There are still many communities in the UK that suffer from economic and social deprivation[1] and the current economic climate may make this situation worse. For this reason, Comic Relief has decided that £4.5 million should be available to fund projects across the UK which are addressing these issues through the ‘Local Communities’ programme.

Comic Relief is pleased to be working with UK Community Foundations and Community Foundations across the UK, to deliver this Local Communities programme.

The Heart of England Community Foundation is one of the delivery partners for Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country.

The Local Communities programme will run for 18 months and during this time, grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be available.

The programme aims to empower local people, enabling them to create lasting change in their communities.  Projects  should be run  by people directly affected by the issues they are dealing with and priority will be given to small, locally based groups or organisations in areas of disadvantage that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community.

Under the programme, organisations can apply for funding to:

  • Improve people’s life skills, education, employability and enterprise
  • Maximise people’s ability to strengthen community cohesion and build social capacity
  • Provide people with opportunities to access local services, achieve greater social justice and to reduce inequality, exclusion and disadvantage
  • Advance people’s physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety

Organisations which have received a Community Cash grant or any other grant from a Community Foundation can apply for a Local Communities grant. However organisations which hold a grant directly from Comic Relief, cannot apply for a Local Communities Grant.

A Local Communities grant must be at least 30% of the total cost of the project.

Comic Relief is proud to have become a founding member of the Living Wage Friendly Funders scheme (please click here for more information).  This means they are supporting paying the Living Wage to charitable workers thought our direct UK grant making.  As part of this they would like to encourage applicants to the Local Communities programme to budget any staff costs at The Living Wage (£8.25 per hour outside London and £9.40 in London).

Who can apply?

  • Community Groups
  • Resident Associations
  • Community Centres
  • Social Enterprises/Community Interest Companies
  • Credit Unions

Examples of the type of activities we will fund:

  • Community sport activities
  • Furniture Projects
  • Projects providing access to benefits advice
  • Projects combating fuel poverty
  • Community consultation exercises
  • Community employment projects
  • Food Co-ops
  • Running costs; including salaries, core costs and project costs
  • Committee and volunteer/staff training


The criteria do not include the award of the Grant:

  • to individuals
  • to statutory organisations, including schools
  • to fund trips abroad
  • to fund buses, mini buses or other community transport schemes (not including transport costs forming part of a project)
  • to fund building costs, including access adaptations to buildings
  • to organisations who are in receipt of a grant directly from Comic Relief

When can you apply?

Applications are now open.

Please contact the grants team on 024 7688 3265 or 024 7688 3262 if you require any further advice or guidance.

[1]  Defined as poverty; lack of access to jobs; denial of social supports or peer networks; and exclusion from services.


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