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A Million & Me – Big Sky Programme

BBC Children in Need is here to make sure that every child has the childhood they deserve and the support they need to thrive.

Our A Million & Me fund supports children aged 8-13 years old. It focuses on their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

This fund aims to provide support at an early stage, before mental health problems are established.

As part of this programme, we focused on the impact of geographic isolation on children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. Research by the Centre for Mental Health (report) highlights the voices of children are often absent from consultations. Dedicated support and funding should be allocated to reaching children in remote communities.

The Big Sky programme has been developed in response to these needs.

What is the Big Sky Programme funding for?

  • Grants are for early intervention approaches. These grants will support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children aged 8-13 years living in spatially isolated communities.
  • This is an invite only programme for organisations working in rural, remote and island areas.
  • As applications are by invitation only, they will be developed through conversations with BBC Children in Need teams in each of the 4 nations and draws on our local knowledge and insight.
  • We are committed to funding grassroot organisations across the UK, providing those vital positive relationships that support good emotional wellbeing and mental health.
  • Funding of up to £5,000 will be awarded although we expect there to be mix in the range of grants awarded.
  • Organisations can apply for up to 2 years, with no application deadlines. Applications must fit within BBC CiN localised funding plans and rural identifiers developed at a local level. Contact details for local teams are here.
  • Applicants may already hold a grant with us but we are keen to target organisations and groups that have not been funded by us.
  • Organisations will only be able to hold one Big Sky grant.

A tailored support programme for grassroots organisations will be available for funded organisations.

This will include 1-2-1 engagement, sector events, bespoke advice, signposting and training. This support programme will map local provision and connect grassroots projects to each other. It will build confidence through learning, increase influence and engagement with policy makers.

This programme will listen, capture and amplify the voices of children living in remote, rural and island isolation across the UK.

Minimum Standards

BBC Children in Need uses Minimum Standards for grantmaking to look at the strengths of an organisation. We look at areas including your finances, governance, and safeguarding.

If invited to apply, more details on these will be discussed with you but you can read more here Minimum Standards for Grantmaking.

Who might be invited to apply?

  • Not-for-profit organisations working with children and young people aged 18 or under
  • Organisations that work with children and young people who live in the UK, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands
  • If we do not fund your application we will advise you when you are next able to apply to us.
  • We seek to prioritise smaller, local organisations. As a result for project costs we will rarely fund organisations with an annual turnover of more than £2 million in the most recent, complete financial year. We understand that there are some organisations with higher income that deliver vital work for Children and Young People. We will accept applications from the following organisations regardless of their turnover.
        • Hospices (incl. Children’s Hospices)
        • Housing Associations
        • Applications which will deliver nationwide or UK-wide work. (i.e. working across a whole nation, or multiple nations within the UK)
  • We understand that in certain circumstances, larger and/or national organisations can be best placed to deliver work to the communities that need it most
  • If an organisation is delivering in more than one nation in the UK – they are able to apply to and hold a project grant in more than one nation (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales) at any one time.

The people and organisations that BBC Children in Need fund will be:

  • Working with children and young people aged 18 years and under
  • Working in the heart of their communities, particularly in times of crisis
  • Putting children and young people at the centre of everything they do, from design to delivery
  • Addressing challenges faced by children and young people, building their skills and resilience
  • Empowering children and young people, and extending their choices in life
  • Keen to keep learning about and developing their work with children and young people
  • Committed to making a difference in children and young people’s lives

BBC Children in Need doesn’t fund:

  • Work that statutory bodies (such as schools or local authorities) have a duty to fund
  • Educational institutions, including schools, universities, and pupil referral units. Special schools are the only exception; please see our A–Z Guidance for more detail
  • Local government, prisons, or NHS bodies
  • Capital or building projects
  • Projects that promote religion
  • Trips abroad, or other activity taking place outside the UK
  • Medical treatment or research
  • Pregnancy testing or advice, information, or counselling on pregnancy choices
  • Awareness-raising work, except where targeted at children or young people most at risk
  • Bursaries, sponsored places, fees, or similar costs
  • Holidays where there is little or no project involvement
  • Political activity, including party political organisations or direct lobbying
  • Individuals
  • Costs passed on to other organisations
  • General appeals or endowment funds
  • Help with budget shortfalls or debt repayments
  • Work that has already taken place – or any costs incurred – before the date we give you a decision (retrospective funding)
  • Projects unable to start within 12 months of the grant award date
  • Unspecified expenditure
  • Any activity that is already being funded through another grant. We cannot fund the same activity twice. All applications should clearly demonstrate that they are either for different work, or for work with a different cohort of children and young people.

What do I need to know?

It’s very important that you refer to our online A–Z Guidanceif you are invited to apply for funding. It may also save you the time and effort of applying for costs we don’t fund. You should also check that you meet our Minimum Standards for Grantmaking.

Our A-Z Guidance includes details of our grantmaking policies. Some will be relevant to every application, such as our Safeguarding Children policy. Others are important for certain types of applications, such as work involving counselling, or projects seeking funding for equipment.


Am y dudalen Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

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