Step Change

What is it?

  • an accelerator of existing potential
  • consultant-led 1:1 or small group meetings over time that are facilitative rather than prescriptive
  • not a funder telling a beneficiary what to do
  • a process of development that has targets/outcomes agreed at all stages by the organisation, consultant and funder
  • those stages can be described as follows:


Covid resilience support

None of us needs reminding what a hard time the past 18 months has been, but as we adapt to living with Covid and something like everyday life resumes, the stresses and strains of life under lock down at a time of global crisis leave their mark.  As a local funder with around ninety active grant holders, we have a lot of conversations with community organisations and charities who have been weathering the storm in all sorts of different ways. One of the concerns raised consistently amongst those we listen to, is the human effects of the crisis on them, their organisations, and their teams. Some experience tension and challenges bringing teams back together after periods of furlough, for others there is anxiety about returning to an office environment or directly delivery programmes back in the community. And for senior leaders and Trustees, the strain of navigating their organisations through 18 months of unusually high levels of uncertainty and dynamic change. All these factors risk the health and sustainability of our vital community organisations.

We are therefore encouraging eligible organisations (those who fit the existing FCSCT eligibility criteria, which can be found at ) to apply for up to £4,000 as part of our existing Step Change programme, specifically to help address these needs. Organisations should determine their own solutions, which may included but are not limited to – team and/or board development events, coaching or mentoring for key staff, structured well-being programmes for staff and volunteers. For guidance and advice about what other solutions would be considered and to direct you to local facilitators who may be able to provide support, please get in touch with the team at FCSCT by calling 01539 742608, or emailing Helen or Kevin on:

Applications can be made using the Trust’s standard application form which can be downloaded from or get in touch directly and we can post or email a copy directly.

Criteria for engagement

  • must be a charitable organisation that is an existing, recent or potential beneficiary of the trust
  • the consultant* will reflect our values and modus operandi … which are:
    • Respect for the skills of charity and community leaders
    • Valuing the contribution of volunteers
    • Understanding the unique demands of the sector
    • Enabling learning rather than ‘doing it for them’
    • Outcome/change focussed

*FCSCT will not assign a consultant for Covid resilience applications. Successful applicants for Covid resilience support should source and engage facilitators, coaches or consultants, as appropriate to the particular solution they are seeking. As with other grants, retrospective costs will not be met.

What are we (FCSCT) seeking?

  • to ensure that any future support is used to its optimum level by recipient  organisations
  • to better equip individuals and organisations for the challenges ahead
  • to upskill the sector

The process

  • no consultancy happens without the recipient organisation agreeing to it and committing to engaging with the process
  • if the organisation is interested, a no obligation first meeting is arranged between them and the consultant.
  • if all parties agree, a consultancy agreement is then drawn up (including a plan of work over a specified time) and
    signed by the funder, the organisation and the consultant
  • any reporting back to the funder is with the explicit agreement and approval of the organisation

Please note, Step Change awards are made independently of other FCSCT grants and are not a pre-cursor or guarantee of future funding.