Comic Relief - The Core Strength Local Communities Fund


We are very excited to announce the launch of Core Strength - Local Communities for 2017/18. This 12-month programme is responding to the growing need of small locally led groups to cover their day to day costs. The aim is to provide funding for groups' core costs.

Comic Relief is pleased to be working with the UK Community Foundations (UKCF) and Community Foundations across the UK, including Northamptonshire Community Foundation, to deliver this Local Communities programme.

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

To be considered for funding you will need to:

Be working in a disadvantaged or deprived area

Have limited access to other sources of income

Clearly define the need you are addressing

Clearly demonstrate the benefit of your activities to local people

Illustrate how you aim to deliver social outcomes

Provide clear evidence that your services provided are inclusive to all


Themes and outcomes:

The Core Strength - Local Communities fund sits under the Comic Relief programme of Building Stronger Communities. The work and main focus of your organisation should fit one of the Comic Relief priorities. This means the majority of your work fits under one of the following priorities:

1. Connected communities

We are looking for organisations who work to improve inclusion and cohesion in their neighbourhoods. You should be working to help people find common interests, overcome fear and misconceptions and connect people together. This could be supporting the most marginalised people in your area to make connections or getting people from different backgrounds together. You may also focus on working with people who are isolated because of who they are to improve their ability to engage in their local community.

We believe a community where you know your neighbours and help each other is a stronger, happier and healthier community.


2. Productive communities

We want to help create flourishing communities, where people feel they are personally thriving,

whilst sharing a sense of purpose and prosperity – rather than just ‘making ends meet’. We are looking for organisations who help this happen – it could be through those who provide employment and work support or enterprises/community owned assets whose purpose is to help local residents out of poverty for example


3. Empowered communities

We want communities to be heard and to be able to make the changes they need to thrive. Your organisation will focus on building the confidence of local people to tackle the issues they face and empower them to make changes as they need. This could be through building up skills and ability of local people to campaign and take action, or for single issue groups to improve their circumstances through awareness raising for example. This is about supporting community led solutions to improve their own lives.

Please note, organisations which hold a current grant directly from Comic Relief, can not apply for a Local Communities Grant.

Who can apply?

• Community Groups

• Resident Associations

• Community Centres

• Social Enterprises/Community Interest Companies

• Credit Unions

Eligible costs include the following:


• Rental costs

• Heating, lighting, water rates

• Core staff costs (this could be any member of staff for time spent doing the day to day running of the organisation or taking time to do planning for the future for example – this cannot cover any time spent delivering activities – for example we could fund a youth worker to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for the organisation but not to deliver the weekly youth club).

• Stationary, small capital items, internet

• Any volunteer costs if your organisation is purely volunteer led OR if you have paid staff then we will cover volunteer costs who help the day to day running of the organisation (i.e. a volunteer receptionist)

Organisational development

• Staff training

• Trustee training

• Volunteer training

• Fundraising


Grants will not be awarded to:

• Individuals

• Statutory organisations, including schools

• Fund trips abroad

• Fund buses, mini buses or other community transport schemes (not including transport costs forming part of a project)

• Fund building costs, including access adaptations to buildings

• Organisations which are in receipt of a grant directly from Comic Relief

Next closing date: TBC 

Apply Now

Please wait for at least 15 minutes & check your junk mail for the email containing the link
Please read the guidance notes at the bottom of the page before applying.
Northamptonshire Community Foundation can provide advice and guidance during the application process as well as 
viewing draft applications prior to submission.


Project Type: General

Grant Location:  Northamptonshire (county-wide)

Grant Amount: Up to £5,000