Our 2009-2012 strategy has now come to an end. We are currently finalising our new grants strategy which will be launched later this year. We will open for applications in September 2013 so please check nearer the time for more details.
Every time someone generously donates cash to Comic Relief, they do so because they trust we’ll spend their money well. And with that trust comes great responsibility, something we take very seriously indeed.
Awarding grants is at the heart of what we do here at Comic Relief. We have a dedicated team of people who ensure that the money we raise is spent wisely and makes the biggest difference possible. They follow our UK Grant Making and International Grant Making strategies to support sterling work in areas of real need.
Through our grant making, we help individuals, whole communities and we often have an impact on wider society too.
Each grant we award is directed first and foremost to help people who face devastating problems in their everyday lives.
From women experiencing domestic violence, older people being abused and young people struggling with mental health problems in the UK to children scraping a living on city streets, families living in grinding poverty and young parents living with HIV/AIDS overseas – Comic Relief cash can, and does, help them to cope.
We provide grants that give practical help and emotional support to help people in real and desperate need.
Some of these grants may be for as little as £5,000 and others may be for twenty times that amount, but they each aim to directly benefit individuals who are facing poverty or discrimination and who are living very tough lives.
By helping to get their needs met, their right secured and their voices heard, these people can begin to turn their lives around.
Alongside supporting individuals to overcome poverty or social injustice, we also work hard to support entire communities. Sometimes this means awarding grants to assist geographical communities, such as those living in Kibera, a sprawling urban slum in Kenya. Other times we award grants to help communities of people facing the same problem, for example, people living with mental ill health.
Also there’s our work to promote Fairtrade. This is another great way we support communities. It helps to make sure producers all over the world receive a fair price for their produce – something that benefits individuals but also makes it possible for communities to support themselves.
One shining example of this is Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative of small farmers in Ghana that produces cocoa. Thanks to grants and support from us, it has become the country’s largest cocoa cooperative. But more than that, Kuaka Kokoo also supports its members and their communities by building clean water wells, providing skills training and improving their wellbeing in many other ways.
It’s a fantastic result we aim to repeat the world over!
After 25 years of awarding grants, we know there’s only one way to create lasting change: stop people facing poverty and social injustice in the first place. In other words, prevention is better than cure.
We also know we can’t solve the world’s problems on our own – so we work with policy makers wherever we can to affect public policy and, in turn, create real change for whole societies. Only a generation ago, disabled people were treated as second-class citizens. After consulting with a group of disabled people, we knew they needed the opportunity and resources to fight for their own rights.
We awarded a grant of £500,000 to the British Council of Disabled People, which helped to establish local groups of disabled people all over the UK. These groups then successfully fought to be in involved in decisions that shaped their lives, a campaign that ultimately led to the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995.
So, with our partners, we are already making huge progress in some areas of society. But we know much more must be done.