Funding for our communities

We see it as our responsibility to build more than just the homes people live in. We want to build and support communities which can build successful lives.

Introducing iFund

Isos is working on a new strategic approach to community investment – known as the iFund. This sees our community involvement officers charged with submitting potential projects to a panel of Isos Group tenants for their consideration.

We have a region wide team dedicated to delivering initiatives which make a real difference to people’s lives. The team is a key supporter of community projects in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the North East.

Once our funding for projects comes to an end we can also help organisations secure continued investment from other funders to help keep the valuable services they offer running.

How iFund can help

Finding employment through football

Isos is the first organisation in the North East to work with both Sunderland Football Club’s Foundation of Light and Newcastle United’s Foundation – running courses to help families and adults become ‘work-ready’.

The projects we fund vary considerably, projects could be:

  • An employability project working with people to find employment which will in turn enable them to pay their rent
  • A project working with young people either helping with employment, education and training or providing diversionary activities to reduce complaints or anti-social behaviour
  • Working with people who are currently digitally excluded helping them to access online services. For example, setting up direct debits or paying bills, or accessing websites
  • A project working with people who have experienced mental health issues to help and support them as they gain confidence and improve their health and wellbeing.

Look Who's Cooking... | Jamie's Ministry

Budding chefs from South Tyneside are cooking up some delicious food as part of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food programme.

How it works

The iFund panel meets three times a year, with a ceiling of £15,000 for any one project.

Isos works in 11 local authority areas across the North East, and within those areas we’ve identified wards recognised as having priority needs and it is here that our community investment will be largely, but not exclusively, concentrated.

Armed with data on topics such as employment rates and educational attainment, schemes can be identified to address areas of need, working in consultation with the local community and often alongside other housing providers.

As a not-for-profit housing association, Isos has to ensure its work delivers value for money, and that community projects not only help individuals, but also help protect our income. This helps to ensure Isos can keep supporting this type of work in the future.

We also seek out projects which attract match funding, involve our tenants, offer a clear community benefit, and offer a realistic exit strategy for our involvement.

Alongside establishing what’s needed in the communities Isos serves, our officers are also asked to check certain 'core criteria' for each project. You can read more about this by downloading the iFund Applicant’s Guidance Pack in the related information section of this page.

Can I apply for funding?

Community and voluntary organisations are welcome to approach the Community Investment team with project proposals. All proposals will be assessed against the core criteria of iFund and whether they demonstrate that a grant will directly benefit a community where the Isos Group has homes.

If your project does not satisfy iFund’s core criteria, the team will direct you to our iSearch service.

Launched just last year to help organisations access possible funding streams, iSearch sessions give local groups and charities temporary access to GRANTfinder, an extensive grants and funding information database. The database has over 8,000 funding opportunities which can help smaller organisations get their projects off the ground.

Kids Kitchen a recipe for success

With a little help from Isos young chefs from Walker and Byker have been cooking up some delicious treats - and learning about healthy eating at the same time.

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