Supporting Northern Ireland families to improve their children’s lives.

BIG are investing £25 million in projects lasting five years to help families in Northern Ireland to improve their children’s lives. BIG’s mission is to support people and communities most in need so they expect the projects they fund to help families facing challenges such as separation, absence of a key family member, poverty, substance abuse, disability, social isolation, homelessness, physical and/or emotional abuse.

The aim of this programme is to support families in Northern Ireland to improve their children’s lives by building strong and nurturing relationships. BIG are looking for the projects that they fund to have a measurable impact on families with children under the age of 12. Specifically they want all funded projects to make the following changes. These are known as the programme outcomes and applicants must meet all three:

  • more families will have greater skills, knowledge and understanding to overcome adversity
  • more children and their families will come together and learn
  • more children and their families will be part of the community that they live in.

BIG will only accept applications from organisations working in partnership. By working in partnership they mean working with other organisations to plan and carry out your project. You might work with organisations from another sector or organisations that have specialist knowledge. Only voluntary or community sector organisations may apply as the lead organisation in a partnership. The lead organisation must be one of the following:

  • unincorporated association, trust or company set up and registered as a charity
  • unincorporated association set up as a voluntary and community group
  • community interest company
  • not for profit company limited by guarantee
  • community benefit society organisation recognised by HM Revenue and Customs as exempt for tax purposes.

The lead organisation will apply for funding, manage and run the project. If you are awarded funding, you must have a written agreement with the partner organisations which clearly explains each partner’s roles, responsibilities and how you will be working together for the whole project.

Each lead organisation can only hold one grant from this programme but could be involved in other projects as a partner. However, we will consider the capacity of partners involved in multiple projects during our assessment.

Costs Covered


some or all of your project costs for five years

building or refurbishment work, capital equipment or vehicles essential to the delivery of your project up to a maximum of £70,000

a contribution towards your overheads.

How to Apply

There is a two stage application process.

You can submit stage one applications anytime between now and12 noon on 30 January 2015. Decisions on stage one applications will be made within 20 working days of receipt and we will tell you if you have been invited to make a stage two application.

Applicants at stage two of the process will have up to six months to complete the application and send it back to us. Decisions on stage two applications will usually take six months from receipt.

For more information please visit:

The deadline for Stage 1 applications is 12 noon on Friday 30 January 2015


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