Aims/priorities: The Near Neighbours Fund aims to encourage stronger civil society in areas that are multi-religious and multi-ethnic by creating association, friendship and neighbourliness. It intends to bring together people of different faiths and of no faiths to transform local communities for the better.
The fund has two key objectives:
- Social interaction - to develop positive relationships in multi-faith and multi-ethnic areas.
- Social action - to encourage people of different faiths and of no faith and of different ethnicities to come together for initiatives that improve their local neighbourhood.
Projects should aim to build lasting relationships between people which will continue naturally after the initial period of funding.
To be eligible, projects must:
- Bring together peoples of two or more different faiths and/or ethnicities, to build friendships and develop relationships of trust.
- Work locally to bring together people who are living very locally (ie, in the same street, estate or neighbourhood).
- Work sustainably so that long-term and natural relationships grow, that will last beyond the period of funding.
- Work to improve the community with people working to make their communities a better place to live.
- Commit to diversity and involve a diverse group of people, from more than one faith group and/or ethnicity, in the planning and implementation of the project.
The funding has covered a broad range of work, environmental, social, cultural, artistic, and sporting, that furthers the programme’s aims of encouraging social interaction and social action.
The funding is for:
- New or developed work (not repeat or ongoing activities).
- Specific projects or activities.
- Immediate activities. Grants should be claimed within three months, projects should last no longer than six months or finish before the end of March 2022.
- Small initiatives. The total cost of the project should be £15,000 or less.
- Grassroots organisations with a low annual turnover.
Who can apply? The funding is for grassroots organisations, particularly emerging local groups as well as charities, religious organisations and other not-for-profit organisations whose focus is on local work. Small organisations with a low annual turnover will be viewed ‘especially favourably’.
Applications are welcome from faith groups, places of worship, partnerships of different faith groups, and informal local groups comprising people of different faith groups. Applications from secular organisations that are working with faith communities are also encouraged.
Applications will be considered from Community Interest Companies and other social enterprises if their membership is from the neighbourhood they are seeking funding for, and if the activity they seek to deliver has involvement from local people of more than one faith and ethnicity in planning and running it.
Funding may also be given to small groups without a constitution or bank account where there is a reputable local community or faith organisation willing to act as the accountable body for the funds.
Grant amount: Between £250 and £3,000
Application process: Criteria/guidelines and an application form can be found on the Near Neighbours website. In the first instance applicants should speak with their local Near Neighbours Coordinator about their proposal. The completed application form should be submitted to the nearest local Near Neighbours Coordinator. Contact details are listed in the 2021 Grants Criteria and Guidance document.
Deadline: The final deadline for applications is 10 December 2021. However, if all the funds are allocated for this year, the scheme may close earlier.
Contact information: Tel 0207 3752 5651, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: near-neighbours.org.uk