London Together

Midday, 21st March 2018

Midday, 16th May 2018

Applications for min. of £25,000 and max. of £150,000

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About the initiative

Comic Relief and the Mayor of London have partnered together to launch the London Together Fund. This initiative will invest in projects that use sport to improve social integration across London, bringing people together from different backgrounds and strengthen local communities. This is in line with The Mayor of London’s ambition to make London the most active and socially integrated city in the world.

Sport is a powerful tool for social change, and can be used to address a range of issues facing communities. It can support the development of essential life skills, deliver powerful messages, develop confidence and improve self-esteem. It’s a great way to bring people from different backgrounds together to strengthen community cohesion. Over the past 10 years Comic Relief has funded hundreds of projects that use sport in this way that have made a big difference to people and communities.


Funding Available

This is the first year of a three-year partnership between Comic Relief and the Mayor of London. In year one applications are welcome for a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £150,000, over a period of between 12 and 24 months. We will support projects being delivered within the London boundary.

We are interested in supporting a wide variety of projects and welcome applications from a diverse range of organisations. We are interested in supporting pilot projects for innovative, experimental work as well as the continued development of projects that have already demonstrated their impact.


Aims and Objectives

We are looking for creative approaches to foster social integration across London. All proposals must use sport as a tool for change in their approach.

We are looking for organisations and projects that have identified causes of low social integration within their communities. Themes could include (but are not limited to):

  • Areas with high population turnover/migration/movement of people
  • Perceived lack of safety
  • Lack of trust between groups in the local community
  • Areas with poor race relations/tensions between different ethnic groups
  • Areas with high inequality (defined as a specific inequality e.g. income, gender, access to opportunities and services, political inequality)

Proposals must work towards a minimum of one of the following outcomes:

  • Increase opportunities to regularly bring people together from different backgrounds to reduce prejudice, negative stereotyping and increase trust between people and communities

People may not interact with those from different backgrounds as there is little opportunity to do so. Projects should increase the opportunities to bring people from different backgrounds together and consider how to strengthen bonds between different participants that leads to understanding, acceptance and celebration of people who are different from themselves. We are looking for projects that have identified groups who are most likely to have negative feelings towards different groups of people and design specific interventions to combat these perceptions.

  • Reduced isolation and loneliness

We are looking for projects that have identified people who may be at risk of isolation and loneliness, as well as the reasons that lead to this. Interventions must do more than just bring people together.

  • Increased opportunities to support people into work, employment and training

We are looking for projects that can support people into work, employment and training that has been tailored to suit their lifestyle and aspirations. The employment should be non-exploitative, beneficial to the participants and adhere to the minimum works rights and regulations.

  • Increased opportunities for people to volunteer in their communities for people from all backgrounds

We are looking for projects that increase opportunities for people to volunteer in their communities and have the chance to meet people from different backgrounds through this volunteering work.


Project Design

We are looking for projects that provide regular opportunities to create sustained, meaningful relationships between participants and communities. Projects should give participants the chance to form long-lasting relationships and be able to demonstrate their impact in the long term. We will therefore not fund one-off interventions or one-off community events that do not form part of a wider programme.

We believe that projects developed and delivered in partnership with the people they aim to support will be more effective in creating positive social change. Projects like this are more likely to respond to the priorities of the people they are trying to reach and be more able to identify appropriate solutions. They may also benefit from greater accountability and legitimacy, and by empowering people to be part of the process, have the potential to build confidence and strengthen community cohesion.

We are interested to hear from organisations targeting women and girls in support of the Mayor’s 2018 gender equality campaign, #BehindEveryGreatCity.

We expect organisations to be well connected within their communities, and consider who else they may want to involve in their project delivery to help achieve the project outcomes. We also encourage organisations to apply in partnership (please see our guidance notes for our definition of a partner).


Sport for Change

Comic Relief defines Sport for Change as bringing about positive social change for individuals and communities through the intentional use of sport and physical activity.

We know that taking part in sport and physical activity leads to an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence for most people and for this initiative, we are making the assumption that this underpins all programming. However, for this programme we want proposals go above and beyond confidence building and to demonstrate how sport can be used to achieve positive social change. Proposals to this initiative will need to demonstrate wider social outcomes and not just focus on increasing female participation in sport. Find out more about Sport for Change.

One of the main reasons applicants are unsuccessful for funding under our Sport for Change initiatives is that organisations find the term Sport for Change confusing. We have developed a short guide to help explain what Sport for Change is, and what makes a good Sport for Change project. We strongly encourage you to read it before starting your application.


Funding Process

We require all applicants to submit a number of documents as part of their proposal to support our due diligence and assessment. You can find out more about these on our documents for applying page.

Please note that for this initiative applicants are required in addition to submit a Monitoring, evaluation and learning plan.

Proposals to this initiative must meet Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements (see our policies). In addition the following criteria apply:

  • Your grant request should be appropriate to the size of your organisation
  • Projects must be delivered within the London boundary
  • Organisations are only permitted to submit one application
  • We encourage you to demonstrate a contribution specific to this project, this can either be by cash match funding or value in kind. We provide space for you to demonstrate this in the budget template

We will be open for proposals from 21st March to midday UK time 16th May. We will not accept late proposals and strongly urge that you address any questions you have in order to complete your proposal and submit it in advance of the deadline.

Once we receive proposals, we’ll shortlist the strongest proposals to go through to an assessment. We’ll aim to notify all applicants of our decisions at this stage in June. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage, we’ll be unable to provide any additional feedback. Assessments on the proposals which pass this stage will take place over July and August and final decisions will be made by Comic Relief Trustees. We aim to inform all applicants of the final decision in late September. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage we’ll write to you explaining the reasons why.

Apply now