FUNDING: Church Urban Fund opens Common Good Fund
The Common Good Fund is a new CUF grants fund that is an extension of the Near Neighbours programme, and offers small grants of between £250 and £5,000, as seed funding for local groups and organisations. The purpose of grants is to address recent and long entrenched tensions in local areas between faith and ethnic communities, where there are reported incidents of intolerance, to build connections and increase levels of trust and mutual support, as well as encouraging people to develop practical activities to bring about change.
The Common Good Fund has four key objectives:
- Creating a common agenda – we want to see local people reach a shared vision of how to work together to improve their areas.
- Promoting a sense of personal responsibility – we recognise that everyone has something to contribute and should feel ownership over local initiatives.
- Increasing levels of participation and social cohesion – we believe that the local community is strongest when everyone is involved in social action.
- Promoting an alternative to hate, tolerance, and prejudice – we feel that meaningful relationships can develop where there is shared understanding, as well as trust and respect for each other.
Grants from the Common Good Fund are available across England, except for the areas where Near Neighbours Small Grants are available. Please check the list of Common Good Fund Link Officers to determine geographical eligibility.
Our initial focus will be on areas where there has been significant migration from European countries and settlement of asylum seekers and refugees; and areas where our networks and/or news reports have indicated that there are tensions. This includes Barking and Dagenham, Batley, Boston, Cambridge, Corby, Harlow, Liverpool, Merton, Middlesbrough, Oxford, Peterborough, Slough, South Holland, and Wisbech.
Applications must meet the following criteria to be eligible for grants. Projects should:
- Bring together peoples of two or more different faiths and/or ethnicities, to build friendships and develop relationships of trust.
- Work locally. We want to see people who are living very locally (i.e. in the same street, estate or neighbourhood) come together.
- Work sustainably. We want to see long term and natural relationships grow, that will last beyond the period of funding.
- Work to improve the community. We want to see people working to make their communities a better place to live.
- Involve diverse people in planning and implementation. People from more than one faith group and/or ethnicity are involved in planning and implementing the proposal.