The Near Neighbours programme offers small grants between £250 and £5,000, providing seed capital for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities.
This is a rolling programme with no deadlines but our second phase is due to run until March 2016 and we expect the grants programme to close near to this date. We will invest in a broad range of work including environmental, social, cultural, artistic and sporting ideas but they need to fulfil the following criteria.
1) Creating Association
We are looking to 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.
This is done by enabling communication and understanding in local neighbourhoods and through creating joint work, organisations or projects which address community needs.
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. We also want to see lasting relationships between people, which will continue naturally beyond the period of funding.
We are keen to give grants that positively impact and transform the neighbourhoods in which projects run. This could be done through something as simple as litter picking or as developed as reducing community tensions. Regardless of what the particular activity is we want to see it transform the local neighbourhood for good.
We have full details of all our criteria, including what we won’t fund and what we will prioritise in our Grants Criteria and Guidance which can be found here. Please read this in full before submitting an application.
Our application form is available for download here.
How to apply
To apply for one of our grants, please do the following:
- Check that your proposals fit our criteria. Full details of all our criteria can be found here.
- Speak with your local coordinator about your proposals. They are in place to support and help you apply. Contact details can be found here.
- Download and complete the application form. This is available for download here.
- Where possible, speak to your local Church of England vicar. They are able to act in an advisory role in support of your application. Click here to find your local Church of England vicar.
- Return your application to your coordinator. They will review it locally and may offer you recommendations, before forwarding it to our central office for final assessment.
- Your application will be assessed centrally. We will aim to make a decision within 14 days of receiving all information relevant to your application.
To support applicants, we’ve produced two example applications forms that may help you understand what we look for in an application: