Broker Community Fund

Aviva Community Fund is now live with more exclusives for brokers in 2016

The Aviva Community Fund offers support and funding to local causes close to the hearts of you and your community. It gives me great pride to announce that we're open for entries between 13 September and 11 October and will continue to bring our brokers a range of bespoke benefits.

This year, we’re delighted to confirm that brokers will continue to benefit from a discrete prize pot which gives you and your project an even better chance to secure funding. As before, you’re be able to apply for different funding levels ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000.

The feedback we receive year after year tells us that brokers find taking part in this initiative so rewarding so please get involved. I hope to see lots of you getting behind your local projects and taking advantage of the many ways the Aviva Community Fund can support you to make a difference in 2017 and beyond.

Good luck

Phil Bayles

UKGI Chief Distribution Officer

  • 11 October

    Entries close

  • 21 October

    Voting opens

  • 18 November

    Voting closes

  • 22 November

    Finalists announced

  • 10 January

    Winners announced

How the competition works

Whether you’re looking to solve a problem, speed up an ongoing project or help in some other way, this is your chance to make a real difference to your local community. And it all starts with your great idea to support a local project.

Put your thinking cap on

Who could you partner up with to make a positive impact in your community?

Enter your project

Fill in our short entry form. There are six categories you can enter and four levels of funding to choose from.

Rally your supporters

Promote your project to as many friends, family, colleagues and customers as possible to get them to vote for it.

Fingers crossed…

The projects with the most votes will become finalists and judged before winners are announced.

Guide to submitting a project

The Aviva Community Fund offers you the chance to get funding to support an important cause in your community.

We want you to enter a project for your community and tell us what a difference these much-needed funds could make.

You can submit a project by filling in our short entry form between 13 September and 11 October 2016.

Get enough votes from friends, family, colleagues, clients and supporters in your community and you could reach the finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.

You have six categories to choose from:

Health, disability and well-being

Projects related to looking after people’s health and well-being. These could include anything from active living and sports groups and organisations to hospice care and community centres running well-being initiatives.

Supporting the younger generation

Projects that look after younger people, support family life and young people, education programmes, scouts groups, and more.

Supporting the older generation

Projects that offer help and support to the older generation, such as befriending and listening services, dementia charities, projects helping people older people get online, and more.

Sport in the community

Projects for community and grass roots sports clubs. This could include all-age, or age-specific projects, or sports activities aimed at encouraging particular groups of people to become more active.

Environment in association with the  Mirror

Projects that restore, protect, connect communities with and/or encourage the use of green spaces such as community parks, wildlife habitats and woodlands. Or projects that support or enable environmental initiatives such as recycling, renewable energy projects or environmentally friendly building methods.

Community support

Use this category if your project will have a positive effect on your community, but doesn't fit into the categories above. It could be a community development project, a project looking after the welfare of animals, or something else entirely.

The funding levels you can apply for are:

  • Up to £1,000
  • Up to £5,000
  • Up to £10,000
  • Up to £25,000

We offer additional awards for entries submitted by insurance brokers and financial advisers in each of the funding levels.

Download the project submission guide for brokers (PDF 2.75MB)

Terms and conditions (PDF 271KB) – it's not just the small print, it has really important information about submitting an entry.

  • Martin Parr
  • Heidi Greensmith
  • Nina Ahmad

Look out for more ACF team members coming soon, to help you with promoting your projects once voting is live.

Introducing the ACF team

Renowned for telling stories and sharing stories, the ACF team is a panel of experts that we have brought together to provide you with all the information you need to create a great project submission.

Starting with Martin Parr – celebrated photographer, Heidi Greensmith – master film story teller, director and writer and Nina Ahmad – journalist and wordsmith who will be sharing their top tips on how to create a compelling entry.

Watch the videos from Martin, Heidi and Nina on how to bring your project to life

Martin - The power of a picture - how to capture your story in a photograph

Video transcript

Telling your story through photography: advice from Martin Parr

How to bring the story of your organisation to life through the lens of a camera or smartphone.

Identify key moments that convey the personality of your community

Martin Parr: If you go out and try and photograph yourself you have to go in close, often people go too far away, and you have to identify if you like where the energy source is, and then sort of concentrate on that.

This is in Sheffield, this is the Loxley Silver Band, and I went to one of their rehearsals, and this guy was doing a trumpet solo, and you can see the absolute concentration and the puff that you have to put in. So I’ve focused on the fingers here, and the rest of his face, it’s all there, the detail, but it’s slightly out of focus. So you really get a sense of that real hard work that has to go into playing a brass band instrument.

Make sure you tell a story through the photos you take

Martin Parr: I think the better pictures tell a story within the single frame. You get a sense of what’s going on, there will be a contradiction there, there will be a point that’s being made through the photograph, and you can build up these little sections if you like of the narrative, and at the end you have 10, 20 pictures that really do give a sort of image of what this place was like, and the sense of feeling and the excitement of being at that particular event.

So this is Organised Kaos. They use a lot of things like trapezes, so that means that during sort of free time they’re often hanging upside down. So I was able to actually get these two kids who had a great relationship with each other, and someone the right way up, so it just makes it look surreal. So you’re looking all the time for little moments like this where you’ve got a little surprise in the photo but it also tells you a story at the same time.

Take lots of photos

Martin Parr: I think my advice is, take many more pictures, accept that you have to take a lot of bad pictures because if you just wait for the great moments then you sort of lose momentum.

To view Martin’s images and to support a project in your local community, visit

Heidi - Small screen stories - how to create community videos on your mobile phone

Video transcript

Telling your story through film

Hello, I’m Heidi Greensmith. I’m a writer and director. I make documentaries, music videos, commercials and I’ve just made my first feature film. I’m here today as part of the Aviva Community Fund Team to share with you my top tips on how you can bring your entry to life by using your smartphone to make a short film.

Making a short film is easy. Here are a few points to help you along the way:

  1. Think carefully about what you choose to shoot. Make sure you’re telling the viewer something interesting and if you’re asking a subject questions, encourage them not to answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  2. Smartphones have brilliant recording capabilities for your sound these days, but you do need to make sure that the room that you’re filming in is quite quiet. If you’re outside make sure that it’s not windy.
  3. Don’t think that you have to spend ages editing your film, a series of clips is just as effective at telling your story as a short film.

So that’s it from me. Have fun, good luck and I’ll be looking out for your films.

Nina - Make every word count - how to write the perfect entry

Video transcript

Hello I’m Nina Ahmad and I’m a freelance writer, and I’ve worked as an editor and a journalist across a range of national magazines and newspapers for the past two decades.

I’m working with the Aviva Community Fund to share some tips on how to write a compelling entry. I hope this advice will enable you to share your story and get across the passion and enthusiasm you feel for your charity or community project, while not forgetting the fundamental point of why you need this funding and how it will benefit your cause.

Here’s my advice on how to write an entry that will hopefully make you stand out:

  1. Make a start on your entry by determining your focus. To do this, ask yourself three questions: Why does your project need funding? Why does it specifically need funding now? And why does it need this level of support? Structure your answer around these questions and that way you’ll give as much information to the reader as possible to enable them to make an informed decision about who to vote for.
  2. As well as the facts, you’ll want to get across the energy, passion and enthusiasm you feel about your community project or charity. You can do this by using personal stories and anecdotes. Include the story behind your charity and stories of people that it has helped. This is your chance to really paint a picture for the reader so that they can empathise with you and really understand what this project means to you and the benefits that funding will give.
  3. Try to convey the facts clearly and accurately. Avoid using long paragraphs that are loaded with information. Try to be as concise as possible. Using short sentences will help you with this. The more you condense your information, the easier it is for a reader to take in all the information.
  4. Trust your instincts and be bold about asking for funding. Share the impact of the results. The more the reader can see tangible results, the more it will help you garner support.
  5. Finally, make the most of this experience. Writing a clear and focused entry will always help. Whatever the outcome, you can always use it for future PR and to help recruit members and volunteers.

I hope these tips have helped because funding opportunities are really important. Good luck with your entry and I look forward to reading lots of them in the coming weeks.

Martin Parr digital exhibition

To mark the launch of the 2016 Aviva Community Fund, we have collaborated with one of the world’s most celebrated photographers, Martin Parr, to unveil a new collection of digital images that offer Parr’s own unique perspective on British community life in 2016.

From urban Camden to a rural village in South Wales the images provide a chronicle of the modern day community across the UK. In Parr’s distinct style, they bring to life the inspiring work done by local groups that embody community spirit and were all awarded funding last year.

Winner success stories

Last year’s winners covered a wide range of projects and are making a huge difference in their communities

Blood Bikes

Video transcript

We were founded in about 2012. It was essentially a group of like minded motorcyclists who got together to look at the idea of having a Blood Bike group in this area. Volunteer riders I think we have around about seventy to eighty. We have quite stringent rules about riding, you can’t ride a blood bike until you have got your advanced riding qualifications.

The first person the hospital will contact will be our co-ordinator, our shift co-ordinator who’s a volunteer who sits at home by the telephone with a computer. They’ll take the call from the hospital and take some vital information, where it’s going to, where it’s going from, what the parcel is and how fast it has to get there.

They’ll ring the most appropriate person, that may be the nearest person, the person who’s freest. They’ll pass the job from there. I mean everything we do relies on our volunteers you know having bikes to do it. This has just increased the strength of our fleet to be able to support the air ambulance. We do it three hundred and sixty five days a year and having these these these vehicles on the fleet just supports that. It’s two hundred to three hundred miles a night that we’re doing and over the period of three or four years that’s a lot of miles.

We’ve recently gone through a quite a significant milestone in terms of five hundred thousand miles covered but we we need funds to buy these bikes. One of these bikes costs a thousand sorry fifteen thousand pounds to buy and put on the road and then three or four thousand pounds per year so we can’t do that without funds We provide our service free of charge but we have to pay for it somehow and that’s all down to fundraising and donations such as Aviva where we can apply for large pots of money to help us buy bikes.

I sent a message to the rest of the community to say “Guess what?” And that was it and several very excited emails came back “What – we’ve won it? The big one?” Yes we’ve won it! Excellent!


Video transcript

It came about that Friends of Raddlebarn are the Parent Teachers Association and we asked the children what we could do for them a couple of years ago and they asked for playground improvements so we started to have a look and we could see a few things. But what they asked for fundamentally was somewhere quiet, somewhere to sit, somewhere in the shade so we started to look at what facilities they were and it became apparent that the Infants were in desperate need of a new shelter.

I like the Happy House because you get to do fun things and you get to imagine and read books and create stuff and use your imagination a lot.

I became aware of the Aviva community award when it was launched. Local community policing told me about it but also Duncan Sutcliffe from Sutcliffe insurers.

We’ve been sent lots of photos of when it opened and lots of happy, smiling children. And it’s great to see the construction of the Happy House has gone on to spiral into lots of other things and the way that the community and the school has really come together.

It’s used by our before and after school clubs. The breakfast children come and do it and have a bit of fresh air, a bit of free time before the lessons start.

And then during the school day it’s used at break times and lunch times for children who not necessarily want to run around and go mad you know children, some children like to just to sit and read or chat quietly or play and then again sort of used for the after school children for that to be outside but still inside.

I like it because you can play with Lego and read some books.

And it’s also I know when the weather gets better it has already happened but used as an outdoor classroom. I know my daughter is lucky enough to still be in Infants and she’s had quite a lot of reading sessions in there at the end of the day. It’s just a different way of learning and it’s known to be a good way of learning. Children who have additional needs at school they come out and they have 121 sessions in there so it’s a very special place.

We hold lots of community events during the year. We have a charity coffee morning. At our Christmas bizarre it was the carol-oke station which the children just loved. At Easter it was a special book stall that we had. As we learn how to use it it will be used more and more with the community that it’s really helped us forge links with.

Thank you Aviva!

Newcastle Roller Derby

Video transcript

Newcastle Junior Roller Derby is a spin off from Newcastle Roller Girls which is an adult roller derby league and it’s been around for nearly seven years. Newcastle Junior Roller Derby was started in September last year after we decided that we wanted to accommodate younger people.

With roller derby being a full contact sport we can’t accept anyone under the age of eighteen and we had more and more enquiries about people joining us and we realised that there was demand for it so we set up the league.

Anybody between the ages of eight and seventeen can join/play junior roller derby. It’s really really good exercise. It works all your different muscle groups. It’s good cardio vascular.

For me one of the biggest benefits is teaching kids particularly about body confidence. It’s kind of transformed the way that they think about themselves and you know even in the short space of time that we’ve been doing it we can see such a difference particularly in some of the younger girls. They no longer see their bodies as kind of something it should look a certain way. They are starting to appreciate themselves for what their bodies can do as opposed to what they look like which is fantastic.

A lot of the people who come in to the sport have never played sport before because they didn’t find one that they liked or they didn’t feel like they fitted in. Roller derby is completely different it is very inclusive and you find for a lot of the kids as well it’s the first sport that they’ve tried and that they’ve enjoyed. It’s got a lot of benefits.

You know it changes people. It’s so good for their self esteem It’s a safe space for them to make friends you know it’s totally non judgemental.

I enjoy it because I get to see my friends and it’s nice to learn things that we haven’t did before.

We were able to buy kit so that we could hire it out so that people didn’t have to buy. The kit/safety equipment like your pads your helmet all stuff like that is quite expensive. So we wanted to be able to make it as inclusive as possible. We didn’t want anybody to feel like they couldn’t join in with roller derby. We’ve also started selling merch, so stickers t-shirts things like that.

We’re really kind of seeing this as an investment in the future of you know roller derby in Newcastle.

We couldn’t be playing the game without you guys so thanks a lot!

Sounds good? Submit your project

Visit the main Aviva broker site
Aviva Broker