Friday 20th April 2018
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Your Say, Your Way

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Your Say, Your Way (YSYW) funding is a way in which community members can apply for funding to help to make their community project ideas become a reality.

We work together with Beds and Luton Community  Foundation and EU Community Led Local Development (CLLD) to provide YSYW funding.

Managed by our SCS team, YSYW is a creative way of allocating money to local projects across the town.

Applications for funding comes in and, once projects are assessed as meeting some very basic criteria, residents score the proposals based on what they would like to see happening in their area.

The projects that receive the highest scores are then allocated the money. In this way, local priorities come directly from local people.

Can YSYW help the area where I live?

If you have an idea for your own neighbourhood that would improve it in some way, then YSYW funding could be just what you’re looking for to start the ball rolling.

We know that there is a lot of community work going on out there, whether it is about working together on community cohesion programmes, making improvements to the environment or helping communities  to form a sporting/cultural group, and each project is vital to the people who live in the area or take part in those activities.

We also know that without this type of community involvement our town would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. It means that:

  • communities come together
  • areas are cleaned up
  • people take part in physical, creative and social activities
  • new sessions can be planned or items of equipment purchased to broaden the scope of what is provided

Better still, completely new projects can be developed to fill gaps in local provision or to bring something new and fantastic to the neighbourhood, including community spirit!

Following successful agreement with the Luton Local Action Group, (LLAG) who run the EU Community Led Local Development  (CLLD) project, there are currently two opportunities to apply for YSYW funding.

In spring, those groups and projects can apply for up to £7,500 funding, funded by the CLLD fund and our usual YSYW partners, but due to funding restrictions the beneficeries of the funding must be residents of the following wards:
  • Biscot
  • Dallow
  • South
  • High Town
  • Farley
  • Northwell
  • Leagrave
  • Lewsey
  • Round Green
  • Crawley
  • Sundon Park
In autumn, groups from across Luton can apply for up to £1,250 to assist their projects from the annual YSYW funding. The spring cycle is now open for applications. Keep an eye on this page for details of application processes and dates for each round of funding.

What kind of projects will YSYW fund?

Things that are perhaps missing in communities, but are seen as being very important, can be helped by this small injection of funding. These can include:

  • notice boards
  • community gardens
  • clean and pleasant underpasses
  • lunch clubs
  • junior youth clubs
  • over 60s activities
  • adult learning classes


YSYW funding is overseen by a team of Area Projects & Involvement officers who cover the whole town, as shown in the tab below. It is advisable to think about which ward your project will take place in (a ward is a defined area/neighbourhood) and then apply in that ward.

I want to apply

To apply  for YSYW funding, complete an online application form using the orange button below. Applications must be in by 21 April.

A printable version is available at the bottom of the page. Paper versions should be completed and sent by email or post using the contact details below.

I need more help

We've produced some guidance notes to give you a bit more information about who can apply, timescales, dates and more. Open the tab below or download a printable version at the bottom of the page.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


YSYW guidance notes


  • What is YSYW and what can it fund?
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Timelines

What is YSYW and what can it fund?

The YSYW programme is currently running across Luton, funded by:

  • Luton Council
  • London Luton Airport
  • Beds and Luton Community Foundation

It aims to involve local people from across the whole community in influencing the decisions affecting their neighbourhoods.

YSYW is part of this process and brings a local funding opportunity for grassroots community projects to your wards (the town is divided into 19 wards for the purpose of local elections) every year.

What is the YSYW funding opportunity for local people, community groups and local organisations?

As a resident, the YSYW funding opportunity enables you to decide on how funding for community projects should be spent in your local area.

You can do this by voting in person at a Decision Day, or online.

If you are part of a community group, local organisation or a resident and you have an idea for a project to improve your ward, you are able to apply for funding. If it meets funders’ criteria and other residents like the project and vote for it, then you could get funding to support your idea.

What can a YSYW grant fund?

The programme is for community led projects that can support work to improve local neighbourhoods by addressing the needs and of local communities.

The key overall priorities for projects are bason on our Luton Investment Framework (LIF), which presents a clear and coherent plan for Luton as a community, partners and potential investors.

The LIF ensures everything we do is focused on:

  • supporting safe, strong and cohesive communities
  • enhancing skills and education
  • improving health and wellbeing

Want more information?

Specific contact details are in the tab below, but you can also email a general enquiry to

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for YSYW funding, projects must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. linkage with local priorities
  2. building community development and widening involvement
  3. benefits and outcomes for local people
  4. clarity on project and how it will work and be managed
  5. realistic budget and value for money
  6. impact on sustainability

Frequently asked questions

What is YSYW?
YSYW is a creative way of allocating resources. Residents vote on proposals they want to see happening in their own neighbourhoods. In this way they participate directly in the allocation of resources. The funding available through YSYW Decision Days is aimed at addressing and tackling priorities and the needs of local residents.

Where can projects be delivered?
The ward or area you apply to for funding is the one in which you will deliver the project, or else the area where the people who benefit from your project come from.

If you are planning to deliver a project for residents of a ward but want the activity to take place elsewhere, you can still apply but as with all projects you will need to be able to provide proof of their residence, eg using registers etc.

You may apply for funding from more than one ward.

Who can apply?
Any community member, community group or local organisation that can deliver projects within the stated area, as long as:

  1. the group is constituted/has agreed terms of reference
  2. the group has a recognised organisation that can act as banker – either the group itself or, for example a school, church, mosque etc.
  3. organisers are able to demonstrate compliance with relevant statutory requirements, eg DBS checks for working with children, vulnerable adults, equal opportunities and health and safety
  4. the group does its work 'not for private profit'
  5. the group has not applied for YSYW funding for the ‘same thing’ for the ‘same project’ before
  6. the group is not making more than one application for YSYW funding (eg a PTA cannot complete an application for afterschool activities and another one for a drama production) in one ward. - there can only be one bid per group/single organisation per war
    please note: organisations or groups who use the same building can all apply, for example, a church may accommodate a toddler group and a lunch club, and both could apply individually

Assistance can be given after the initial applications have been received to support groups with (a) to (c) above. Please contact us as soon as possible when you are considering your proposal and application if you have any questions about the above.

Can I apply for funding in more than one ward?

An organisation can only apply for funding in a maximum of two wards even if the projects are different.

Is there help available with filling in application forms?

Support is available from the YSYW team,and workshops will take place for community group representatives to attend for help developing project ideas and completing application forms (please see timelines below).

Please telephone your YSYW Area Officer (contact details below) to discuss your needs, find out more and to book your place(s).

Can statutory organisations submit applications?

Not directly, but applications from statutory organisations can be considered if they apply as a partner with a local community organisation (eg a PTA and a local school, a Neighbourhood Watch group and the police etc).

They also have to show that they are directly delivering services to the local community benefitting from the YSYW funding area, and that the money applied for is not being used to replace existing mainstream provision.

How much can be applied for?

Community members and funders – who vote for the projects - are looking for maximum value for money from a range of projects and groups are invited to bid for up to £7,500 in this cycle.

There will be another round of applications in the autumn but during that cycle groups can only apply for up to £1250.

Why do we need an explanation of how projects meet local peoples’ needs and priorities?

This is to allow for appropriate allocation of funds as fairly as possible, and to show all the ways in which your project can help improve the neighbourhood.

The more you can explain how your project meets local needs and priorities, and our overall priorities, the more interest it will get from residents who vote on it.

The money available under each theme from funders also reflects the LIF’s priorities, so the more your project can explain how it will benefit local people, the better chance it will have of securing funding.

How much detail is required regarding the project?

The application form is designed to be simple to complete, but the more relevant information you can include, the better!

Please don't exceed the maximum number of words specified on the form – and feel free to use bullet points.

You're welcome to attach any supporting documents or information.

A detailed budget breakdown is also part of the assessment of projects and, as explained in the previous section, it is important that you include a clear description of how the proposal will address and tackle local priorities and benefit local people.

What is YSYW Decision Day event?

This is where the groups and organisations submitting bids will need to do a three minute presentation to the local community.

The presentation will give:

  • details on what the project is
  • information about how the project will benefit the community
  • any other details the presenter feels the community need to know to make their funding bid successful

Local residents are given the opportunity to ask few questions on the project and are also able to vote anonymously on which projects they want to see funded in the area.

All projects will need to do a three to five minute presentation on the Decision Day event.

Due to time constraints, all IT based presentations must be available to organisers at least three days in advance of the Decision Day and cannot be changed after that.

We do encourage you to be more interactive and creative with your presentation, ie live demonstrations by dance groups, young and older volunteers presentations, display boards or handouts where possible.

What do I do if I have any other concerns about the application and presentation process?

If there are any concerns both prior to submission of applications and in the run up to the Decision Day events, the YSYW team will be happy to answer any queries. You can contact them on using the contact details in the tab below.


Spring 2018

Saturday 21 April 2018 - closing date for applications and check eligibility for YSYW spring cycle
Followed by project summary sheet sent for eligibility check

Friday 4 May - eligible applicants are notified and invited to make a presentation of their project to the town-wide Decision Day

Saturday 12 May - YSYW spring cycle Decision Day event
Shri Guru Ravidass Sangat,31 Cardigan Street, LU1 1RP
10am to 4pm (length of event subject to number of applications being presented and voted on)
Applicants and supporters must be present for the full day in order to present and/or vote.

Autumn 2018

Launch of YSYW autumn spring - 12 May 2018
TBC - application form and presentation skills workshop
Monday 23 August 2018 (stc) - closing date for applications and check eligibility for YSYW autumn cycle
Followed by project summary sheet sent for eligibility check

Seven days before Decision Day - eligible applicants are notified and invited to make a presentation of their project to the Decision Day

Decision Day details will be listed here at a later date.

Contact details for Area Projects & Involvement officers




 Contact information

Your Say, Your Way

Strategic Community Services Office, Lewsey Community Centre, Landrace Road, Luton, LU4 0SW

Tel: 01582 546985 or 01582 548776
Contact us