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Panelists discussing children's mental health

A Million & Me Award

Applications to the A Million & Me Award programme are now closed.


A Million and Me was BBC Children in Need’s £10m fund, dedicated to supporting children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health. A Million & Me funded projects across the UK, locally and digitally. These enabled children aged 8-13 to be supported in positive relationships among their peers, parents, carers and trusted adults in their lives.

Following the success of A Million & Me funded projects and the programme’s evaluation by Centre for Mental Health (Power of the Ordinary), we are looking to award £1m, to one organisation (or a consortium), for implementation of the learnings and to enable early intervention support to children across the UK.

BBC Children in Need has partnered with Health Foundation and the Impact on Urban Health to award this £1m, to the successful award-holder.

The A Million & Me Award

The A Million & Me Award aims to build on the Power of the Ordinary report and:

  • Encourage innovative and large-scale creative solutions for early intervention. These will focus on children who are beginning to struggle with their mental health, but do not yet have an embedded clinical condition. We are particularly interested in programmes which involve a large digital element
  • Provide targeted support to children aged 8-13, including those from marginalised communities
  • Build a body of evidence on the effectiveness of early intervention to validate a social model of support
  • Disseminate resources, focusing on language, confidence and capacity building. This should be designed to encourage positive conversations and opportunities for children
  • Contribute to parents and trusted adults’ awareness of the importance of the ‘everyday magic’ of ordinary, positive relationships.


Please note: You will not be able to apply to this programme directly from this webpage. You must first attend an online information session, after which you will be invited to apply.

Please read carefully through the following criteria. If you feel your organisation may be eligible for the A Million & Me Award, please sign up to one the information sessions via the Ticket Tailor links at the bottom of this page.

If you have any communication needs or accessibility requirements that may affect your attendance, please sign up to one of the sessions via one of the Ticket Tailor links and email us at [email protected] so we can support you.

Who can apply?

Organisations seeking to apply for the award must:

  • Be a not-for-profit organisation, registered with the appropriate regulatory body. These include the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Charity Register. If you are a Company limited by guarantee, you must have registered with Companies House
  • Meet BBC Children in Need’s Minimum Standards for grant-making
  • Be a national organisation with the local infrastructure to reach and deliver via a place-based approach. Applications are also welcome from a collaboration of organisations with different expertise, however, the lead partner* must be a national organisation and meet our Minimum Standards for grant-making
  • Currently operate in at least two nations of the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). The organisation must, however, be able to deliver in all four nations throughout this project
  • Have experience of frontline delivery, working with children to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing. In particular, those who are seldom reached due to intersecting inequalities. This might include disabled children, children from ethnically marginalised communities, or children who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Have proven experience of delivering complex national projects with multiple partners, affecting change at a national scale
  • Involve young people and those with lived experience of mental health issues in their service design. For example, by supporting children to share their views, or involving them in organisational or project planning
  • Demonstrate an evidence-based understanding of mental health issues in children, based on rigorous research, community-led knowledge, and evaluation
  • Be established in and trusted by the communities they are supporting. The organisation must be able to make appropriate interventions for children who are seldom engaged through mainstream services
  • Demonstrate commitment to equity and able to show how this relates to an understanding of children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Organisations may apply to the A Million & Me Award whether they hold another BBC Children in Need grant or not.


*Please note, the nominated lead organisation must make the application, and will be accountable for:

  • Delivery of work as agreed
  • Safeguarding
  • Managing the grant and reporting back
  • Management of any workers funded as part of the grant
  • Ensuring that the work achieves its stated outcomes

Project Criteria

The project must:

  • Request project and associated costs only
  • Provide place-based service delivery, targeting children aged 8-13 years
  • Focus on social, pre-clinical and non-medical forms of support for children
  • Support children to identify, understand and better cope with their feelings, and access positive options when they are beginning to struggle with their mental health
  • Not focus on singular mental health issues, such as eating disorders, anxiety, self-harm, or bereavement and grief-related trauma
  • Offer both face-to-face and digital support
  • Deliver and signpost quality-controlled information and resources to children and trusted adults, e.g. parents/carers and adults working with children in their communities
  • Use and disseminate language based on a social model of support, which focuses on building confidence and capacity of people who surround children
  • Show that the work is led by, for, and with the communities being sought to reach
  • Show how intersecting issues will be addressed through the frontline delivery, specifying how underserved children will be reached
  • Be able to deliver in a 24-month timespan, inclusive of an optional (up to) 6-month development phase

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
  • 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 – this includes as partner organisations.
  • 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
  • Grants 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

Should your organisation apply?

It’s very important that you refer to our online A–Z Guidance before you 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.

How do you apply?

  1. Plan your project in detail. It may help to read our guide to planning your project before you apply. Poor planning is a common cause of unsuccessful applications
  2. Read our A-Z Guidance to help ensure you’re only applying for things that we can fund
  3. Read our Minimum Standards for Grantmaking to check that your organisation is eligible. If these standards are not met, we will be unable to support your work
  4. Read the A Million & Me project criteria to check that your organisation is eligible for this fund. Unless your organisation meets all of the criteria, it is unlikely your application will be progressed. If you are unsure, please attend an information session
  5. Sign up to, and attend, a mandatory online information session via Ticket Tailor. This will provide you with further details about the award and offer you the chance to ask any questions. You must attend one of the sessions on either Friday 20th October or Wednesday 25th October in order to apply for funding.

To sign up to the event:

  • Sign up to either one of the events on Ticket Tailor
  • Once you have received the confirmation email, you must click on the Zoom link and register for the information session. We recommend you do this at least 24 hours before the event to avoid any complications in the immediate build up to the sessions
  • Please register for this event using the same email address that you intend to submit your application from. We will not be able to send the application link to a different email address
  • If you cannot attend one of the information sessions due to accessibility reasons, please sign up via a Ticket Tailor link and email us at [email protected] so we can support you with alternative arrangements

6. After attending an information session you will receive an email, week commencing Monday 30th October, with an application link. The deadline to submit the application is 12:00 pm Monday 27th November. You will not be able to submit an application beyond this date

Please note: Once you have opened the link from the email and started your application, do not re-open the link from the email as this may cause you to lose your progress. If you want to come back to your application later, please access it via the online application portal. Please remember to save your work regularly

7. If your application meets our Minimum Standards for Grantmaking and fulfils the project criteria, you may be invited to an external assessment in January 2024

8. Should your application be progressed to the next stage, you may be invited to London to present your final pitch in person in April 2024. This stage may be filmed for marketing and publicity purposes

9. You will find out whether your application has been successful by May 2024.

What happens when you get a decision?

If your application is successful, we’ll send you an email to confirm this. The email will explain more about what happens next. You can also find more information in the ‘I have a grant’ section.

  • There may be some further conditions on your grant. These are changes you’ll need to make, or things you’ll need to tell us, before we can award you the agreed funding
  • You must start spending the grant within 12 months of the date that we email you our decision

If your application is unsuccessful, we’ll send you an email to confirm this. The email will give you a brief reason for our decision, and include details about when you can apply again.

You can also contact us if would like further feedback.


*Click here to sign up to the Friday 20th October Information Session*

*Click here to sign up to the Wednesday 25th October Information Session*


Please note: You may only attend one of the information sessions.

Get in touch

If you have a question relating to the A Million & Me Award or any of our other grant programmes, please contact the Grants Team by using one of the below methods:

Email us
[email protected]

Call us
0345 609 0015 – select option 2


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