Bright Ideas Funding

The next round of applications runs 22nd January – 23rd March.

Panel meetings will be on 11th and 19th April 2018.

We know that there are lots of people in our communities with great ideas about how to reduce social isolation and loneliness for people aged over fifty.  Brightlife has funds to give to groups and organisations to run projects on our behalf …and one of the ways we do this is through Bright Ideas.

Bright Ideas

In response to feedback we received from the first round of Bright Ideas, we altered the application process to make it more accessible and user-friendly. A Bright Ideas Guide and Application Form takes applicants through each stage of the process. Should you require further support developing your idea, our partners at Chester Voluntary Action (CVA) are on hand to help you at each stage.

Supporting Workshops

In addition to the support offered by Chester Voluntary Action, we also host FREE Bright Ideas workshops where applicants can share ideas and ask questions. (sign up for the Brightlife newsletter here to receive details when dates are announced).

**** CANCELLED **** workshop on 13th February at The Barbour Institute, High St, Tattenhall CH3 9PX  Due to insufficient numbers, we have had to cancel the Tattenhall workshop. However if you would like more information about the Bright Ideas process please call Chris Mitchell on 01606 884444

Who can apply?

Bright Ideas funding is open to individuals as well as existing community organisations operating in the Cheshire West and Chester region and is supported by workshops to help you submit your application.  All types of community organisations can apply (not just those that exist for the exclusive benefit of older people), providing applicants can clearly show how their project idea will help address social isolation amongst people aged 50 and over.

How much funding is available?

Community groups and organisations can apply for any amount between £5,000 and £20,000 to fund a project between 12 and 18 months. In order to be considered, you need to be able to tick all the boxes on our Bright Ideas Checklist:

  • Will your Bright Idea cost between £5,000 and £20,000?
  • Will your Bright Idea reach out to and help people you are not already currently working with?
  • Will your Bright Idea be able to carry on in some form when the Brightlife funding comes to an end?
  • Will you be able to commit to Brightlife’s evaluation processes

If you think your Bright Idea could answer YES to all the above, please download the BRIGHT IDEAS GUIDE and APPLICATION FORM (below) for a step-by-step guide to the application criteria and process.

Who decides who gets funded? 

Brightlife’s Older People’s Alliance, a group of trained volunteers, makes the decisions about how the Bright Ideas funding is allocated. Brightlife is pioneering a unique method of commissioning to allow ideas from local individuals and smaller community groups to be heard.  Very often, wonderful ideas from the heart of a community are stifled before they’ve had chance to be fully considered, developed and funded. Our goal is to encourage diversity, broaden reach, ignite creativity and create a movement that puts older people in the spotlight.

January 2018 Panels

The next round of applications opens on 30th October until the deadline of 15th December. Panel meetings will be on 9th and 18th January.

There will be another update once the current bids have been assessed.

What’s already been funded?

Over the course of the Brightlife project, Bright Ideas funding will be awarded over four rounds. The first in Summer 2016, the second November 2017, the third January 2018, and the fourth April 2018.

Summer 2016 funding was awarded to:

Abbotswood – Digital Peer Training (£2,500)
Muir Housing – Brighter Days (£5,596)
OPAL (Older People Active Lives) – New Horizons (£8,752)
OPAL (Older People Active Lives) – What’s Cooking (£8,425)
Body Positive – Silver Rainbows (£20,000)

Autumn 2017 funding has been awarded to:

LIVE! – Bridging the Gap (£17,699)
CHAWREC (Cheshire and Warrington Race and Equality Centre) – CommUnity Kitchen (£19,113)
Holy Trinity Church – Blacon on the Move (£15,700)
The Welding Academy – Fabweld 50+ (£19,905)
Flatt Lane and Stanney Grange Community Centre – Lite Bites Lunch Club (10,258)
Active Cheshire – Sporting Memories (£20,000)
Cheshire Deaf Society / Deafness Support Network – Sparkle Cafe (£19876)
Cheshire Wildlife Trust – Create For Nature (19,070)
Vision Support – Vision Supported Communities (£20,000)
Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside – Growing Connections (£18,926)
MHA Ellesmere Port and / Neston Live at Home Scheme – Engaged Motivated Informed (£19,700)
Motherwell Cheshire CIO – Bright Stars (£17,884)
The Neuromuscular Centre Cheshire Centre for Independent living Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust – Read and Connect (£20,000)

How can I find out more?

Call Chris Mitchell on 01606 884929 or email

Brightlife Funding

The Big Lottery Fund uses National Lottery funding to support Brightlife.

Brightlife is funded until March 2020 to test methods of reducing social isolation in Cheshire West and Chester.  It is one of fourteen ‘Ageing Better’ projects across the UK exploring innovative ways to identify and engage with people aged over fifty who are socially isolated. Brightlife is managed and supported by a partnership, led by Age UK Cheshire, which brings together public, voluntary, community and faith organisations from across Cheshire West and Chester. Brightlife is being evaluated by the University of Chester.

Fill out the application form below and return to Chris Mitchell (Contracts and Commissioning Coordinator), Brightlife, 314 Chester Road, Hartford, Northwich CW8 2AB by 23rd March 2018 or email it to

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Name *

Surname *

Email *