London Together

Application Opens

Monday 27th January 2020


12 noon on Friday 13th March 2020

Funding geography


Funding available

Applicants can apply for funding lasting between 12 and 18 months.

Applicants can apply for a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £150,000.

Apply now (opens in new window)

The opportunity  

London Together invests in sport for change approaches that aim to improve social integration. The fund supports work in London. 

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


London Together is a key programme within the Mayor of London’s community sport programme, Sport Unites(opens in new window). It supports the Mayor’s long-term vision to make London the most active and socially-integrated city in the world.

London Together is aligned to Comic Relief’s commitment to fund sport for change approaches. We define sport for change as bringing about positive social change for individuals and communities through the intentional use of sport and physical activity. Using sport as an intervention to improve social integration is a relatively untested area across Comic Relief funding; social integration is often an unintended outcome but not the primary focus of programmes. Investing in London Together is helping us to further understand where and how sport for change approaches can play a role in strengthening communities and reducing isolation, including supporting organisations to measure and demonstrate impact.

You can find a list of the projects we've funded through rounds 1 and 2 of London Together here(opens in new window)

Who can apply?

Please refer to Comic Relief’s general funding criteria. In addition:

  • This is a sport for change funding call, therefore the lead applicant must not have an annual income of less than £75,000 or more than £10 million

  • Organisations who currently hold London Together funding (as the lead partner) are unable to apply to this round (as the lead partner)

As stated in the eligibility criteria, organisations can only submit one proposal as the lead partner (though they can be named as partners on any number of applications). 

The requested amount must be proportionate to the annual income of your organisation, and this will be looked at as part of the assessment process. Comic Relief funding can’t exceed 40% of your total annual income in any given year. For more information, please see our website.

Please take the eligibility quiz(opens in new window) to check your eligibility.


Social integration is defined by the Mayor of London as the extent to which people positively interact and connect with others who they define as different to themselves(1). Effective integration is not just about how people of different social backgrounds, generations, ethnicities and faiths build meaningful relationships, but involves encouraging Londoners to play an active part in their communities and reducing barriers and inequalities so that Londoners see each other as equals. 

The Mayor of London’s definition of social integration has three key components: 

1) Londoners’ relationships with each other 

2) Londoners’ participation in society 

3) The level of equality between Londoners 

Well-integrated communities are not just more harmonious places to live, but also create enormous economic and social benefits – an extension of opportunity and prosperity, and lower levels of prejudice and hate crime(2).  

Programme aims

We have identified two aims for this round of funding: reducing social isolation and strengthening relationships between and within communities. We’re seeking proposals that use sport for change as part of a solution to work towards one of the following:

  1. Strengthening relationships between and within communities

We are looking to fund projects that use sport to increase trust between and within communities, challenge stereotypes and reduce prejudice.  

We are interested in funding approaches that: 

  • Support the development of positive and meaningful relationships within and between communities, with a focus on what different communities have in common, alongside a recognition of the value of diversity; 

  • Aim to break down any barriers, divisions, prejudice and tensions within a geographical area or between groups and encourage respect and understanding;

  • Develop trust within and between communities;

  • Develop people’s sense of belonging to their neighbourhoods; 

  • Promote the inclusion of marginalised groups and individuals and advocate for structural changes to support these groups

  • Create opportunities and/or spaces for people to identify social integration issues and come up with their own sport- or physical activity-led solutions to local issues.

2. Reducing social isolation

More than a quarter of Londoners – 27 per cent – are socially isolated (defined as not having someone they can rely on a lot in an emergency)(3). Isolation can be defined as separation from social or family contact, community involvement, or access to services and may involve staying at home for long periods of time(4). Factors such as unemployment and mental or physical health problems can lead to social isolation, which can then exacerbate these factors further. 

We are interested in funding projects that: 

  • Provide individuals with a sense of belonging and identity to their local area and London;

  • Go beyond just bringing isolated and/or lonely Londoners together: for example, activities that build participants’ confidence and skills, strengthen their connections with individuals, groups and the wider community, or shares knowledge about how to access other services and means of support;

  • Address the specific barriers preventing people from taking part in sport, participating in their community, and accessing services. Barriers might include cost, mental health problems, low English levels or accessibility and inclusivity of services;

  • Positively influence individuals’ behaviour, for example encouraging and enabling people to access health care when needed.

What we will fund: 

  • Organisations can apply for funding lasting between 12 and 18 months. Funding decisions will be made in August 2020, with first payments made in September. You must be able to submit a final report to us by June 2022 

  • Applicants can apply for a minimum of £25,000 and a maximum of £150,000

  • Projects must be delivered within the London boundary.(opens in new window)  

  • We will fund project costs. To help organisations ensure they request the full cost of delivering a service or project, we encourage organisations to include we encourage organisations to include full cost recovery(opens in new window)

  • Projects must use a sport for change approach: - You will need to evidence social outcomes, not just increased participation in sport or physical activity. We are interested in how sport is being used intentionally to address social integration and what it is specific about the activity which enables you to achieve your social outcomes. For example; is messaging integrated into sport sessions? Is sport being used as a tool to engage a group of people into a service?

  • We will fund both tried and tested and new work – just tell us why you think it will be effective within the context of the London Together aims

  • We will fund projects that provide regular opportunities to create sustained, meaningful relationships and opportunities for integration. We will therefore not fund one-off interventions or one-off community events that do not form part of a wider programme

Fund principles: 

We have identified some key principles for the funding call which we encourage you to take into consideration:

  1. We expect organisations to be locally driven and well connected to their target communities. We believe that projects developed and delivered in partnership with target communities are more effective at responding to local need and creating positive social change.


  2. We encourage organisations to apply in partnership for this fund. This could include:

a) Focusing on collaborative approaches rather than additions to each other’s services

b) Partnering with organisations who are able to influence at a structural level

c) Taking approaches that encompass learning from each other

Partners are defined as organisations who will be responsible for managing a share of the project budget.  Please include all partners in section 5 of the application form. 

3. We want to work with organisations that share our commitment to learning. We will invest in organisations that can:

a) Be self-reflective; considering which aspects of project delivery are working well, which aspects are less successful and why.

 b) Feed learning back into service delivery, with a desire for continual improvement.

c) Respond to changing contexts and emerging needs – the issues you are dealing with may change over time and your work may need to respond to that.

d) Engage with other Comic Relief funded partners, where appropriate. 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.

Please follow this link(opens in new window) to download Stage 1 proposal guidance.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions(opens in new window) for more information.

Next steps:

This is a two-stage process. The deadline for stage 1 applications is midday on Friday 13th March 2020. 

If your application is shortlisted you will be given a further 4 weeks to submit a full proposal, and the deadline will be midday on Friday 15th May. 

If you are invited to submit a full application, you will be asked for the following:

  • Why you think this approach will be effective

  • 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

  • A monitoring, evaluation and learning plan, 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.

Full proposals will be reviewed, and a proportion of the strongest applications taken through for a full assessment (we will provide shortlisted proposals with further details of what this means). Once assessments are completed, the funding decisions will be made by the end of August 2020, with first payments made in September 2020. You must be able to submit a final report to us by June 2022. 

To find out more information about applying to the London Together fund you can attend the information session taking place at Roundwood Youth Centre on Tuesday 25th February, 2-3:30pm. Register on Eventbrite here(opens in new window).


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