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Care Home Challenge Fund: Round Two | Comic Relief

17 July 2017

About the initiative

Round One of the Care Home Challenge Fund in 2015-2016, demonstrated that small grants which support the delivery of fun and stimulating activities in care homes can have a significant impact. Providing the opportunity for staff and residents to get to know one another better, whether singing in a choir or potting up plants together, leads to greater wellbeing of residents and stronger relationships between them and their carers. The activities can also act as a catalyst for wider cultural change within care homes. In one home, involving residents in the planning of a musical production was so successful that the idea of ‘co-designing’ activities has now become normal practice. As one grantee said “It’s not a project anymore – it’s just part of the home.”

Building on this learning, in Round Two we are seeking applications from care home providers to deliver activities to improve the wellbeing of residents, and help staff and residents forge stronger relationships. We are keen to receive proposals which view these activities as an opportunity to build bigger positive change within care homes that will be sustained beyond the life of the funding.

Funding available

We expect to make 20 grants of between £10,000-£20,000 to care home providers from across the UK. Grants will last for between 18-24 months including time for planning, partnership building and delivery. We envisage that each grant will reach a maximum of 4-5 care homes, focusing on quality of delivery led by residents and care home staff rather than volume of people.

Based on learning from Round One, we will prioritise applications which:

Involve residents and staff taking part in meaningful activities together, and protect staff members’ time to ensure their full participation
Partner with a third-party activity provider which has a good understanding of the care home context and residents’ needs
Are ‘person-centred’, planning the work in response to residents’ needs and interests, involving residents in co-designing activities, and respecting people’s choice to participate.
Demonstrate a clear commitment to the proposed activity from the care homes involved, particularly from the managers and activity coordinators.
Support staff to build skills and confidence so they can facilitate or deliver activities, enabling sustainability beyond the life of the project.
Show how they are building on the findings from Round One. The Evaluation Report can be found here

This initiative sits under our ‘Health and Well-being’ programme area, so we are interested in accepting applications which encourage physical or mental activity, movement and increased mobility, social connections and engagement for residents. This may involve sporting activities such as martial arts or dance, but could also include other forms of gentle leisure/recreational activities such as gardening. Mentally stimulating work may include reminiscence and arts based activities, singing, reading groups etc. We are interested in supporting work which supports residents with a range of abilities.


Organisations applying to this fund must meet Comic Relief’s general eligibility requirements (see links below). In addition, please note:

Applicants must be UK-based care home providers, registered with the Care Quality Commission, Care Inspectorate (Scotland), Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales or the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (NI).
Charity and non-charity care home providers may apply. For applicants that are non-charities, we will carry out an appropriate level of risk assessment to ensure that (among other things) any grant will further our charitable purposes and will only be used for the charitable activities described in your proposal. Any grant made will be subject to satisfactory completion of that risk assessment. 
In order to target the fund where we can make most difference, we will ask applicants to give their current inspection rating relating to person centred care and wellbeing and to explain how the funding requested will enable them to improve provision in this area. 
Care home providers whose homes benefitted from funding in the first round of the Care Home Challenge Fund may apply to this second round, but only for work based in different homes. Individual homes which were supported through Round One funding may not benefit again in Round Two.
Activity providers that were involved in projects funded in Round One may apply in round two as a partner. The application must be led by a care home provider.
Successful applicants will be expected to participate fully in an evaluation of the fund.

Key dates and process

Once we receive your proposal, we’ll initially check whether your organisation and proposal are eligible for funding under this initiative and then shortlist the strongest proposals to go through for a full assessment. We will aim to notify all applicants of our decisions at this stage in early September 2017. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage, we will be unable to provide any additional feedback due to our limited resources.
Assessments on the proposals which pass this stage will take place during September 2017 and final decisions will be made by our Grants Committee and Trustees.

We aim to inform all applicants of the final decision in early December 2017. If your proposal is unsuccessful at this stage we will write to you explaining the reasons why and may offer further feedback by phone.

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