The new Active Ageing: Creating Change in Communities initiative is providing £1.5 million of funding in order to engage older people aged 65 and over from ‘harder to reach’ groups to get involved in opportunities which use their skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to their communities. Registered and un-registered community based organisations and partnerships across the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man can apply for grants of between £40,000 and £80,000 to support projects, initiatives and activities which primarily focus on benefitting older people, specifically those older people who do not usually participate in volunteering or social activities because they are from a disadvantaged community, or face barriers to participation. Comic Relief is also interested in supporting activities which will have a wider benefit for the community in which they are taking place.
To be eligible for funding, projects should:
Meet at least one of the following outcomes:
- Older people improve their mental health and wellbeing.
- Older people increase the quality and quantity of their social connections.
- Older people develop an enhanced sense of purpose and empowerment.
Provide creative, fresh approaches to engage beneficiaries in social action activities which bring people together and help to improve their lives and solve problems that are important to their communities. This may include activities around campaigning and fundraising as well as volunteering, all of which can create a double benefit for communities and the older person themselves. For the activities to have positive benefits for the older people involved, they should:
- Provide meaningful roles with opportunities for social interaction and leadership.
- Ensure that older people are recognised and valued for their contribution.
- Make older people feel valued and enable them to be creative and productive. To do this, activities might focus wholly on older people, or use a broader community or intergenerational approach. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they really understand the needs of their community, the role that older people can play in catalysing social change and make the case that they can deliver. Comic Relief expects to award grants to between 15 and 25 projects.
The deadline for applications is 29 August 2017 (midday).