcome applications from VCSE organisations with experience supporting the integration of BN(O) status holders, as well as groups who have the relevant skills and resources to support effective settlement and to help build strong community cohesion.
Applications will be considered from newly founded organisations as well as more well-established groups.
All groups selected will be required to undergo mandatory due diligence checks as a means of ensuring the government is not subject to potential reputational damage.
We would expect applicants to be of good financial standing irrespective of the grant, and, through due diligence procedures, would expect that successful organisations do not receive the majority of their funding from central government.
A full list of eligible groups can be found below:
- ‘Charity’ – A registered charity with a UK charity number or a registered CIC (community interest company).
- ‘Community group’ – A group which meets all the following criteria:
- Established for charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic purposes;
- Has a governing body with at least three members;
- Has a governing document which they are able to produce;
- Can provide accounts for the last two financial years.
- ‘Community Interest Company’ - a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.
- Other not for profit organisations.
- Groups must be based and registered in England.
Individuals are not eligible to apply but should work with the groups set out above.
Organisations chosen to receive grant funding must ensure that they comply with the UK’s international obligations in respect of subsidies.
Groups applying to other Hong Kong UK Welcome Programme grant schemes are eligible to apply for the Regional VCSE Grant Scheme but must present a distinct offer as part of this scheme.
All bids must be specific to the Strategic Migration Partnership (SMP) region they are applying to, generic bids should not be submitted. Organisations wishing to submit bids to more than one SMP must ensure that each bid is specific to the SMP region they are applying to, and that they have capacity to deliver support to that region.
The total amount of funding for the Regional VCSE grant scheme is up to £1.4 million across the 9 regions in England. Each region will receive a proportion of funding based on the estimated number of Hong Kong BN(O) status holders who may settle in that region. The funding breakdown per region can be found in section 9: regional allocation of fund.
We anticipate the majority of support will be provided by small community organisations.
The range of funding available to an organisation through the regional VCSE fund is between £10,000 and £40,000 per region.
MHCLG reserves the right to consider bids outside this range where they meet a regional need, by exception.
We are encouraging applicants to submit proposals for projects that can be up and running swiftly after being notified that they are successful. We expect to notify organisations from early October. Delivery of your project will need to be completed by 31 March 2022.
MHCLG will consider continuing elements in future financial years, subject to the Spending Review process.
Timelines and process
Overview: Timelines (subject to change)
- 29 July: Applications open
- 1 September: Applications close and bids submitted to SMPs
- 1 September – 15 September: SMPs stage one assessment
- 15 September: SMPs submit bids to MHCLG
- 15 September – 13 October: MHCLG stage two assessment and due diligence
- Mid October onwards: MHCLG award grants
- End October: Delivery commences
- 31 March 2022 – All funds committed and core delivery ends
Selected VCSE organisations will be expected to commence and complete core delivery in line with the dates set out and to have committed all funds by the end of March 2022.
Roles and responsibilities
MHCLG is providing funding for the Regional VCSE Grant Scheme. SMPs will undertake stage one assessment of bids. MHCLG will review the assessments put forward by SMPs, undertake stage two assessment and provide funding directly to approved VCSE organisations. The grants and funding will be administered by MHCLG.
- Engage with local VCSE organisations to promote awareness of the regional grant scheme through existing local channels and networks and encourage applications.
- Receive bids and undertake stage one assessment based on the MHCLG assessment templates and scoring criteria set out in the scoring criteria section of this document.
- Submit completed assessment templates to MHCLG.
Work in partnership with successful VCSE organisations identified in their SMP region to maximise the benefits of funding allocated within their area.
- Review the summary of funding proposals for each SMP region against the scoring criteria set out in the scoring criteria section of this document
- Moderate stage one assessment.
- Undertake stage two assessment.
- Undertake due diligence.
- Notify SMPs and applicants of funding decisions
- Establish grant funding agreements with selected VCSE organisations.
- Ensure proposals submitted are in the standardised form provided and contain clear costings, outputs and outcomes for activities.
- Cooperate with the assessment and due diligence process.
- If selected for funding, sign a grant funding agreement with MHCLG.
- If selected for funding, deliver proposals in line with agreed plans, within timescales and to budget.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation as required.
Assessment of bids is a two-stage process.
Stage One Assessment – carried out by SMPs
SMPs will assess against the criteria for deliverability and regional priorities as described in section 10: Scoring Process.
Deliverability and Regional Priorities: (12 points available)
1. Project should have clear milestones that are measurable, specific and identify how they are going to achieve them. Projects should have a clear rationale for what they are trying to achieve, how and when.
2. Proposals should detail the governance structure and deliverability of their proposal. This should include who is responsible for actions and any experience that they have in delivering similar projects. If an applicant does not have direct experience of delivering similar projects, they should outline how they will mitigate this inexperience to achieve the planned outcomes.
3. It is important the project meets the needs of the local BN(O) status holders, is in line with the regional priorities and is suitable for the local community.
4. The project should build on community knowledge, expertise and links to existing community networks.
Regional priorities can be found via the links in the Regional SMP details section of this document.
Stage Two Assessment – carried out by MHCLG
Scores received by MHCLG as part of stage one assessments are advisory and will be moderated by MHCLG to ensure consistency across the 9 SMPs in England.
MHCLG will assess against the criteria for impact and value for money.
Impact (12 points available)
5. It is essential that projects include clearly defined outputs and outcomes that are specific and identify how they will be measured. This should include what information will be recorded and how the project will ensure that it follows data protection laws and GDPR.
6. Projects should be specific in how they intend to promote integration for BN(O) status holders. They should demonstrate how participants will be positively affected, the numbers expected to be reached and clearly define what ‘success’ will look like.
7. Proposals should set out how they intend to raise awareness of the project and promote engagement among BN(O) status holders.
8. Proposals should align with one or more of the programme’s key objectives listed in section 2 of this document.
Value for money and risks: (6 points available)
[a minimum score of 1 for each of the criteria “value for money” and “risk” is required for proposals to be considered for funding. In addition, a minimum score of 3 when the scores for “value for money” and “risk” are combined is required for proposals to be considered for funding.]
9. The application should demonstrate strong value for money. The cost specified should be proportionate to the outcomes achieved and expected number of BN(O) status holders reached. Value for money could be demonstrated by detailing the following:
- the use of experience to provide robust costings, including costs per output (i.e. costs per learner, costs per club participant, cost for digital technology) to present the best use of money.
- all costs and any other funding are profiled in a sensible way to provide confidence in capability to commit all funding to activities by 31 March 2022.
- describe any match funding that they have secured. Lack of match funding will not disqualify a project from the programme.
10. Applications should show evidence of a realistic understanding of potential financial and delivery risks, including counter fraud and mitigations to address them.
Summary of scoring process for award of funds
SMPs assess stage one on deliverability and regional fit (criteria 1-4).
MHCLG assess stage two on impact, value for money and risk (criteria 5-10).
The combined score for each bid based on both stage one and stage two assessment (criteria 1-10) will be out of 30. Bids will be placed in priority order based on their score out of 30 and the regional fund allocation they are applying to. Scores generated from the scoring process will be used to arrange bids into 9 priority lists, from highest total score to lowest total score.
These priority lists will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government as a recommendation as to the allocation of funding. The final decision as to which applications receive what level of funding will rest with the Secretary of State.
Evaluation and monitoring
Successful applicants must comply with evaluation and monitoring requirements.
Evaluation: each project will be expected to complete an evaluation at the end of the delivery period. MHCLG will provide a template for each project to complete. Successful organisations will also be asked to produce a statement of grant usage upon completion of the grant period.
Monitoring: at bi-monthly intervals, VCSE organisations will be expected to provide a reporting update to MHCLG. The reporting template will be provided by MHCLG and will ask for an update on project progress, information on any delays and reasons for these, key risks, and upcoming milestones.
How to apply
Please send completed applications to your local SMP by 23.59 on 01 September 2021. Contact details are listed in Section 11. Regional SMP Details.
If you have any questions about the application process, please send these to HKRegionalGrant@communities.gov.uk
Regional allocation of fund
|East of England||£124,467.00|
|Yorkshire and Humber||£106,080.00|
Eligible organisations must demonstrate how they meet the selection criteria. Proposals will be marked against the 10 scoring criteria to generate a core score (out of 30).
The assessment of proposals will follow a 2-stage process. Stage 1 is carried out by the regional SMP. After stage 1 is complete the regional SMP will forward all proposals and their scoring of section 1 “Deliverability and Regional priorities” to MHCLG. Moderation will be undertaken on submissions from SMPs to ensure continuity across the programme. MHCLG then carries out stage 2 of the assessment. The scores are then combined to form the Core Score.
Carried out by the regional SMP, the SMP will score the category “Deliverability and Regional Priorities”. All scores are recorded on the scoring template. SMPs have the responsibility of completing columns A-O for each proposal. All proposals received by the SMP must be included on the scoring template. At the end of the scoring process the completed scoring template and all proposals are forwarded to MHCLG for stage 2 assessment.
Carried out by MHCLG. MHCLG will score the categories “impact” and “value for money”.
Eligible organisations will be assessed against the following scoring system across the different criteria to give a ‘core score’ out of 30. Applicants will receive up to 3 points for meeting each criterion. The section “Value for money” has a minimum mark of 1 required for each criteria and a minimum score of 3 overall. Failure to reach these minimum scores will result in the proposal being rejected.
Deliverability and Regional priorities (out of 12) assessed by the SMP
|Milestones||Project should have clear milestones that are measurable, specific and identify how they are going to achieve them. Projects should have a clear rationale for what they are trying to achieve, how and when.||No milestones outlined in proposal.
Score = 0
Milestones poorly defined. No logical link to the project activities.
Score = 1
Milestones are defined, measurable and link to the planned activities.
Score = 2
Detailed milestones linked to the project activities. Clear explanation of what the project is aiming to achieve, a rationale why these milestones are appropriate, how they are going to be measured and when they are going to be achieved.
Score = 3
|Governance structure and deliverability||Proposals should detail the governance structure and deliverability of their proposal. This should include who is responsible for actions and any experience that they have in delivering similar projects. If an applicant does not have direct experience of delivering similar projects, they should outline how they will mitigate this inexperience.||No experience of delivering projects, no detail of how this would be mitigated.
Score = 0
Some knowledge of operating grant funded projects, this may be in a different area. If no experience the proposal shows some awareness of how to mitigate this through staff, networks, or other solutions.
Score = 1
The proposal builds on knowledge gained from delivering similar grant funded projects. The proposal shows awareness of how the project will be delivered. Score = 2
The proposal is based on experience of delivering multiple successful projects in a similar grant funded area. The proposal is logically structured and shows clear lines of accountability.
Score = 3
|Regional priorities||Proposals should outline how their project activities will meet the regional priorities of the region they are applying in. The Regional priorities criteria are published on each region’s website and are linked in Section 11. Regional SMP Details.||Proposal does not meet or reference any of the regional priorities criteria as outlined by the relevant SMP region.
Score = 0
Proposal does not address regional priorities directly, however the project may meet the published requirements anyway.
Score = 1
Proposal considers regional priorities and has included that in its proposed plan, there is some detail how the proposal meets the requirements.
Score = 2
Proposals core activities are based around meeting the region’s needs as outlined by the regional SMP. There is a clear link from the project plan showing how the project meets that region’s needs.
Score = 3
|Community knowledge||The project should build on existing community knowledge, expertise, and links to existing community networks.||No knowledge of the local community shown and no plan to include community expertise or networks in delivery of the project.
Score = 0
Little direct community knowledge, expertise, or network links. Those that do exist there is no clear indication of how they will be utilised during project delivery.
Score = 1
Direct community knowledge, expertise or network links are highlighted in the proposal. These feed directly into how the project has been both planned and intends to deliver.
Score = 2
The proposal has been built around community knowledge, expertise or network links, these form part of the core proposal and the project intends to strengthen these networks and links.
Score = 3
SMPs also provide a short summary of each application on the scoring template column O. This should be no more than 100 words and outline the general areas that the project covers. This is a non-scoring section and will be used in tie break situations and to ensure there is no duplication of funding.
Impact (out of 12) Assessed by MHCLG
|Outputs and outcomes||It is essential that projects include clearly defined outputs and outcomes that are specific and identify how they will be measured. This should include what information will be recorded and how the project will ensure that it follows data protection laws and GDPR.||No method of measuring outcomes or outputs outlined or no confirmation that they will follow data protection laws and GDPR.
Score = 0
Outputs and outcomes are defined along with method for measuring. However, the methods are not specific and do not define how outputs and outcomes will be measured. The proposal must include confirmation that they will follow data protection laws and GDPR.
Score = 1
Outputs and outcomes are defined and there is a specific method for measurement. The proposal must include confirmation that they will follow data protection laws and GDPR.
Score = 2
There is a specific method for measuring outputs and outcomes that feeds into the project and enable the project to adapt its delivery. The proposal must include confirmation that they will follow data protection laws and GDPR.
Score = 3
|Success||Projects should be specific in how they intend to promote integration for HK BN(O) status holders. They should demonstrate how participants will be positively affected, the numbers expected to be reached and clearly define what ‘success’ will look like.||Success not defined.
Score = 0
Success is not clearly defined, there is no link from the project participants and outcomes to what the project hopes to achieve at culmination.
Score = 1
Success is defined, this includes expected numbers, how the project will assist in integration which link to the project plan, participant activity and the culmination of the project.
Score = 2
Success is clearly defined, with clear steps as to how the project will achieve it. The process is outlined and broken down into manageable steps. The proposal states how this will have a positive effect on BN(O) status holders’ integration and a justification for the number of participants expected to be reached.
Score = 3
|Awareness and engagement||Proposals should set out how they plan to raise awareness of the project and promote engagement among BN(O) status holders.||No evidence that either awareness or engagement have been considered in the project plan.
Score = 0
Awareness and engagement are mentioned in the plan but are not addressed directly.
Score = 1
Awareness and engagement are addressed in the project plan, there is some indication that the project will work to increase these as the project progresses.
Score = 2
There is a well-presented awareness and engagement strategy as part of the proposal. The proposal includes details of how awareness and engagement will form a core part of the ongoing project.
Score = 3
|Key objectives||Proposals must meet one or more key objectives of the scheme. These key objectives are:
- Enabling all new arrivals to fully contribute to life in the UK, both economically and socially, enriching our society.
- Allowing BN(O) status holders to feel fully part of British society, able to mix confidently with people of all backgrounds and provide a positive contribution to the UK and the areas in which they settle.
- Providing support to both resident communities and BN(O) status holders so they are welcomed and able to settle into their new communities.
- Enabling BN(O) status holders to get access to the right support services to help their settlement.
|Proposal does not address any of the key objectives.
Score = 0
Proposal does not address key objectives directly however the project may meet the published requirements anyway.
Score = 1
Proposal considers key objectives and has included that in its proposed plan, there is some detail how the proposal meets the requirements.
Score = 2
Proposals core activities are based around meeting one or more of the key objectives. There is a clear link from the project plan showing how the project meets one or more of the key objectives.
Score = 3
Regional SMP details
|Region||Website||Email for Applications|
|East of England||https://email@example.com|
|West Midlands||https://www.wmsmp.org.uk/||- firstname.lastname@example.org
|Yorkshire and Humberemail@example.com|