Bubble Up with Curious Minds

Children in an art classroom using materials.
Artsmark: Latest Schools Announced
July 17, 2020
Trustee Appointments
July 23, 2020
Children in an art classroom using materials.
Artsmark: Latest Schools Announced
July 17, 2020
Trustee Appointments
July 23, 2020

Call out for Expressions of Interest

Curious Minds is offering up to 40 commissions worth £2,200 each to community facing organisations and freelance teaching artists, to deliver extra-curricular cultural learning clubs in neighbourhoods across the North West of England.
Expressions of interest (EOIs) are invited from cultural organisations, freelance teaching artists, schools and youth organisations to deliver extra-time cultural learning clubs for 11-13 year olds, with a focus on meeting the needs of children transitioning to secondary school in September 2020.

The £2,200 fee is inclusive of VAT (where applicable), and to cover all* associated costs of running a minimum of 12 hours direct activity for a consistent group of 12–15 children; including staffing, venue and resources.

At least 8 commissions will be awarded to BAME led organisations or to partnerships delivering activity in neighbourhoods where a high proportion of black and ethnic minority families live.

Applicants must be willing and able to work collaboratively with at least two other delivery partners in neighbourhoods across the North West.

*N.B. Curious Minds has set additional funding aside to create an Access & Inclusion Fund to support delivery partners to offer places to children with additional needs who might otherwise miss out. Delivery partners should request this additional support as and when required.

Individual organisations and freelancers can express an interest in one or more of the following commissioning rounds, working with the same or different partners each time. This is a competitive bidding process.

Project Timeline
  • AUGUST 2020Round 1 ‘Pilot Phase’

    To deliver 12 hours of activity between 10 and 31 August:
    -> Opens for EOIs midday on Monday 20 July
    -> Applications now closed. Subsequent applications will be considered for later rounds
    -> Induction session: Wednesday 29th July 11am–12 midday and 1.30pm-2.30pm

    To deliver 12 hours of activity between 7 September and 18 December (including October half-term):
    -> Opens for EOIs midday on Monday 3 August
    -> Applications now closed. Subsequent applications will be considered for later rounds
    -> Induction session: Thursday 3 September

    To deliver 12 hours of activity between 26 October and 18 December (including October half-term):
    -> Opens for EOIs midday on Monday 31 August
    -> Closes midday on Monday 28 September
    -> Induction session: Thursday 8th October
Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, organisations and individuals must:
  • Have a proven track record or demonstrable expertise in delivering arts and cultural learning activities to children and young people.
  • Have identified 2 to 4 other suitably experienced individuals or organisations to apply (or ‘bubble up’) with. Each partner will be commissioned individually to work as part of a ‘neighbourhood delivery bubble’ to plan, promote, monitor and evaluate the activity.
  • Be willing and able to deliver 12 hours of club activity within the same distinct locality as their ‘neighbourhood delivery bubble’ partners; e.g. a particular estate or electoral ward that children would identify as being ‘where they live’. The 12 hours of activity can be spread across a minimum of 2 days to a maximum of 12 weeks.
  • Be available to join online induction, peer support and CPD activity on dates specified against each round. N.B. If you are applying to deliver as part of the summer pilot activity the induction will take place on 29th July 2020.
  • Be willing to recruit and support a consistent group (or bubble) of between 12 and 15 11-13 year olds to participate in a minimum of 12 hours of cultural learning activity. CYP bubbles must stay together throughout the 12 hours. They could spend all 12 hours with the same organisation/activity, or they could rotate around the different activities being offered through the ‘neighbourhood delivery bubble’. Activity must be delivered out of school hours, e.g. at weekends, after school or during school holidays. The only exception to this rule is where partnerships involve a special school.
  • Keep up-to-date with and follow government guidance designed to prevent further spread of Covid-19, e.g. maintaining social distancing and implementing good hygiene practices. You will be expected to complete a risk-assessment prior to activity commencing.
Information Sessions
Organisations and individuals interested in delivering Bubble Up clubs are invited to join one of the following online Information Sessions:

Please reserve a place on your preferred session via Eventbrite using the links above.

You can also address questions to: commissions@curiousminds.org.uk. We aim to respond directly to questions within 24 hours. Responses to questions posed will be posted on Curious Minds website.
Connect with partners
In order for applicants to find delivery partners to bubble up with we have created a Slack for you to connect.

How to apply
To express an interest, complete the online form using the link below.
Further information and guidance
1What questions are on the EOI form?
You will need to answer the following questions:

  1. Name
  2. Organisation
  3. Contact number
  4. Email
  5. Website
  6. Address & Postcode
  7. What is your area of expertise (e.g. art form, creative practice or work with children and young people)?
  8. What would children do and learn during their 12 hours with you? [max 300 words]
  9. Which neighbourhood do you plan to deliver the activity within? Tell us a bit more about the place, the families who live there and your connection to it? [max 300 words]
  10. Where would the activity take place (e.g. library, community centre, cultural venue, park, etc.)
  11. Who else is in your ‘neighbourhood delivery bubble’? N.B. you need to name 2 -5 organisations that are applying to deliver activity in the same place within the same round. If you need Curious Minds help to broker relationships or source suitable venues please tell us here.
  12. How do you plan to promote your offer to 11-13 year olds and their parents, e.g. local social media channels, leaflets, referrals?
  13. Please give an example of previous work with children and young people and/or plans to deliver other holiday or out of school activities [max 300 words]
  14. Would you describe your organisation or proposed activity as being BAME led? YES/NO
  15. Would you describe the neighbourhood where you propose to deliver activity as being home to a high proportion of BAME families? YES/NO

N.B. If your expression of interest is taken forward into the next round we will need to carry out further due diligence. We will ask to see your DBS certificate, safeguarding policy, public liability insurance and proof of bank account.
2Do we need to document how we would be identifying the 'needs' of young people?
[As in do you require evidence of research or would it be enough that we were thinking logically in terms of what we feel their needs would be considering the pandemic and their time away from ‘normality’?]

We do not need you to provide evidence of what children who are transitioning to secondary school post-covid need as these are well researched and documented already. We do however expect delivery partners to identify specific needs of individual children so that you can differentiate your delivery so that all children taking part get the best possible experience.

We have set aside additional funding to create an Access & Inclusion Fund that delivery partners can access if they need to purchase specialist equipment or resource so that children with additional needs do not miss out.
3Will the £2200 would be given to each individual/organisation within each bubble?
4Can I apply for all three rounds?
5With regards to the partners in the neighbourhood bubbles, is the actual work we do separate or must they link in some way under a theme?
At a minimum it is about partners working in the same locality connecting with each other to help promote their offers and recruit young people. However, partners might choose to develop deeper relationships, e.g. to link around a theme or to offer their activities on a carousel basis – we’re ok with that too.
6Could one of the Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble partners be an actual venue?
Only if the venue in question was proposing to deliver a distinct 12 hours of activity in their own right. Freelancers or organisations who do not have access to their own venue can use some of the commission fee to hire space within a community venue, e.g. school, community centre or library.
7Is there a final performance or end goal that we must provide evidence of?
It is up to individual delivery partners to decide. We are open to suggestions. We do expect you to have identified clear and achievable learning outcomes, e.g. what will the children have learned or be able to do as a result of spending 12 hours with you?
8Would comedy drama and improvisation be eligible?
Yes, we want to work with artists and creative practitioners across all art forms and cultural practice.
9Would one of the partners supplying a filmed dramatic element be eligible if parental permission was given?
Yes, we will probably want to document activity using film and photography so would ask that parental permission is sought to enable this. We are happy to provide templates and advice.
10Could you explain the guidance on rotating the 12 hour delivery between partners?
This is for you to work out with your Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble partners. The important thing is that children stay together in the same group, whether they spend all that time with one partner/organisation or if they move around the activities on a carousel basis.

We want to reach as many children as possible with this funding so we would encourage groups to be given access to 12 hours in total.

However, if a strong enough case was made, we would be prepared to consider allowing one group of children to take part in 12 hours of activity with each partner. E.g. if there were 3 delivery partners working in a neighbourhood bubble each commissioned to deliver 12 hours of activity, one group of 15 children could get access to 36 hours of out of school hours cultural learning activity.
11Can Curious Minds help with the recruiting process or is that all down to the providers?
We can help a little, e.g. sharing offers on social media or helping to produce press-releases, but we think local partners are best placed to drive the recruitment process.
12Will there to be more chance of us getting the commission if the group is recruited from a more deprived area with the CYP possibly being considered more vulnerable?
This is a competitive bidding process so yes, we will look at local indicators such as levels of deprivation, social mobility, etc when making final decisions. We want to use our resource where it can have the greatest impact but there are lots of needs not linked to social deprivation that we would consider. We know that all children, regardless of background, have been impacted by the Covid-19 lock-down so not working in an area of deprivation is not a deal breaker here. We want to test this way of working across a wide range of different communities.
13What would happen if not all the recruited CYP turned up for each session and the number became less than 12?
Nothing would happen, although we would want you to reflect why retention was an issue as part of the evaluation and learning process.

We intend to work with partners to ensure that a compelling offer is created that children will want to join and stick with. We understand that when something is offered for ‘FREE’ that people might not be as committed as if they paid for something. We would be happy for partners to charge a nominal fee to secure commitment, although we wouldn’t want this to be a barrier that prevented children who would benefit from missing out.

We would be willing to consider funding groups of less than 12 children where a strong case for doing so was made, e.g. venue size prevented larger groups or the specific needs of the children mean that a smaller group would be beneficial to learning.
14Would you require us to provide the venue's hygiene and safeguarding policy along with our own?
Yes. Where we commission freelancers who may not have a safeguarding policy in place, we will work with you to produce necessary risk assessments.
15Can the projects be delivered online or do they need to be face to face?
No, we will only fund proposals for face-to-face activity as part of the Bubble Up scheme.
16Is Curious Minds able to put us in contact with people we could 'bubble up' with? And if so, will this happen after the expression of interest deadline or before?
We will do our best but it will strengthen your application if connections have already been made with other local delivery partners.

We are encouraging potential delivery partners to register on The Culture Hub where they will be able to search for potential partners and post a brief asking for orgs to join a Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble.

We are also looking to set up a Slack where artists and organisations are able to connect and share ideas.
17What level of Public Liability Insurance cover would you require delivery partners to have?
The minimum amount of Public Liability Cover requires is £2m.
18Would a standard DBS check be suitable for delivery?
No, delivery partners would need to see Fully Enhanced DBS checks within the last 3 years.
19Is it okay for one person (in a bubble of 3) to travel to the communities. So, one person not living in NW but travelling to the other bubble members/communities?
Yes. As long as the activity is happening in the North West of England with children who live in the region (Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside).
20How are “facilitators” defined? artists plus others? who should the others be? Teachers? Parents?
A facilitator can be any of the above, although we expect them to be paid for their work on bubble up. When assessing applications, we will be looking for a strong track-record in delivering activity for and with children and young people alongside their level of expertise and credibility in their chosen artform.
21Does it have to be for Y7 children?
Yes – unless you provide a strong argument for why the age range of participants should be extended. E.g. if you work in a very rural place where not many Year 7’s live. Or, if you’re working with a special school where children are bubbled up across year groups.
22Do we have to have identified our Bubble Up delivery partners before applying?
No BUT it will strengthen your application if you have.
23What if one of more of the organisations or individuals that apply as part of a Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble isn’t successful but the other/s are?
We will do our best to connect you with other partners to make up the numbers. However, the strongest applications will be from Neighbourhood Delivery Bubbles where every partner presents a compelling and quality learning offer.
24Can a Local Authority be one of the partners within a Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble?
Yes, as long as they are proposing to deliver activity directly to children. Just providing a venue for the delivery to happen does not make them a delivery partner and in this case they would not be eligible for one of the commissions.
25If a Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble already exists in the area where we work, can we still apply to form another Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble in the same place?
Yes. We would encourage you to connect with each other, e.g. to support risk-assessments, marketing or evaluation.
26Would we be able to work with the local madrassahs to engage with year 7 pupils and do an arts project with their year 7s?
Yes. You would be able to apply for Bubble Up working with your local madrassah, although our funding can’t be used to promote any religion. If the mosque/s were just providing venues and participants they would not be eligible to apply to be part of a Delivery Bubble. However, if the mosque/s were going to deliver arts activities in their own right, working with different artists and different groups of children, they would need to apply separately and would form part of your Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble.
27What were the reasons previous applications were unsuccessful?
The main reasons for an application not being successful were:

  • The partnership did not qualify as a Neighbourhood Delivery Bubble, e.g. due to there being only two partners or one of the partners named was providing a venue only
  • Delivery Bubble partners who were named had not applied
  • All the partners were proposing to deliver the same activity
  • The geographical area proposed was too wide – the ‘hyperlocal’ criteria for this programme means a Neighbourhood Delivery Partnership works together to provide activities in a distinct neighbourhood or ward (the only exception to this rule is where a Bubble proposes to work in a rural area)
  • Other applications (from the same area) were stronger, in terms of artistic quality, progression and the potential for future sustainability and signposting
  • While some elements of the application were strong, there were some weaknesses in terms of artistic quality
  • While individual applications were strong, one or more in the same proposed bubble were weaker
  • The main activity did not qualify as cultural education

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