Funding: Comic Relief – Ahead of the Game


Comic Relief recognises that genuine impact requires focus; so, we target four key issue areas for our funding, one of which is global mental health. We believe that every person has the right to quality mental health support where and when they need it and has the right to live free from stigma and discrimination. 

It is estimated that 450 million people are currently suffering from mental health problems. It is one of the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the 800,000 lives lost to suicide per year.

Comic Relief’s Sport for Change strategy aims to bring about positive social change for individuals and communities through the intentional use of sport and physical activity. More information can be found here.

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that mental health can be improved through sports-based approaches which combine sport or physical activity with quality mental health support. However, this needs to be intentional. Research shows that taking part in any sport or physical activity will not automatically, on its own, positively benefit someone’s mental health. Programmes aiming to use sport or physical activity to support those with mental health problems need to be carefully designed to ensure they provide adequate support and are effective.

Comic Relief has launched this funding call with two aims:

Firstly, it aims to support new or existing work that combines sports based approaches with quality mental health support to reduce distress and/or improve mental wellbeing. 

Secondly, it aims to contribute to the growing body of evidence by learning from projects about what approaches are effective for whom, in what contexts.

The fund will support work in the United Kingdom, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda.

Stage 1 Deadline: 12pm (noon) on 31st May 2019

Duration: Funding is available for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years

Costings: Applications are welcome for a minimum of £150,000 and a maximum of £450,000

For more information, please visit


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