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COVID-19 Funding Streams

Criteria & Eligibility

COVID-19 2020 Booster Grants - Up to £5,000


The 2020 Booster Programme is now closed .

We will be opening further COVID-19 response funding programmes in July and October. Please keep checking our website for updates.


The 2020 Booster Grants Programme awards small grants of up to £5,000 to organisations working with children and young people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. These grants are designed to help organisations change, adapt and expand their approach to delivering their work. This is so they can better support the children and young people they currently work with.

This money is designed to adapt and develop current work. We only consider applications for new work where a clear track record of previous delivery, and appropriate skills required can be clearly demonstrated.

The 2020 Booster Programme offers grants of up to £5,000; however, most grants are for between £2,000 – £3,000.

Who can apply?

The COVID-19 2020 Booster Grants Programme is an invitation-only fund, for organisations who are currently funded by BBC Children in Need. This includes organisations who hold a Main, Small, Curiosity or Bridging Grant with us.  Organisations that have been invited to apply will receive an email detailing this.

With these funds, we prioritise smaller, local organisations looking to make immediate differences to children and young people in their area.

We continue to put safeguarding at the heart of everything we do. We also expect organisations to follow good practice regarding governance. Any organisations who apply for the 2020 Booster Grants programme will need to be able to demonstrate this. If you are looking for funding for more sustained activities, please consider our COVID-19 Next Steps Grants.

What can we apply for?

These grants are designed to help organisations adapt their current projects to support Children and Young people during the COVID-19 situation. These funds must be spent within 6 months of the grant being awarded.

The fund is designed to be as flexible as possible. Things you could apply for may include:

  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Additional Staffing
  • Immediate Core Costs (excluding Statutory core costs)
  • Training
  • Activities
  • Anything else which could directly support children and young people affected by COVID-19

This fund does not replace or affect any existing funding received from us.

Applying to any of our COVID-19 funding streams will not stop you applying for our other funds and organisations are able to hold a 2020 Booster Grant and COVID-19 Next Steps grant at the same time.  

What can’t we apply for?

Whilst this fund is designed to be as flexible as possible, we are unable to consider applications for the following:

  • Organisations we do not currently fund.
  • Applications to work with young people over the age of 18 years.
  • Work delivered outside the UK
  • Work which is a statutory duty to deliver.
  • Any costs in the past, or cost which you will not spend within 6 months.
  • Complex work which your organisation has no/limited track record in delivering (i.e. Mentoring, Counselling, Befriending, Child Sexual Exploitation work.).
  • Passing funds on to third-parties.
  • Multiple applications per organisation.
  • Development of brand new digital platforms (e.g. Apps or chat-bots).
  • Projects that will not start within the next six months of the grant award date.
  • General running costs for statutory organisations (e.g. schools).

How do we apply?

The COVID-19 2020 Booster Programme is an invitation-only fund. Eligible organisations will receive an e-mail from BBC Children in Need. This e-mail will contain instructions on how to apply via our online portal. If you are a current grant holder and have not received this e-mail, please contact us by telephone on 0345 609 0015, or by e-mailing our grants team at [email protected]

When will we hear back?

We aim to communicate decisions to applicants within 3 weeks of their application submission, however this may take longer, depending on the number of applications we receive.

COVID-19 Next Steps Grant - Between £5,000 and £80,000


The Next Steps Programme is now closed .

We will be opening further COVID-19 response funding programmes in July and October. Please keep checking our website for updates.


The Next Steps programme is our response programme designed to deliver support for children and young people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for between £5,000 and £80,000 for work commencing in September 2020. These grants can last up to 18 months. It is designed for established organisations who are already delivering work in their communities and further afield.

Who can apply?

The Next Steps programme will be for not-for-profit organisations within the UK who meet our Minimum Standards for Grantmaking. Your organisation must be registered with the appropriate regulatory body, such as your nation’s Charity Commission or Companies House (unless your organisation currently holds a BBC Children in Need grant).

We will not be accepting applications from educational institutions (including schools), prisons, hospitals or other statutory bodies.

Is this the right fund for your organisation?

These grants are designed to fund sustained responses to the COVID-19 situation. These projects can last up to 18 months and begin in September 2020. The fund will help organisations with more complex service adaption, including additional staffing requirements. It is designed to be as flexible as possible, covering a wide range of activities.

We expect a high level of interest in this programme. We will prioritise applications from organisations that:

  • Target children and young people disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (see below). We recognise that the current crisis increases pre-existing inequalities.
  • Have mission statements, objects, or aims which focus on supporting and empowering a particular group or community experiencing disadvantage.
  • Respond confidently in a local area and are best placed to do so. We want to fund organisations that have the reach and trust of the communities/communities of interest they serve.
  • Can prove a track record of engaging disadvantaged children and young people over the last two years.

BBC Children in Need targets children and young people aged 0-18 years impacted by disadvantage including illness; distress; abuse or neglect; any kind of disability; behavioural or psychological difficulties; or living in poverty or situations of deprivation.

Through our research team, we have identified particular cohorts of children and young people particularly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

These include:

  • Children and young people affected by poor mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Disabled children and young people
  • Children and young people affected by domestic abuse
  • Children and young people affected by bereavement
  • Young carers
  • Children and young people with life-limiting or life- threatening conditions
  • Children and young people in and on the edge of care
  • Children at risk of personal harm, e.g., neglect, abuse
  • Children and young people at risk or affected by child sexual exploitation
  • Children and young people at risk or affected by child criminal exploitation e.g. County Lines
  • Refugee and asylum seekers
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups (BAME)
  • Children and young people affected by issues related to parental support and capacity
  • Young people Leaving Care
  • Children and young people who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Children and households impacted by poverty and immediate crises including homelessness.

Please note: Subject to a successful Minimum Standards check, applicants will be asked to discuss and review their proposal with a BBC Children in Need assessor.  Applicants must be available between 13th and 31st July for this assessment. As we want funding to reach children and young people as soon as possible, we cannot extend this assessment period.

I am a current BBC CiN grant-holder. Can I apply?

This fund does not replace or affect any existing funding received from us.

Applying to any of our COVID-19 funding streams will not stop you applying for our other funds and organisations are able to hold a 2020 Booster Grant and COVID-19 Next Steps grant at the same time.  

In addition, we are currently planning for organisations with grants coming to an end in this period.  We recommend that you continue to check our website for the most up to date information.

What can we apply for?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily broadened the types of applications we will accept. We encourage applications for:

  • Project delivery
  • Creative solutions to deliver much needed services
  • Organisational stability and support.

All applications will have to show how this funding will make a difference to children and young people’s lives during this crisis.

Your application does not have to be limited to one specific project and a request can be made for organisational running costs.

What can’t we apply for?

Whilst this fund is designed to be as flexible as possible, we are unable to consider applications for the following:

  • Capital/Building costs
  • Fixed equipment (e.g. boilers, lighting etc.)
  • Vehicles
  • Statutory costs or Work which statutory bodies (such as schools or local authorities) have a duty to fund
  • Non-Fixed equipment totalling over £20,000 (e.g. play/sensory equipment)
  • Work delivered outside the UK
  • Work with young people over the age of 18 years
  • Projects or work that start later than the 30th September 2020
  • Retrospective funding, where the grant expenditure is due to start before the grant award date
  • Costs for which you have also received funding for (duplication)
  • Contributions to your reserves
  • Staff redundancy or re-deployment costs
  • Repayment of loans or debts
  • Investments
  • Pension liabilities and/or contributions to a large number of staff’s pension
  • Feasibility studies or scoping work
  • Projects or work which promote religion
  • Trips or projects abroad
  • Medical treatment or research
  • Pregnancy testing or advice, information or counselling on pregnancy choices
  • Awareness-raising work, except where it is targeted at those children or young people most at risk
  • Bursaries, sponsored places, fees or equivalent
  • Political activity or, to party political organisations or for direct lobbying
  • Individuals
  • For the grant to be passed on to other organisations
  • General appeals or endowment funds.

How much can I apply for?

Eligible organisations will be able to apply for up to £80,000, however, we expect most awards to be less than this and proportional to the size and capacity of the organisation. Please only ask for what you need to support children and young people at this time.

How do we apply?

All applications must be submitted online via our Online Portal. Once you have logged in, you will be able to complete and submit your application for the COVID-19 Next Steps grants programme.

Before applying, we strongly recommend you read our COVID-19 Next Steps Grant Application Form Guidance

The deadline for this programme is 1 July 2020. We expect that this fund will be over-subscribed and only a proportion of applications will be successful. We also know that you need funding quickly.

We will assess applications in the order we receive them and track demand closely. We may need to take steps to help us manage the number of applications we receive and will keep you updated on this.

When will we hear back?

We expect to make all decisions within ten weeks of the application submission.

As a new fund, it is difficult for us to know exactly how many applications we will receive. We will get in touch with applicants if we need additional time.

If your application is successful you will receive an email informing you of the decision. This email will give you more information on what happens next and the terms and conditions of your grant. There may be some additional conditions on your grant:

  • Changes that need to be made or things you will have to tell us before we can award you the funds.
  • We expect all organisations to start spending their grant by 30th September 2020.

Inspiring Futures Programme

The Inspiring Futures programme is open for applications from Friday 10th July until 11:30am on Friday 31st July, 2020.

The COVID-19 Inspiring Futures Programme has been developed in partnership with Youth Futures Foundation. Organisations will be able to apply for between £10,000 and £80,000 for work beginning in October 2020. It is designed to fund projects which improve the journey towards employment for children and young people who face barriers.

For full information on eligibility and how to apply, click here.

Emergency Essentials +

We are expanding the work currently delivered through our Emergency Essentials programme. This programme supports individual children and young people living with severe poverty, a lack of the basic facilities which most of us take for granted and additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.

Who Can apply?

This fund is open to any families with children who are living with financial, health and social difficulties.

What can we apply for?

The programme provides items that meet children’s most basic needs such as a bed to sleep in, a cooker to give them a hot meal, clothing (in a crisis) and other items and services that are critical to children’s wellbeing.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have expanded our funding criteria for this grant scheme to include a broader range of basic essentials.

How do we apply?

Emergency Essentials is currently delivered by Family Fund. Although these grants are designed for families, applications must come through a registered referral agency. Individuals cannot apply directly. For more information, please visit the Emergency Essentials webpage.

When will we hear back?

Emergency Essentials is a rapid response fund. We aim to make all decisions on applications within three weeks.

Cymraeg/Welsh

Am y dudalen Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

 

Accessibility

We want everyone to be able to apply for our funding.  We’re committed to being as accessible as possible, wherever we can. If you need help please contact us on 0345 609 0015 or by emailing [email protected]. This help might include arranging a translator or requesting guidance in other formats

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