12 noon BST Friday 26 July 2019
12 noon BST on Monday 16th September 2019
Along the migratory route from Middle East, North Africa into Europe and the UK
Worldwide there are over 70 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes as a result of war, conflict, persecution or human rights violation; that is 25 people every minute. This is double the level of 20 years ago.
It is estimated 25.9 million of them are refugees and 3.5 million are asylum seekers. More than half of all refugees are children, many of them are unaccompanied or have been separated from their families. These figures are overwhelming and it’s easy for the media to de-humanise people and forget the personal story behind the statistics. Comic Relief’s funding call, Across Borders: Routes to safety for refugees, is about putting people first, hearing what they have to say and finding solutions to some of the devasting situations people on the move are experiencing.
As part of our A Safe Place to Be pillar of work, we are launching a funding programme for organisations supporting refugees on the move along the key migration routes, from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to Europe, including the UK.
Our overall aim is to support refugees and people seeking asylum to safe, legal and dignified routes to fulfilling and happy settlement, whether that be in the country of destination, transition country or country of origin
Whilst all the work we fund should be rooted in and informed by service delivery with effective participation of people with lived experience at the heart, we are looking for a mixed portfolio which aims to achieve holistic social change through a combination of:
We are looking for innovative and solution focused approaches, but successful applications must demonstrate:
Whilst applications must evidence the above, we welcome innovative approaches to social change for example; using the arts, working with the media, using technology, sport for change or different funding models for reaching fragile and conflict-affected areas.
We are deliberately not being prescriptive in any specific issues the work should be tackling as we want that to come from the grassroots, people living and working with this experience. But some of the challenges we have identified during the scoping of this call which you may want to address include, but are not limited to:
PLEASE NOTE: Comic Relief recognises the need to improve the provision of specialist immigration and asylum advice in the UK. We are taking a collective approach to addressing that and collaborating with other funders to develop a pooled fund, separate but aligned to this programme, which will aim to increase access to justice for people in the immigration and asylum system in the UK. More information on that pooled fund will be available soon.
We will therefore NOT prioritise applications that aim to increase access to and improve UK legal systems through this Across Borders funding programme.
We know that safeguarding risks are amplified due to the nature of the work and we are committed to ensuring effective and comprehensive approaches are in place to reduce risk and harm. To that end successful applicants will outline a clear understanding and approach to safeguarding.
This call is focused on organisations working along the key migration routes from Middle East and North Africa into Europe, including settlement in the UK. We know that routes into and through Europe change due to border closures and shifting socio-political contexts, and that many people are ‘stuck’ or forced to take increasingly dangerous and informal routes to reach their destination country.
We therefore want to hear from you about why your work and collaboration with partners will help achieve positive social change for those making or having made that journey into Europe and the UK.
Our funding is split between the UK and International work:
Funding is available for a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 years.
Successful applicants will demonstrate that they are committed to working in partnership, either through informal collaborations or through a more formal funded partnership.
Please note that if your organisation and your partners are delivering work that fully aligns with our criteria for this programme, we are happy to consider requests for core funding, this includes expenditure that is not connected to delivering projects but focusing on investing in the organisation, such as basic running costs.
We have two options for funding in the UK:
We have two options for investing along the route:
Whilst Comic Relief has invested in work supporting refugees and asylum seekers for over 25 years, this route-based approach to funding is new for us. Therefore, this programme provides many valuable learning opportunities and there is potential to explore learning questions such as:
We seek to work with organisations that share our commitment to learning – it is central to much of what we do at Comic Relief. For that reason, we will invest in organisations that can:
Please note there is a two-stage application process:
Stage 2 proposals will then be shortlisted for a full assessment (and we will provide shortlisted proposals with further details of what this means).
You can read our detailed application guidance here.
Once assessments are completed, the funding decisions will be made by the Comic Relief Trustees/Social Impact Committee by the end of March 2020.