The Near Neighbours programme offers small grants between £250 and £5,000, as seed funding for local groups and organisations who are working to bring together neighbours, developing relationships across diverse faiths and ethnicities in order to improve their communities. To date, the funding has supported 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 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’.
To be eligible, groups must be working in one of 10 areas covered by a Near Neighbours hub, which includes Leeds.
Projects must fall into at least one of the following three broad categories. The project need not fit itself to just one; it is recognised that activities may naturally cover two or all three of the following:
- First Encounters that develop new relationships between people of different faith and ethnic communities and encourage the development of mutual understanding – initiatives which begin the process of developing friendship and neighbourliness.
- Everyday Interactions that support regular interactions, repeatedly bringing people together and encouraging families and individuals to come together to share life – building flourishing and sustainable friendships and relationships.
- Civil Engagement which brings together people from different faith or ethnic communities to work together to change their neighbourhoods for the better – enabling diverse communities to transform their neighbourhoods.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with the final deadline for applications of 11 October 2019.