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Comic Relief and community foundations across the UK have announced a new £2 million investment into supporting small, community-led organisations, which will play a vital role supporting people to make positive changes in their lives and their local communities.

Grassroots organisations like these have been hit particularly hard over the last few years due to the current economic climate, which has made it harder to secure funding; and yet these organisations are often the first and sometimes only point of support for individuals and communities trying to make a difference in their lives.

The Core Strength – Local Communities initiative provides funding for essential core running costs for small, locally led community organisations. Grants between £1,000 to £5,000 for up to 12 months will be available to local community organisations with an annual income of up to £100,000. The initiative will sit under the Comic Relief programme Building Stronger Communities – supporting groups who work to make their communities more connected, empowered and productive.

In Oxfordshire, the grants are being administered by OCF. The application is now open and can be found here.

Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief, said, “We recognise the importance of these community-led organisations and their critical work. We also know that sometimes even the basics of keeping the lights on can be a struggle at the moment, let alone time to plan and invest in growth. At the heart of this funding is to give organisations the choice of where their needs lie – be it paying for the rent and lighting, or investing in development and forward planning. We are proud to lead this approach and invest into the heart of our local communities.”

Fabian French, CEO of UK Community Foundations, said, “We’re proud to work with incredible local organisations, day in, day out. Our reach into communities means that we support the very smallest charities and community groups, who often go unnoticed by many. We know that one of the key challenges faced by local organisations is getting funding for their core running costs, which is especially difficult when public sector grants are running dry. We’re delighted to continue our strong partnership with Comic Relief to help small and local charities concentrate on what they do best – helping those in need.”

Apply to the Comic Relief Core Strength round