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 Disability Rights UK’s Locating funding: An online resource to support Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).

To explore other useful resources for user-led groups, visit our Resources for Groups page.

The Anchor Programme

Open to: New applicants, including organisations which have received or are currently receiving funding from City Bridge Foundation
Funding size: The minimum you can apply for is £50,000 per year and the maximum is £150,000 per year
Funding length: Between 7 and 10 years
Area: Greater London

The Anchor Programme can provide long-term, core funding to second-tier organisations providing support to London’s frontline groups. At City Bridge Foundation we want to provide long-term, core funding to second-tier organisations that provide support to frontline groups.

To receive funding, organisations need to demonstrate a strong ongoing commitment to, and track record of, equitable practice. Organisations must also demonstrate that they are addressing the marginalisation and discrimination experienced by those with intersecting identities.

The Anchor Programme has been co-designed with civil society organisations and aims to fund organisations with a core focus on systems change, in order to make London a fairer city.

Initial Expressions of Interests must be submitted by 11pm on Monday, 3 June 2024.

You can find all of the information about The Anchor Programme via the City Bridge Foundation website.

Unlimited & British Council open call – Micro Awards

We’re awarding approximately eight pairs of disabled artists up to £3,000 to cultivate international partnerships. The aim of these awards is to help facilitate partnership and collaboration between artists and/or collectives in the UK and in countries eligible to receive Official Development Assistance (ODA).

In order to be eligible, proposals must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Collaborations must be led by a disabled artist/s or collective based in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales
  • The international collaborator must be a disabled artist/s or collective based in an Official Development Assistance (ODA) country.
  • Collaborations must be feasible within the given budget
  • Collaborations must be feasible within the given timescale

Applications from artists whose work centres around disability and/or impairment are welcome to apply, as are those whose work does not.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 23 April 2024, midday.

You can find all of the information about the Unlimited & British Council Micro Awards via the Unlimited website.

Synergi Grants Programme: Democratising Policy

Synergi, an NSUN hosted project, is running its second grants programme for user-led groups working on mental health and racial justice. Its focus is on funding grassroots campaigning at the intersections of abolition, mental health, and racial justice, supporting communities who are racialised and have been harmed by the mental health system, incarceration, policing, prisons, psychiatry, and forensic settings and/or the immigration system.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Your group will be based in England
  • Your group will be led by people racialised as Black or People of Colour who live with mental ill-health, distress, and trauma
  • Your group will benefit people who have been impacted by, or work on, one of the following areas: prisons and policing, lived experience of mental health settings, immigration detention and removal centres, working at the intersection of mental ill health, distress, trauma, and racial and/or disability justice using an abolitionist framework
  • Your group engages in abolitionist activity (defined further via the grant webpage linked below)
  • Your group is interested in coalition building across the grassroots racial justice and mental health and/or disability movement
  • Your group has a yearly income of under £50k.

The Synergi Grants Programme is now open for applications. The deadline to complete the first step of the application process, which is an eligibility form, is 5pm on 30th May 2024

You can find all of the information about the grants programme on the Synergi website.

Arts Fund

We see culture as the heart of a just society, where all people and communities have a right to express themselves through art and culture. We believe that art and artists can help us see the world differently, bringing unheard stories and narratives to the fore and opening up new imaginative possibilities. To realise this potential, we believe the sector needs long-term structural and cultural change.

Our ambition is to support a portfolio of organisations who represent this change to develop, learn from each other and (further) explore the potential of art for personal, cultural and social transformation. Together, we want to:

  • build capacity and resources for culture within historically underfunded communities.
  • explore the role that artists can play in addressing issues of social justice.
  • create the infrastructure for a more equitable cultural sector.

We are looking to work with organisations for whom these aspirations are central to their vision and mission. The Arts Fund supports the long-term development and transformation of these organisations as a route towards social justice and sustainability.

Deadline: Open for applications from 4 April – 31 May & 14 August – 14 October 2024.

You can find out more about the Arts Fund via the Paul Hamlyn Foundation website.

Grants for VCSE organisations in North London

North London Forensic Collaborative is offering grants of between £500-£4,999 to Voluntary Community Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations based in North London.
The Grant Programme is open to VCFSE organisations who currently work with individuals accessing mental health forensic inpatient or community services, as well as organisations that are delivering health and wellbeing initiatives in local communities that with additional investment, could extend this offer to individuals accessing mental health forensic services. Applications are open on a rolling basis until July 2024 or until funds are spent.

Deadline: Applications for the small grant programme is offered on a rolling basis until July 2024, or until all funds are spent. 

You can find out more about Grants for VCSE organisations in North London via the North London Mental Health Partnership 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: this is an ongoing/rolling funding opportunity.

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.

Deadline: this is an ongoing funding opportunity, open all year round or until the funding pot for the year is used. More information and apply via the Blagrave website.

Leathersellers’ Small Grants Programme

The Leathersellers’ Small Grants Programme will consider applications for one-off grants of up to £5,000 from charities and Charitable Incorporated Organisations in the UK meeting the following criteria:

  • Operate in a geographical area of deprivation in the UK
  • Deliver activities to meet an identified need for vulnerable members of the community
  • Have a planned expenditure of under £200,000 in 2023/24

Deadline: this is a rolling/ongoing funding opportunity operating in “rounds” throughout the year.

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.

Deadline: this is an ongoing/rolling funding opportunity with decisions being made at specific points in the year.

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

Deadline: 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: 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