BBC Children in Need - Main Grants Programme

Status:  Open to applications

Application Deadline: 13 January 2019


Grants for not-for-profit organisations that are working with disadvantaged children and young people who are 18 years old and younger living in the UK.


Maximum Value: £ 120,000
Minimum Value: £ 10,000

Value Notes

Grants of over £10,000 are available to support projects for up to three years.

There is no upper limit for Main Grants but very few grants over £120,000 (or £40,000 per year) are made and most grants are for much less.

Extended Description

BBC Children in Need distributes the funds raised each year from the Children in Need annual charity appeal as grants to organisations that work with disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

BBC Children in Need’s focus is firmly on children and young people experiencing disadvantage. They fund organisations working to combat this disadvantage and to make a real difference to children and young people's lives.

Latest Information

The next deadlines for initial applications are 13 January 2019 (11:59pm) and 19 May 2019 (11:59pm).                        

Key Criteria

Not-for-profit organisations that work with disadvantaged children and young people of 18 years and under who live in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands are eligible to apply.

Organisations that already hold a grant from Children in Need can apply for further funding providing the current grant is coming to an end within the next 12 months. Applicants will need to be able to provide convincing evidence of the differences the grant has made to the lives of the disadvantaged children and young people the organisation has worked with.

Eligible Expenditure

Funding is available to organisations that are supporting children and young people of 18 years and under who are experiencing disadvantage through:

  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect.
  • Any kind of disability.
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties.
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation.

Organisations must be working to combat this disadvantage and to make a real difference to children and young people's lives.


Funding is not available for the following:

  • Work which statutory bodies (such as schools or local authorities) have a duty to fund.
  • Local government or NHS bodies.
  • Building project applications of more than £20,000.
  • Projects which promote religion.
  • Trips or projects abroad.
  • Medical treatment or research.
  • Pregnancy testing or advice, information or counselling on pregnancy choices.
  • Awareness-raising work, except where it is targeted at those children or young people most at risk.
  • Bursaries, sponsored places, fees or equivalent.
  • Individuals.
  • To be passed on to other organisations, for example, PTAs applying on behalf of schools.
  • General appeals or endowment funds.
  • Budget shortfalls or debt repayments.
  • Projects where the grant expenditure is due to start before the grant award date (retrospective funding).
  • Organisations which have applied in the last 12 months.
  • Projects unable to start within 12 months of the grant award date.
  • Unspecified expenditure.
  • Organisational overheads or running costs which the organisation would incur whether the project was running or not. Consideration will be given to funding support costs incurred as a direct result of running the project.

Application Procedure

Applicants must refer to the A-Z Guidance document before making an application.

There is a two-stage application process.

  • The first stage is to fill out the initial online application form which can be found on the Children in Need website.
  • Groups that are successful at the initial application stage will be invited to complete a full application form.

Decisions on Main Grants are usually made within five months of the initial application deadline.

Contact BBC Children in Need for further information.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
BBC Children in Need 
PO Box 649 
M5 0LD
0345 609 0015 (select option 2)