london together

12 noon GMT on 5th April 2019

We are inviting applications from the United Kingdom for work in London

We will commit funding for 1 to 2 years

Applications are welcome for a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £150,000


The Opportunity:

Comic Relief and the Mayor of London launched the London Together fund in 2018. This is the second funding round of a three-year partnership. 

The London Together fund invests in sport for change projects that aim to improve social integration in London. This is in line with the Mayor of London’s ambition to make London the most active and socially integrated city in the world and is part of the Mayor’s Sport Unites programme

In a diverse and global city like London, social integration is critical to the quality of life, success and safety of Londoners. Sport has the power to address a wide range of social challenges in the city such as improving employability, tackling mental health, and helping to divert young people away from crime.

In the current climate, society can often feel divided, but sport has the unique power to unite Londoners through shared experiences. 

What do we mean by social integration and sport for change?

The Mayor of London defines ‘social integration’ as the extent to which people positively interact and connect with others who are different to themselves. It is determined by the level of equality between people, the nature of their relationships, and their degree of participation in the communities in which they live.


Learn more about the three dimensions of social integration and social integration measures

Improving social integration means helping Londoners from different communities to build meaningful and lasting relationships with each other, as well as bringing those Londoners who feel isolated or lonely into their community. This involves supporting Londoners to be active members of their communities and to play a part in the decisions that affect them. It also means reducing barriers and inequalities, so that Londoners can relate to each other as equals.

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. Proposals to this initiative will need to evidence social outcomes and not just focus on increasing participation in sport.

Sport is a powerful tool for social change and can be used to address a range of issues facing communities. Sport brings people together across culture, language, gender and social class. It can break down barriers and tackles prejudices and misconceptions. Due to its popularity and universality, sport is also uniquely placed to reach socially isolated and hard-to-reach groups. Often these are indirect outcomes of sport, but the Mayor wants to make these outcomes the explicit aim of sports projects under the London Together fund. 

Aims of the fund:

We are looking to invest in projects that will improve social integration in London. All proposals must use sport as a tool for change in their approach.  

In your application, you should demonstrate a good understanding of the context of the location(s) where the work will take place. We would like you to tell us the reason(s) why there is low social mixing and/or isolated groups within your community and explain how your project activities will respond to this, leading to positive change in individuals and the wider community. 


You must work towards and clearly demonstrate how project activities will lead to at least one of the following outcomes: 

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

There is often little opportunity for people to interact with others from different backgrounds. Sport brings people together across divides. It provides the chance to build new relationships and work in teams. 

  • We’d like you to tell us how your proposed programme of activities will do more than just bring different groups of people together.  We are particularly interested in approaches that strengthen bonds between different groups of people, leading to increased understanding, acceptance and celebration of different groups of people. 
  • Tell us about the people you’re working with. Why are they at risk of experiencing prejudice? Why do they have preconceived ideas or negative attitudes? Attitudinal and/or behavioural change should be evident in the programme outcomes.

2. Reduce isolation and loneliness 

Sport can help engage and motivate socially isolated groups. It can provide an environment to develop positive relationships and a sense of belonging.

  • 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. Tell us about the people you work with; why are they isolated? What are you doing to combat this? What are the barriers they face? 
  • We are interested in approaches that go beyond just bringing people together. For example: activities that build participant’s confidence and skills; and strengthen their connections, sense of belonging and links to their community for further and lasting support. 

We recognise that some projects might address both above outcomes, and some might focus on one. We also recognise that projects addressing the above areas might have additional outcomes, such as: increasing opportunities to support people into work, employment and training; increasing opportunities for people to volunteer in their communities for people from all backgrounds; and increasing mental wellbeing. 

Projects may target (but are not limited to): newcomers to London; older and younger people; disabled people; people with mental-health problems; Londoners with language barriers. Projects might respond to (but are not limited to) integration issues across disability, race, gender, ethnicity, geographical boundaries.

Project Design

We are looking for projects that provide regular opportunities to create sustained, meaningful relationships between participants and communities. 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 serve 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. Empowering participants to be part of the process can give people a sense of accountability in the project, helps build confidence and trust, and has the potential to strengthen community cohesion. 

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 are interested in supporting a wide variety of projects, both pilot projects and tried and tested approaches. 

What do we want to learn from this work?

We want to work with organisations and projects that are open to and engaged in learning from one another. As well as sharing great ideas and practices, this will also help us all gain a better understanding of how sport can bring about positive change for London and Londoners. 

We are working with inFocus to bring funded organisations together regularly to reflect on their experiences, learn from one another, make links and coordinate with one another to reflect on their projects and pathways to change. Organisations will also be expected to have their own learning questions about the specific work they are doing, its outcomes and impact which can feed into the broader Sport Unites programme. 

Unsuccessful applicants to the first round of funding received the following feedback.

Please consider the points below before starting your application.


  • Projects placed too much focus on sport for participation and failed to demonstrate an intentional use of sport as a tool for social change.
  • Proposals did not demonstrate sufficient understanding of social integration and/or evidence of how project activities would achieve social integration
  • Proposals were trying to work towards too many of the initiative's outcomes and as such lacked focus and cohesion. Project activities were unlikely to achieve all the changes the programme was seeking to achieve.
  • Projects sought to work with too many different groups across different locations and issues. It was less clear and convincing as to why the specific programme of work is needed.


What we will fund:

  • Funding is available for 1 to 2 years
  • Applications are welcome for a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £150,000
  • Projects must be delivered within the London boundary 
  • The investment will fund project costs.  To help organisations ensure they request the full cost of delivering a service or project, we are happy for organisations to include full cost recovery.  


Who can apply?

  • Proposals can be made by single applicants, or by organisations working in partnership
  • Organisations can only submit one proposal as the lead organisation (though they can be named as partners on any number of applications). 
  • The applicant must also not have an annual income of more than £10 million. 
  • There is no lower income limit for this fund, as opposed to the £250,000 lower limit stated in Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements for UK organisations. 
  • Funding requests must be relative to income. Comic Relief aims to fund no more than 40% of an organisation’s current annual income. This limit applies to the overall funding amount for your organisation and includes any funding distributed to partners. 
  • Projects who currently hold London Together funding are unable to apply to this round



Please note there is a two-stage application process.

The deadline for first stage applications will be 12 noon GMT on Friday 5th April 2019. 

If your application is shortlisted you will be given a further 4 weeks to submit a full proposal, and the Stage 2 deadline will be 12 noon GMT on Friday 31 May. 

Stage 2 proposals will then be shortlisted for a full assessment

Once assessments are completed, the funding decisions will be made by the Comic Relief Trustees by the end of September 2019



Information needed at stage 1

At stage 1, the following are some of the things we will want you to explain.


  • The people who will benefit, and the problems they face in their lives
  • The changes you expect to see as a result of your proposed work
  • The types and numbers of people benefitting directly, including core target groups, frontline workers and other direct beneficiaries
  • What you will do to help people to address their problems
  • The location and duration of this work
  • The total amount of funding requested per year, and for each of the funded partners
  • For your organisation and any funded partner: the organisation’s purpose, what it is most proud of, and why it is well placed to carry out this work

If you want, you can include a video of up to two minutes to summarise what you want us fund.  Please note, however, that this is not a requirement.

Download the Stage 1 proposal guidance.

Further information that will be needed at stage 2

If your proposal is approved for stage 2, some of the things you will need to explain are the following (complete guidance for the full proposal will be made available to successful applicants at stage 2).

  • Why you think this approach will be effective
  • Who will be involved in delivering the activities, and what they will do
  • How you involved the target groups in developing the initiative, and how you will listen and respond to them during its delivery
  • Risks for beneficiaries, staff or others in the community and how these will be mitigated
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning, including what you will track to show change is happening, what you want to learn, and how you will use the learning
  • How your organisation has managed safeguarding concerns 
  • A detailed budget
  • More information about each partner organisation and their annual finances, key organisational policies, and constitutional documents.



  • It is important to review Comic Relief’s funding eligibility criteria
  • If you have further questions you can email

  • If we receive a significant number of FAQs, we will aim to publish them here.

    Please submit questions by Monday 18th March and we will aim to publish them on Friday 22 March. 

There is a London Together information session taking place on Thursday 7th March. For more information and to register, please visit Eventbrite.