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What is happening in Grant Making over the next 12 months at BBC CiN?

  • Over the last 12 months we have developed a new strategy for our grant making. We will be launching this in Spring 2022. This will include changes which will help us:
    • Improve accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion.
    • Make it easier for projects to apply for funding.
    • Help us put Children and Young people at the heart of everything we do
  • Remain UK wide, but working locally in communities across the country.
  • We are now starting work on putting this strategy in to action. This involves looking at our funding methods, processes, and ways of working to help us do this.
  • We are pausing our Main and Small Grants Programme for new applications while we work on this. However; we will be making some grants in early 2022 and continuing to fund and manage around 2,500 grants.
  • During this time, we’ll continue to award grants through our various partnership programmes.
  • We have been delivering Phase one of the Youth Investment Fund on behalf of the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport. This was for capital funding, which we define as the costs of building improvements, buying equipment (including IT and vehicles) and furnishings. For more information click here. Please note: This fund was only available in England and is now closed to applications.
  • We know that changes in our grant making calendar can cause challenges for our funded organisations. We’re currently looking at ways to deliver extension funding to support these organisations. This will be a competitive process and we’ll be in touch if this affects you.
  • We have recently launched our Youth Social Action Fund programme. BBC Children in Need, in partnership with the #iwill Fund and The Hunter Foundation, are delivering a £3 million fund to support organisations to embed youth social action across the UK. For more information click here.
  • We’re very excited to share our new strategy for grant making with you and looking forward to sharing more detail with you from Spring 2022.
  • BBC Children in Need has always supported children and young people across all four nations of the UK and we remain entirely committed to this.
  • Whilst we might not be changing radically in our purpose as a funder, we do want to make changes to the way our funding is accessed, and we are taking steps to address accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion and make things simpler and quicker for everyone.
  • We want to put children at the heart of everything we do and use our position to establish partnerships which support them.
  • The strategy will work to clearly define our purpose in relation to our key characteristics as:
  • The BBC’s UK corporate charity
  • Children and young people at the heart of our work
  • UK wide and locally rooted
  • “Thoughtful Leadership” in funding for children and young people in the UK
  • We are not closed. We will remain open, supporting our funded organisations and other grant making programmes.
  • We’re expecting new grant making programmes to open around September 2022.
  • In the meantime, it is likely that new funding streams related to our targeted and partnership funding activity will also launch.
  • We will continue to fund and support a large active portfolio of around 2,500 projects across the UK. These are active for up to three years. This includes our Emergency Essentials and Next Steps programmes.
  • We will also deliver around 100 grants through the HSBC Money Heroes fund. Money Heroes, is a joint programme between BBC Children in Need, Young Enterprise (Young Money) and HSBC providing a package of support to help organisations develop and deliver financial education to children aged 3-11 years.
  • We will continue to deliver our ‘Inspiring Futures’ Programme.  Inspiring Futures is a joint funding programme between BBC Children in Need and the Youth Futures Foundation.
  • We will continue to deliver our ‘A Million and Me’ Programme.
  • We will also be launching Hinterlands in early 2022. This will be a two-year early intervention wellbeing and mental health programme. This programme will support children and young people aged 8- 13 years, who are growing up in isolated, rural, coastal and island communities. The programme will find ways for local people, partners, and services to work together to improve mental health outcomes. Through Hinterlandswe will support upwards of 250 micro-grants.
  • We will launch our Sharing Power programmes in early 2022. This will be a series of open funds to support organisations to embed youth social action across the UK.
  • We have recently launched our Youth Social Action Fund programme. BBC Children in Need, in partnership with the #iwill Fund and The Hunter Foundation, are delivering a £3 million fund to support organisations to embed youth social action across the UK. For more information click here.
  • We will be continuing to work in partnership with Young Manchester to provide opportunities to young people to engage in youth social action to improve community safety across the City.

Our funding programmes



Programme Area


Programme Deadline Decisions Communicated Location
Youth Social Action Fund Sharing Power Programme Sign up to an information session by the 8th April August 2022 UK Wide
DCMS Youth Investment Fund (CLOSED) Small scale capital projects CLOSED TBC England Only
Emergency Essentials The programme provides items that meet children’s most basic needs. Ongoing Ongoing UK wide
Small Grants Programme (CLOSED) Broad-based funding (Up to 3 years) 11.30am, October 6th, 2021 February 2022 UK wide
Main Grants Programme (CLOSED) Broad-based funding (Up to 3 years) 11.30am, August 23rd, 2021 Late January 2022 UK wide

For information about our grants for individuals, please see our Emergency Essentials programme.

How you help improve children’s lives

Understanding how BBC Children in Need helps improve children’s lives will help you talk to us about your project. By talking clearly about your activities and how they make differences that improve children’s lives, you help us better understand your intentions when we make a decision about your application. More importantly, once you have a grant, it will help us talk to you about the ongoing development of your project and its continued positive impact on children’s lives.

When telling us how your project will make children’s lives better, we ask you to talk about:

  • The disadvantages faced by the children and young people you support, and what effects these have on their lives.
  • What your project will do and how its activities will help make a difference to children’s lives.
  • The three most important differences your project will make that will improve children’s lives. This is the aspect of your application that interests us most. If you are awarded a grant you will be asked to report back on these in detail.
  • For each of your differences, be succinct and talk about a single, significant change only. Do not provide a list of differences or changes.
  • The difference will occur in the time you are in contact with the children you support. It can be a small change or a lasting change.
  • Use the language of change in your descriptions, e.g., improving life skills, increasing self-esteem, reducing distress.
  • You only need to talk about the specific difference you will make, for example, ‘improving family relationships’, and not the building block(s) they strengthen, in this case, ‘positive relationships’.
For more information about Our Strategy and Learning, please click here.

What do the building blocks look like? Expand to read more.

Step 1

Being physically safe

…is when children have better access to safe spaces away from direct threat or harm, such as abuse (including online), neglect or violence. In other instances it can mean children being able to identify personal risk and take action to remove themselves from those situations, or to minimise the risk, and tell a trusted adult.

Step 2

Being physically well

…is when children are able to be active and socially or physically mobile – even when they may be limited due to illness or disability. It also involves having a healthy diet, good awareness of nutrition, and of having support and information to make mature choices regarding behaviours that can endanger a person’s health, such as engaging in unsafe sex or substance misuse.

Step 3

Being emotionally well

…is when children can manage their feelings and make sense of traumatic or emotional setbacks. For some, it is essential that they are able to manage mental ill health that can manifest itself in such things as self-harming, depression or suicidal thoughts. For many, emotional well-being is built on having fun, getting a break and experiencing freedom from day-to-day challenges.

Step 4

Having strong self-belief

…is when children have a positive sense of who they are and what they can achieve. Self-belief can be a combination of factors including self-esteem, confidence, pride in accomplishments, a sense of identity and having positive expectations for your future life.

Step 5

Having positive relationships

…is when children have strong, positive and affirming relationships – starting with their family, carers and friends. Having trusted peers and adults in their lives also helps overcome loneliness and provide alternatives to disruptive and harmful pathways or activities. Children also benefit from having positive relationships with social and community groups relevant to them.

Step 6

Having essential skills

…is when children have a wide range of personal and practical skills. Alongside various social, life, communication and creative skills, such as imagination and personal expression, we include children’s willingness and ability to engage with and achieve in education, training and employment.

Step 7

Being positively empowered

…is when children and young people can direct or manage their lives, or aspects of them. They make independent decisions, display appropriate behaviour, are motivated, express themselves and engage with activities and matters that affect them.

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