Third Sector Employability Grants Programme

Are you a third sector organisation? Do you currently offer, or would like to offer employability opportunities in your own community? Do you passionately support and enable people in your community?

About the Fund

CVO East Ayrshire have a designated role funded by the Local Employability Partnership to manage the grants for new and existing third sector providers in East Ayrshire which will help address unemployment and tackle poverty in East Ayrshire.

As the proud funding partners, we are thrilled to present the exciting Third Sector Employability Grants Programme, a groundbreaking collaboration with East Ayrshire Local Employability Partnership (EALEP).

Together, we can create exciting journeys for East Ayrshire residents, propelling them closer to the labour market, equipping them with the skills, qualifications or advice needed for long-lasting success. Our unwavering commitment lies in supporting every individual, by bringing these programmes right to the heart of our communities across East Ayrshire.

The ambition of this fund

The ambition of this fund is to support initiatives that support East Ayrshire residents of the ages 16-67 on their employability journey, whatever that may represent, at a grass roots community level.  The support is accessible to all smaller organisations, no matter how small or inexperienced, to support new groups or projects.  Your organisation does not have to have employability as the main focus, however the application must clearly demonstrate the benefits of delivery to people within the community.

Successful organisations will help to move individuals either into employment, or establish a route towards employment, by helping individuals through education and training opportunities, advice, guidance, and information.

Who can apply?

Applications will be accepted from a range of voluntary, ‘not for profit’ organisations, associations, groups and clubs or consortiums/partnerships which have a strong community focus for their activities and who have an annual turnover which does not exceed £500,000.

Applications Open: Tuesday 7th November 2023

How much can your organisation apply for? Organisations can apply for grants from £2,000 up to £10,000.

For further details, dive into our comprehensive guidance: Applicant Guidance document: click here >>

Download the Application Form for the Third Sector Employability Fundclick here >>

Completed applications should be returned to: Kian.Douglas@cvoea.co.uk

By the submission deadline: Thursday 18th January 2024.



CVO East Ayrshire will be hosting workshops for any organisation considering applying to the Employability Grants Programme. Register your interest in our workshop by emailing: Kian.Douglas@cvoea.co.uk

Submitting An Application Workshop: WG13, 13 – 15 West George St., Kilmarnock, KA1 1DH from 10am – 12pm on Friday 17th November 2023







Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund for Adults

About the Fund

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults (the Fund) was established in October 2021 and to date has distributed around £36 million to community initiatives supporting mental health and wellbeing across Scotland.

Funding for a third year of funding (£15 million) was announced in April 2023.

The Fund has a strong focus on prevention and early intervention and aims to support grass roots community groups in tackling mental health inequalities and address priority issues of social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention and tackling poverty and inequality.  There will be a continued emphasis in Year 3 on responding to the cost-of-living crisis and on those facing socio-economic disadvantage.

Who can apply?

The ambition of this Fund is to support initiatives which promote mental health and wellbeing at a small scale, grass roots, community level. It should be accessible to all groups, no matter how small or inexperienced they are. It can support both new and existing groups or projects. Groups do not need to have mental health and wellbeing as their main focus, but their application does have to clearly demonstrate benefit for the mental wellbeing of people in their community.

Applications will be accepted from a range of voluntary, ‘not for profit’ organisations, associations, groups and clubs or consortiums/partnerships which have a strong community focus for their activities and who have an annual turnover which does not exceed £5000,000.

Applications Open For Both Grant Programmes: Friday 29th September 2023

Please note organisations can only apply to ONE grant programme.

How much can your organisation apply for?

Small Grants Programme

Organisations can apply for small grants up to £5,000

Submission deadline: Wednesday 15th November 2023

Large Grants Programme

Organisations can apply for larger grants between £5,000 and £20,000

Submission deadline: Monday 29th January 2024

Please read Applicant Guidance before applying.

See our full Applicant Guidance document: click here >>
Download the Application Form for Small Grants: click here >>
Download the Application Form for Large Grants: click here >>

Email: wellbeingfund@cvoea.co.uk

Hard copy available from Belford Mill, 16 Brewery Road, Kilmarnock, KA1 3GZ between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.


CVO East Ayrshire will be hosting workshops for any organisation considering submitting an application to either the Small or Large Grants Programme.

The Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has been heavily oversubscribed in previous years and you are encouraged to register for a place on the appropriate workshop by emailing james.lindsay@cvoea.co.uk

Submitting An Application Small Grants Programme: WG13, 13 – 15 West George St., Kilmarnock, KA1 2BD from 9.30am – 11am on Thursday 12th October 2023

Submitting An Application Large Grants Programme: WG13, 13 – 15 West George St., Kilmarnock, KA1 2BD at 12.30pm – 2 pm on Thursday 12th October 2023





Cumnock Community Wellbeing  Centre

We and are delighted to share exciting news about plans for a new wellbeing hub in Cumnock at the former Bakehouse – 12 Kilnholm Place. Cumnock Community Wellbeing Centre  will be developed alongside local people, and supported by CVO East Ayrshire

Cumnock Community Wellbeing Centre will provide a welcoming space at the heart of the community. The “your community, your choice, your voice” approach we have adopted will encourage a better sense of togetherness locally and help create a community led space that is built around people’s strengths, interests, and aspirations.

To share your input & ideas on the development please complete the following survey https://us21.list-manage.com/survey?u=5d9d1f6a294ea5983fb4d47e4&id=69bb26653f&attribution=false

We would like to thank the Scottish Government who supported this project by awarding the funds to purchase the property.  Moving forwards, the partnership will look to secure a funding package to fully renovate the building, with any works completed within an estimated 18-month timeframe.



CVO East Ayrshire manages and delivers services for the community including:

Ayrshire East Foodbank

Feeding local people in crisis. Donations can be handed in at:

Open Doors Community Hub, 11-15 Old Irvine Road, Kilmarnock

Monday to Friday between 10 am and 3.30 pm.

For more information, please call 01563 574000.


Cleaning with a Conscience

Offering domestic, commercial and hoarding cleaning services.

If you are considering using Cleaning with a Conscience there are two ways to contact us.

By Telephoning 01563 574000 or see our page for further details.

Our new information leaflet and referral forms are also available for download>>


Open Doors is a Community Hub

In the heart of Kilmarnock town centre which provides a safe place where people can access
a wide range of activities and supports aimed at providing health and social benefits,
improving life chances and signposting to opportunities within the community.

For more information please call 01563 550951.

Open Doors Community Hub, 11-15 Old Irvine Road, Kilmarnock KA1 2BD


The Graft Project

A range of gardening services to support tenancies.

For more information, please call 01563 574000.



Social enterprise restaurant, venue, and community digital hub delivering good food, retail,
entertainment, training, and telehealthcare in the heart of Kilmarnock on West George Street.

For more information, please call 01563 594600.


Door 2 Door – Catering with a Conscience

Our Social Enterprise Restaurant WG13, on West George Street, Kilmarnock has been delivering freshly prepared frozen meals from November 2020. This has been proving as an essential service for those experiencing difficulties accessing or cooking meals.

Please visit our page for our Door 2 Door Menu, Registration, and Order forms or call 01563 594600.


Positive Destinations @ WG13

Our Positive Destinations bus is a double decker catering bus, equipped with fully functioning kitchen downstairs and an upstairs seating area. Our bus is available to hire for events and we have a range of catering options available. Our bus lends an opportunity for hospitality trainees to demonstrate their skills and provide a range of delicious hot foods, tea and coffee or cold snacks. Our skilled staff will also be in attendance to ensure that catering runs smoothly. Upstairs can be used as dining space or for seated activities such as arts and crafts, face-painting, glitter tattoos and much more. Our staff can facilitate activities at your event if required and the bus is popular with children, young people and adults alike.


For further information, please contact us:
Email: bookings@wg13.co.uk
Phone: 01563 594600

Feet 1st

Feet 1st is a low-cost toe nail cutting service, managed by The CVO East Ayrshire for anyone
who is unable to cut their own toenails.

It is delivered by the service team leader, who manages a team of volunteers, all of whom
have undertaken appropriate training and are supported by the NHS Podiatry Team.

For more information, please call 01564 574000.



CVO East Ayrshire is the main contact for Volunteering within East Ayrshire. If you are an organisation and you would like to advertise a volunteering opportunity, or if you are interested in volunteering please contact 01563 574000 or email volunteering@cvoea.co.uk

Find us on Facebook @VolunteeringCVOEastAyrshire


Our Wee Place Shortlees

A community-based project in Shortlees (Kilmarnock) to involve local people in new activities.

For more information, please call 01563 259058


Digital Hub

Pro-active peer support for East Ayrshire Seniors including Connect Call telephone service for older people.

For more information, please call 01563 574000.


Shop Social with CVO East Ayrshire

Our online store encompasses three of our Social Enterprise ventures.

Little Shop Big Stories on Bank Street Kilmarnock is our Retail Store that stocks Social Enterprise and Fair Trade gifts from suppliers all over the UK.

Grafix Printshop is a personalised print house based at our Open Doors Hub. They work closely with our retail store to provide the most fantastic gifts and at the same time provide an avenue into employment for those with additional barriers, creating a practical workspace offering commercial work experience.

Carving Futures is a Social Enterprise that provides quality craftsmanship and bespoke design.
We support our trainees to gain qualifications and offer them diverse training which will enhance their chances of sustaining future employment.

All three are featured on our online store www.shopsocialcvoea.com

CVO (East Ayrshire) Ltd supports the growth of a diverse third sector in East Ayrshire

We do this by providing services, support and representation at strategic and operational levels. The sector is large and complex ranging from small community groups run by one or two volunteers, to large social enterprises with many employees. Whatever the size of the organisation, CVO East Ayrshire is the conduit to the private and public sectors.

Part of our remit is as a partner in the Third Sector Interface and, in that role, we represent the sector on over 20 different partnerships, locally and nationally.  These include Community Planning, Financial Inclusion, Employability, Reshaping Care for Older People, Health and Social Care Integration, and Early Years.

We deliver training, capacity building and development support to our members and the wider sector. Topics range from fundraising and social enterprise to committee skills and charity law.

In addition, we believe in leading by example and have set up and grown a number of social enterprises, supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our community and providing employment and volunteering opportunities.

More recently we have assumed responsibility for the management of Ayrshire East Foodbank and co-ordinate the supply of emergency food to those in need across the area.

Training and Events Schedule

For more information please click here

News… Click here for more news from CVO East Ayrshire>>