The Synergi Small Grants Fund

The Synergi logo

Please note that applications to this Fund have now closed.

For information on who was funded, head to Synergi’s website.

Synergi is a programme of work which focuses on the intersection of racial justice and mental health. It had a previous iteration as a knowledge hub, bringing together research and network building. 

It is now hosted by NSUN, with a focus on lived experience, grassroots groups, and abolitionist responses to mental health. It will have four workstreams: ‘Community Responses to Mental Health’, ‘Supporting Movement Spaces’, ‘Grants Programme’, and ‘Festival’.

Synergi is kicking off with the Synergi Small Grants Fund, which will open to applications on the 4th January 2023 and close on the 29th January 2023.

About the Fund

The Synergi Small Grants Fund will offer grants of £2000-£3000 to groups led by Black people & people of colour with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma, to take action on mental health & racial justice. It hopes to fund activities which could be defined as collective care, as well as campaigning and change-making actions.

Find out more about Synergi and the Fund on our new website here (or below).

We are holding an informational webinar about the Fund on Wednesday 14th December at 3pm-4pm. This will be an opportunity for groups to get more information about the Fund and to take part in a Q&A. Register for the webinar here.

You can also follow Synergi on Twitter (@SynergiProject) to stay updated.

More information about the Fund

Synergi Small Grants Fund offers grants of between £2000 to £3000 for groups led by Black people and people of colour with lived experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma, to take action on mental health and racial justice. 

The fund will be open for applications from the 4th until the 29th of January 2023. Grants will be awarded by the end of March 2023 and must be spent within 12 months.

Examples of the actions we hope to fund include:

  • Collective care. This might look like providing food and essentials parcels, writing to incarcerated community members, creating opportunities for people to come together and support each other using shared experiences as in peer support groups, mutual aid, creative practices like dance or singing, or covering the costs of accessing therapy or other healing practices.
  • Campaigning and change-making. This could include protest, work to create change on a local or national level, sharing information and skills such as community organising training, or creating resources for members of your community to better advocate for themselves.

All of the actions should be led by, and for the benefit of, Black people and people of colour with experience of mental ill-health, distress or trauma.

Eligibility criteria
  • Your group must be led by and for Black people and people of colour
  • Your group must be led by and for people who have shared experiences or identities with those they are creating spaces for
  • Your group must benefit people or communities who live with mental ill-health, trauma, and distress.

Your group must meet all of the following criteria above.

Groups which have some white members and/or members without experience of mental ill-health are still eligible, provided those members are neither the main decision-makers nor the main people who benefit.

We want this funding to reach those communities experiencing the most extreme forms of discrimination or injustice, including state violence. This might include, for example, the hostile environment, anti-trans legislation or policies, or Prevent. We want this funding to help you build community, and to resist and challenge. We also want to provide some counter to the historic underfunding of this work. 

In this context, we encourage applications from:

  • Groups led by and for people from Muslim communities
  • Groups led by and for trans and non-binary communities  
  • Groups led by and for refugees and/or people seeking asylum 
  • Groups whose work engages with an abolitionist framework 
  • Groups with a yearly project income of under £25,000 
  • Groups with non-traditional structures (including those that are unregistered)
What can and cannot be funded

We can fund:

  • Costs to deliver your support and activities – this could include staff or freelance costs, rent for space or room hire, materials for your activities (art supplies etc.), equipment, and volunteer and group member expenses. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and you may have other needs!
  • Groups focusing on campaigning, such as direct action. We are aware there is less grant funding available for campaigning work, and so we encourage groups to use the fund’s flexibility in this area. 
  • Organisational development – this could include training and development, tech subscriptions or equipment, reflective practice or coaching, or business planning. Anything needed to help you better support your community. 

We cannot fund:

  • Organisations that pay profits to shareholders or members
  • Groups operating solely outside of England
  • Applications from individuals 
  • Retrospective costs – things that money has already been spent on