Apply to the Your Best Friend Fund

Through the Your Best Friend Fund we wanted to distribute £300,000 in grants to organisations and groups based in England and Wales to create their own ideas and projects that support these aims. These grants were available as small grants of £1,000 - £10,000, and large grants between £10,000 and £25,000. So far, with the support of our panels of young people who have made the final decisions, we have awarded £275,000 to 35 organisations across England and Wales.

All English applications are closed as we have awarded all the money allocated to England, however we still have £25k to allocate to Welsh organisations in small grants. The deadline for Welsh organisations to apply is Monday 6th June at 5pm.'

Please read on to learn more about the project, and how organisations in Wales can apply for a small grant up to 10K.
Key information
If you have any hearing impairments, we have added subtitles to the video - please turn on the closed captions on the video menu
Guidance Notes
What the grants are for?
We listened to hundreds of girls, young women and non-binary people to find out what they see their friends experiencing in all types of relationships and what stops young people from spotting toxic behaviours and red flags. They told us what helps them, or stops them,
intervening if their friend is in a toxic relationship and what would make them seek professional advice.

You can apply for a grant to use these ideas in your own groups and organisations, or to develop ideas of your own. All we ask is that your idea or project must:

  • increase understanding about healthy, unhealthy and toxic relationships
  • give people the knowledge and confidence to know how to keep their friends safe

We organised what we heard into eleven Themes which you can read about on here.

Now, we are developing ideas for things young people can use to help their friends. Here are some of the ideas:

  • connected TikToks which give practical information, tips and skits showing the challenges faced by LBT+ people in their relationships
  • a commercial video which provides information on relationships, red and green flags and tips and advice for organisations who work with teenagers
  • an Instagram campaign with quotes about what a good relationship looks like so you can open their eyes
  • a simple series of posters which have QR codes that you can zap to go the advice to help you help your friend and that show red flags in relationships that you might be missing in your friend's relationships
  • a Time to Step In Navigator where you answer yes/no questions that let you know when you need to step in and what you need to do to help your friend a podcast of young people in conversation about how to open a friend’s eyes about their relationship

Think about what a good way to raise awareness about toxic relationships in your community might be. Could you collect and share stories, have a poster campaign, write and perform a play or song or run an event?

What about setting up, or adapting, a peer support group in your youth club or school?

We’re interested in all good ideas to help you keep yourself and your friends safe.
What is the current schedule for applications?
The updated current schedule for applications is:

All English grants, as well as Welsh large grants are closed and will not be reopening.

  • Welsh small grants deadline: Monday 6th June at 5pm
  • Welsh small grants panel: Thursday 16th June.
How much can I apply for?
  • You can apply for a small grant (£1,000 to £10,000) if you are an organisation in Wales.
  • Please be realistic with the amount you apply for and the budget breakdown you give on your application.
What can I apply for?
  • You can apply for a grant to use the tools and resources Your Best Friend creates in your own community, or to develop ideas and activities of your own.
  • Your idea or project should focus on girls, young women and non-binary people aged 13-24. We are particularly interested in getting these tools and resources to those who might not find the help they need easily and need it in a language, or style, or place where they feel safe.
What can I use the money for?
  • You can use the grant to pay for staff, for professional help (like a graphic designer), to hire a venue, pay for printing etc.
  • We will ask you to provide a very simple budget.
What can’t I apply for? (please read carefully)
  • We will not give grants to produce websites or apps.
  • Grants cannot be used for political or religious activities.
  • Projects that include boys and young men
  • Projects that don’t increase understanding about healthy, unhealthy, and toxic relationships and give young women, girls, and non-binary people the knowledge and confidence to keep their friends safe
  • Projects with pre-existing materials
  • Funding to access pre-existing programmes
Can anyone apply?
We welcome applications from groups and organisations that include:
  • Schools (pastoral teams, peer mentors, feminist societies, sports and drama teams etc)
  • Colleges and universities (student union, societies, sports and drama clubs, pastoral teams etc)
  • Community-based social and health services (inc sexual health, pregnancy and young mums’ support)
  • Charities and community groups (national, regional and/or local) Religious groups
  • Youth clubs, groups and societies (inc activism, sports, drama, music, Scouts and Guides, adventure, craft, support groups etc)

  • Local authorities cannot apply
  • We cannot give grants to individuals, but please contact us on yourbestfriend@safelives.org.uk if you have an idea and/or would like to be involved in another way.
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
  • All Welsh organisations who apply for the small grant deadline of 6th June will hear back about whether they have been successful up to a working week after the panel is held on 16th June .
If I am successful, what do I need to do?
  • We’ll email you to confirm your grant, sending you a grant agreement and requesting some documents so that we can run our due diligence checks.
  • Once these are completed, we will pay your grant into the bank account you have provided us.
  • The grant agreement will also include some suggestions on how you can collect things that will help you tell a story about what your project did and what it achieved.
More questions?
If you require more information or have any further questions before applying, please email us yourbestfriend@safelives.org.uk


71%
Through the Your Best Friend project, we’ve been speaking to hundreds of other girls, young women, and non-binary people - 71% of them have seen their friend in a toxic relationship.
Young people are dealing with demands and stresses online when they engage with online spaces. Whilst managing these multiple connections and beginning relationships online, they are exposed to immediate online pressures, including unwanted personal/sexual comments, being asked for nudes, receiving unwanted sexual images/nudes, and unwanted people messaging them. There is a need for young people to be able to access resources to keep themselves and their friends safe, and deal with these pressures.

Anyone can find themselves in a toxic relationship – no matter our background or
where we live. We might grow up thinking toxic behaviours are normal, because of the adult relationships we see. Or maybe someone we trusted turns out to be not who we thought they were.

It isn’t always obvious what’s toxic and what’s not - especially if people tell you you’re wrong or being over-sensitive about something. If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, it can be really hard to know what to do.

Although there are lots of organisations who deal with “domestic abuse”, they might not feel like the right place to go for you. But just because you’re young, doesn’t mean it’s any less serious. And we know that at the best of times, it’s hard talking about this stuff and getting help. It’s even harder if you don’t have the language to do it or know who you can talk to.

Your Best Friend is a project where girls, women, and non-binary people have joined forces with 11 organisations to give you honest, practical information and advice about:
  • what’s okay and not okay
  • how to talk about it
  • how to stay safe and find safety
  • how to protect your friends and yourself
You can read more about our learnings so far here.
Why is this so important...
Two young friends standing by each other
Want to help?
If you want to get in touch to help with this project please contact yourbestfriend@safelives.org.uk

#WhatWillWork #YourBestFriend