The NSUN Side by Side Fund is open for applications.

The Fund will award grants of up to £500 to peer support, mutual aid or self-help groups in England and Wales to connect remotely, prepare to move their activities to face-to-face, or make their group more sustainable. The peer support, mutual aid or self-help group must benefit people or communities who live with mental ill-health, trauma and distress. 

In this context, we are defining peer support as the intentional action of bringing people together who have experiences in common, to offer mutual support. Not all groups will define themselves as ‘mental health groups’. We are interested in groups who recognise that coming together supports wellbeing, healing or connection, and other things we associate with our mental health.

The peer support, mutual aid or self-help group must take place in a community setting (i.e. not NHS or local authority), and should be in some way led by the members of the community it engages.

This opportunity has been made available through Mind’s Side by Side: Peer Support in your community project, which is funded by Morrisons Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.

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FAQs

How do I apply?

The application is through an online form (form will open in a new tab).

If you need support with the form, please contact us at [email protected].

   Alternative versions:

How much can I apply for?

The Fund will award grants of up to £500. The minimum award is £200. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions about this.

What can I apply for?

The Fund is for peer support, mutual aid or self-help group groups to connect remotely, prepare to move their activities to face-to-face, or make their group more sustainable.

Examples of activities which could be funded include: PPE/cleaning materials; travel for members; zoom subscription/online platforms; equipment such as a laptop or tablet; mobile data; room hire; DBS checks for facilitators; activity materials. This is not an exhaustive list.

Which groups will you prioritise?

We anticipate receiving more applications than we can fund. We aim to prioritise those groups most in need of funding. We encourage groups to apply who have not previously applied for funding previously from NSUN or other funders.

We are particularly interested in applications from

  • Groups led by and for people from racialised communities/people of colour
  • Groups led by and for young people (aged 18-25)
  • Groups who have been unable to meet during the pandemic, which may be due to digital poverty

NSUN is committed to diversity and equality, and actively welcomes applications to support people who live with mental ill-health, distress and trauma within communities that face other disadvantages and exclusion. 

Is there anything you won’t fund?

We will not fund core organisational costs. Successful applications will express clearly why the money is needed for the groups, and who it will help. If you are still in doubt as to whether your group should apply to this fund, please email us at [email protected]

What is your process?

We anticipate a high number of applications. We will not be able to fund every application, and we will be making funding decisions in the following way. 

Every application will be read by a grants manager, who may at this stage get back to you with additional questions. Only applications which meet the following criteria will be processed further: 

  • Your group must be a peer support/mutual aid/self-help group based in England or Wales.
  • Your group must be benefitting people or communities who live with mental ill-health, trauma and distress. 
  • Your group must take place in a community setting
    Your proposal must be about your group connecting remotely, preparing to move your activities to face-to-face, or making your group more sustainable.

We will then follow up applications which meet these criteria via telephone/online call. We can only put forward applications after this call. 

We will then send successful applicants a grant agreement which will need to be signed and returned (over email). We anticipate that the timeline between application and decision will be between 3 and 4 weeks.

I need help with the application form

You can contact us at [email protected] if you need help with the application form.

Will you fund groups in Northern Ireland or Scotland?

The Fund will only fund groups based in England and Wales. However, as many groups are now online, we understand that group members may be based in other nations, and that is fine. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions about this.

When does the grant need to be spent?

The grants will need to be spent by 31 December 2021. They will be awarded by the end of July.

When will the Fund close?

The NSUN Side by Side Fund is scheduled to close on the 31 May. If this is extended, we will update this page.