Funding for Groups

This page lists current funding pots that mental health user-led community groups and organisations may be interested in applying for. New funding we become aware of will also be shared in our weekly NSUN member’s bulletin, which you can sign up for by becoming a member for free here.

These are external funding opportunities. NSUN sometimes runs grants programmes for members, and any current grants will be advertised on the Our Grants page.

Please get in touch if you know of funds that might be useful for community-led mental health groups and we can add them.

Other funding directories

You may also be interested in the Get Yourself Active (Disability Rights UK) resource on how to write a grants application.

North East together Small Grants Programme 2023

NSUN’s hosted project North East together is running a small grants programme, open to applications from the 13th November to 5pm on the 8th December 2023.

North East together (NEt) is a user-led network for people with lived experience of mental health difficulties living in the North East of England. We work with service users, carers, and their representatives to improve services, to challenge mental health stigma and to speak out about the issues that affect us. 

North East together is awarding small grants of £500 to mental health user-led groups and projects in the North East. By user-led, we mean run by and for people who use (or are potential users of) mental health care and support services. As a user-led regional network ourselves, we are distributing funds in support of others doing this work to build connections and solidarity across the region.  

Deadline: 5pm, 8th December 2023

You can find out more about the North East together Small Grants Programme via the NSUN website.

National Lottery Community Fund programmes including Awards for All

The NLCF has reopened its “Awards for All” funding for Voluntary and Community Organisations in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. This funding aims to provide a quicker way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300-£10,000 for up to one year.

“Our funding can be used to deliver activities, but also to help your organisation recover, adapt and thrive. This includes supporting you to become more financially resilient and operate in a more digital world. We can cover core costs to help your organisation develop, share learning with others, support you to test activity designed to help your organisation work in new ways and help you better understand the difference you make.”

Deadline: ongoing

You can find out more about Awards for All and their other funding programmes via the NLCF website.

Blagrave Trust Pathways Fund

Are you an emergent youth-led social justice group or collective looking for funding?

Pathways Fund is offering unrestricted grants of £60k-90k over 3 years to help emergent youth-led groups and collectives across England to become established.

This fund is for youth-led groups that are working to change unjust laws, policies, practices, and cultures that have directly affected their lives and the communities of those they share these experiences with.

This is an ongoing funding opportunity, open all year round or until the funding pot for the year is used, therefore there is no deadline. More information and apply via the Blagrave website.

Small Grants Programme

The Leathersellers’ Small Grants Programme 2022-23 will consider applications from charities registered and operating in the UK (including Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) but not Community Interest Companies (CIC) that are working:

  • to provide assistance to vulnerable people in their community
  • in geographical areas of deprivation (within the UK) – we recognise all relative measures of deprivation as tracked
  • by the Indices of Deprivation or similar tools. We ask you who your work helps and why this is needed for that
  • group or in that area so you can explain the need that exists there.
  • with an annual income of under £200,000 (secured for the coming year)

They do not fund the following:

  • Medical research
  • Hospices
  • Capital restoration projects for the sole purpose of conservation/heritage
  • Services that charge participants for access, irrespective of a beneficiary’s ability to pay

This is a fast-track application process for small unrestricted one-off grants (up to a maximum of £5,000). Applications open in “rounds”. Applications will close one week before each committee date, or when 45 applications have been received.

More information and apply via The Leathersellers’ Company website.

Cost of Living Grants

“Over recent months an increasing number of UK households have been struggling with rising prices for food, fuel and other essential goods leading to a cost of living crisis.

To alleviate the impact of the cost of living crisis, support organisations such as charities and community groups, as well as individuals can apply for a range of grants. Funding may be available from a range of sources including:

  • Central Government
  • Local Authorities
  • Community Foundations
  • Grant Making Bodies

Grants Online is in the process of pulling these funding sources together and to list them in one place, here.”

The Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust

The objectives of the Trust are framed in general terms to work for a just and democratic society and to redress political and social injustices. It is a wide-ranging remit for reform, but the Trust will prioritise organisations that are ineligible for charitable funding because they are considered too political or radical to come within the Charity Commission’s guidelines. The Trust’s approach is similar to that of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust with which it maintains informal links.

The Trust will support work undertaken at both regional and national level and may also consider pioneering projects operating on a more local basis that have a potentially wider impact.

The directors meet three times a year – in March, July and November – and Stage 1 registrations forms must be submitted by 14 January, 14 May or 14 September respectively.

More information and apply via The Wainwright Trusts website.

The Critical Social Policy Solidarity Fund

“Critical Social Policy has and continues to be a political project grounded in international socialist, feminist, anti-racist and radical perspectives, relating to the experiences of people struggling within or against the state within national and global contexts. The Critical Social Policy Solidarity Fund seeks to support activist projects that align with the aims and mission of Critical Social Policy.

The Critical Social Policy Solidarity Fund recognizes the struggles of resistance, emancipation, and political transformation for social justice in order to counteract unequal power relations of exclusion, subordination and domination, due to oppressive constructions of identity, representation and position. In a small, but hopefully effective way, The Critical Social Policy Solidarity Fund will enable activist, advocate, practitioner, and users of service groups in their actions to promote people before profit approaches to social policy, welfare and the state.

The Fund will support:

  • Hard to fund activist projects.
  • ‘Pump priming’ activism (small amount of funding provided to help lay the foundation for an activity)
  • Overheads
  • Activist training and development projects
  • One off activist events
  • Dissemination of activism
  • Other activist projects”

This fund appears to be continually open but they state that they have a deadline each year of the 20th May.

More information and information on how to apply here.

City Bridge Trust

“City Bridge Trust is London’s largest independent funder. Their vision is for London to be a city where all individuals and communities can thrive, especially those experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation.”

At any one time they usually have several open grants organised under different themes, including “deaf and disabled people: inclusive services and better access”, “mental health”, and “strengthening voice and leadership”.

Deadline(s): varied

More information on City Bridge Funding programmes via their website.

Small Grants Scheme – Foyle Foundation

“Our Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities registered and operating in the United Kingdom, especially those working at grass roots and local community level. Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum.

Our focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability. Organisations can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000. There are no deadlines for submission. Online Applications can be received at all times, but it may take up to four months to obtain a decision from Trustees.”

Deadline: ongoing

For more information including on how to apply, please click here

Supporting Small Scale Change – The Wakeham Trust

“The Wakeham Trust provides grants to help people rebuild their communities. They are particularly interested in neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded. They favour small projects – often, but not always, start-ups and they try to break the vicious circle whereby you have to be established to get funding from major charities, but you have to get funding to get established. The best way to understand the kinds of projects they support is to look at their website.”

Application: Apply in writing by email 

Deadline: ongoing