Near Neighbours is a partnership of the Church of England Archbishops Council and the Church Urban Fund. The programme has now re-opened for a new small grants round. Administered by Leicester’s St Philip’s Centre, the grants scheme will be very similar to the original programme when it supported 81 projects over three years with a total of £204,000.
The whole of the City is still an eligible area though applications must concentrate on individual neighbourhoods.
Grants of between £250 and £5,000 for 6 months work are available to:
- provide seed capital for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours
- develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities.
Both faith and secular groups can apply as long as they can demonstrate that they actively include local neighbours of more than one faith in their project. You do not have to be a registered charity or have a bank account to apply.
This is a rolling programme with no deadlines but the second phase is due to run until March 2016 and the grant programme is expected to close near to this date. Grants will support a broad range of work including environmental, social, cultural, artistic and sporting ideas, but they need to fulfil the programme’s criteria which include:
1) Creating Association
Projects should encourage stronger civil society in areas that are multi-religious and multi-ethnic by creating association, friendship and neighbourliness. The programme intends to bring together people of different faiths and of no faiths to transform local communities for the better.
2) Local and Sustainable
The programme aims to build association as deeply and sustainably as possible in local neighbourhood contexts. So a key criterion is that grants are spent in ways which bring together people from different ethnic and faith communities which impact specifically locally.
Grants should positively impact and transform the neighbourhoods in which projects run.
For more information visit the St Philip’s Centre website: http://www.stphilipscentre.co.uk/near-neighbours/