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Comic Relief Core Strength – Local Communities

This fund is now closed

Core Strength – Local Communities
Grants of £1,000 to £5,000 available 

This 12 month programme is responding to the growing need of small locally led groups to cover their day to day costs. The aim is to provide funding for groups’ core costs – meaning expenditure that is not connected to delivering projects but focusing on investing in the organisation as a whole, such as basic running costs.


The Grant shall be used to support groups that can evidence a sustained beneficial impact on people’s lives who are excluded or disadvantaged this may be through low income, rural or social isolation, age, disabilities, race, sexuality or gender. Priority is to be given to small, locally based groups or organisations in areas of disadvantage that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community and are undertaking actions as a means of addressing these needs.

Who Can Apply?

You must be a locally led and based organisation. This means you are based within the area you are carrying out activities and have local people involved in the running of the organisation. As such we accept applications from the voluntary and community sector including:

• constituted voluntary and community groups
• charities
• social enterprises
• co-operatives
• community interest companies

Your organisation will need to have been running activities for a minimum of 12 months.

Your annual income must be £100,000 or under for your last full financial year. You will need to provide your accounts to prove this.

To be considered for funding you will need to:

• Be working in a disadvantaged or deprived area
• Have limited access to other sources of income
• Clearly define the need you are addressing
• Clearly demonstrate the benefit of your activities to local people
• Illustrate how you aim to deliver social outcomes
• Provide clear evidence that your services provided are inclusive to all

Who cannot apply

• Organisations who are in receipt of a grant directly from Comic Relief (you can apply if you have funding from the Comic Relief Community Cash programme)
• Individuals
• Statutory organisations, including schools, universities or hospitals
• Private limited companies
• National organisations, unless the application is submitted by a local office with a separate management committee, bank account and governing documents
• Organisations whose purpose is to promote party politics or religion. Your organisation must be inclusive to all at every level of the organisation (from trustees to staff to volunteers and beneficiaries) and this must be reflected in your governance and in practice.

Themes and outcomes

The Core Strength – Local Communities fund sits under the Comic Relief programme of Building Stronger Communities. The work and main focus of your organisation should fit one of the Comic Relief priorities. This means the majority of your work fits under one of the following priorities:

1. Connected communities
We are looking for organisations who work to improve inclusion and cohesion in their neighbourhoods. You should be working to help people find common interests, overcome fear and misconceptions and connect people together. This could be supporting the most marginalised people in your area to make connections or getting people from different backgrounds together. You may also focus on working with people who are isolated because of who they are to improve their ability to engage in their local community.

We believe a community where you know your neighbours and help each other is a stronger, happier and healthier community.

2. Productive communities
We want to help create flourishing communities, where people feel they are personally thriving,
whilst sharing a sense of purpose and prosperity – rather than just ‘making ends meet’. We are looking for organisations who help this happen – it could be through those who provide employment and work support or enterprises / community owned assets whose purpose is to help local residents out of poverty for example

3. Empowered communities
We want communities to be heard and to be able to make the changes they need to thrive. Your organisation will focus on building the confidence of local people to tackle the issues they face and empower them to make changes as they need. This could be through building up skills and ability of local people to campaign and take action, or for single issue groups to improve their circumstances through awareness raising for example. This is about supporting community led solutions to improve their own lives.

If your organisation fits one of the above priorities then we would encourage you to consider what would help you over the next 12 months to run your organisation. It could be as simple as paying rent for 12 months or it could be funding additional hours of staff time to focus on creating and implementing a business or fundraising plan that would have an impact on the whole organisation

What you need to apply:

We will ask for the following supporting documents to uploaded with your application:

– A copy of your governing document (e.g. constitution, memorandum & articles or set of rules).
– A copy of your most recent annual accounts or management accounts if these are unavailable.
– A photocopy of a bank statement no more than 3 months old. The bank account must be in the name of the organisation applying.
– Copies of your safeguarding and equal opportunities policies, if you need support with safeguarding we suggest seeking guidance from the Safe Network.
– A list of the names and addresses of your management committee. You need a minimum of three unrelated management committee members to be eligible for the grant.

The Round 2 deadline was 31st May 2018.

The grants panel will take place mid July 2018.

This fund is now closed

Please read the full guidelines before you apply: Guidelines for Applicants

(Note that we are unable to change the text on the guidelines as they are a pdf version – but maximum grants are £5,000 not £10,000).


Maximum grants are £5,000


Contact us on 0116 2624 916 or email or should you have any queries at all.