last updated on: 9th May 2010
What is the Near Neighbours Fund ?
The Near Neighbours Fund is a small grants fund targeted at creating new relationships in local communities across boundaries of faith and ethnicity. This is a rolling programme with no deadlines but it is due to end in March 2013. We will invest in environmental, social, cultural, artistic and sporting ideas which fulfil the criteria.
What is the aim?
The overall aim of the fund is to encourage stronger communities in areas that are multi-religious and multi-ethnic. It intends to bring together people of different faiths and of no faiths to transform local communities for the better. First, by enabling opportunities for deeper levels of communication and understanding in local neighbourhoods, and secondly, by creating joint work, organizations or projects which address community needs.
Key criteria therefore are pieces of work which do one of the following:
• Create First Encounters between people of different faith and ethnic communities and encourage the development of friendship and neighbourliness. These encounters can be key moments of transformation in a neighbourhood.
• Create Everyday Interactions at the everyday level of community life by encouraging families and individuals to come together regularly, such as eating together, jointly participating in religious and other festivals, encouraging children to play together in a neighbourhood.
• Create Civil Engagement which brings together people from different faith and ethnic communities to work together to change their neighbourhoods for the better.
As Local as Possible
The Fund aims to “build association” and create new relationships as deeply 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. We will look especially favourably on applications from diverse neighbourhoods and those with particular issues of deprivation and challenge.
We will only funding work in the City of Leicester.
How much is available?
Award amounts range from £250-£5000. It is possible to be awarded more than one grant, especially when a locality or grouping is progressing from First Encounters, to Everyday Interactions, to Civic Engagement.
How to Apply
The project is set up with localism at its heart. Ideally we would like each application to come through an engagement with your local Church of England Parish Church. Find out if you are in an eligible area by putting your postcode in to the website “A Church Near You” - http://www.achurchnearyou.com/ which will tell you what parish you are in, and then look at the Near Neighbours website www.near-neighbours.com to see if that is one of the eligible places. Alternatively contact your local John McCallum at St Philip's Centre.
You can get the application from and fuller guidance notes from the Near Neighbours website or from St Philip's Centre. It can be filled in on a computer or hand written; it can be emailed or posted.
You should send your application to the local parish church. They will pass the form on with their comments to Church Urban Fund. At the same time, you need to send a copy of the application to St Philips Centre. If there is a difficulty, such as there is no parish priest currently in post at the church, or you are confused about the form, John McCallum can help you.
Is it Just for Faith Groups?
The Fund is particularly pleased to receive applications from people of different faith groups or none, working in partnership with people of different faiths and within the criteria. Funding cannot be granted to individuals.
Will the money go to big charities?
We will especially prioritise small local faith groups and voluntary groups.
For more information
Go to the website - www.near-neighbours.com
contact your local Presence and Engagement Centre:
• St Philip’s Centre for Study and Engagement, Leicester
Contact: John McCallum at firstname.lastname@example.org
St Philips Centre, 2A Stoughton Drive North, Leicester LE5 5UB