Starting this week Near Neighbours has made available £1.8 million in small grants over two years, for diverse local communities to develop relationships and transform neighbourhoods for good.
From Monday 09th June, the Near Neighbours programme has opened its small grants fund, offering financial support to gather local people to make a positive and lasting impact in their communities.
Grants between £250 and £5,000 are available, providing seed capital for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, to develop relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities.
Having previously worked in Bradford, Burnley, Oldham, Birmingham, Leicester and East London; the programme has now expanded to include Leeds, Dewsbury, Bury, Rochdale, The Black Country, Nottingham, Luton and West London.
The grants work alongside the wider work of the programme. The programme works to bring people together who are near neighbours in communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.
This is a rolling programme with no deadlines but our second phase is due to run until March 2016 and we expect the grants programme to close near to this date. We will invest in a broad range of work including environmental, social, cultural, artistic and sporting ideas but they need to fulfil our criteria which include:
1) Creating Association. We are looking to encourage stronger civil society in areas that are multi-religious and multi-ethnic by creating association, friendship and neighbourliness. The programme intends to bring together people of different faiths and of no faiths to transform local communities for the better.
2) Local and Sustainable. The programme aims to build association as deeply and sustainably as possible in local neighbourhood contexts. So a key criterion is that grants are spent in ways which bring together people from different ethnic and faith communities which impact specifically locally.
3) Transformative. We are keen to give grants that positively impact and transform the neighbourhoods in which projects run. Regardless of what the particular activity is we want to see it transform the local neighbourhood for good.
We have local coordinators working in your area. If you are interested in applying for a grant, or the wider work of the programme, they would like to hear from you.
You can find out more from our website at www.near-neighbours.org.uk
We are also on Facebook and Twitter, simply search ‘Near Neighbours’ to find us.
Author: Andrew Mathews
Date: 11 June 2014
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