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Challenge Fund 2019

The AHSW CHALLENGE FUND 2019 provides £6000 in match funding to three organisations in the South West region (£2000 to each organisation). We want to hear from organisations who are keen to improve their fundraising skils and have ideas about how they can raise £2000 from individuals. If selected, you will have a year to raise £2000 and we will match your funds up to the amount you raise.  


This year we are looking for organisations working with our priority areas of young people’s mental health or loneliness (can combine both). See below for further information on the priority areas. The Challenge Fund is not open to individuals. Organisations must be based in or deliver work in the South West region as defined by Arts Council England.



20th December 2019: Applications open

1st March 2019: Deadline for applications at 5pm

15th March 2019: Successful applicants notified

April 2019 – March 2020  fundraising activity is eligible for match funding



Organisations will be selected by open submission based on their fundraising ideas. We will support organisations with advice and broadening their reach through our network of members. We will match fund up to £2000 to each organisation. 



Please complete the Application Form at https://goo.gl/forms/sNxrQduQuIBRlx2j2


This form requests a number of attachments including a Case for Support. This should be no longer than 3 A4 sides and can include images. It should be structured under the following headings:

a. About our Organisation

b. Why our work is important and the need for what we do

c. How our work reflects Arts & Health South West’s priority areas of loneliness and young people’s mental health

d. What difference we make

e. How we involve beneficiaries

f. How we will use the money if we are successful


All applications must be received by 5pm on 1stMarch 2019

Organisations will be notified of results on the 15th March 2019

Contact the Director of Arts & Health South West, Alex Coulter, with any Email queries: alex@ahsw.org.uk


Participants will be selected by:

Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West

Mary Chamberlain, Trustee of Arts & Health South West, fundraising professional, artist and arts practitioner.




“I  came to  the  museum today  alone,  riddled with  anxiety.  It's been a  bad  week. Some  pieces  in this  exhibition have  brought me  great  comfort and  have  made me  feel  connected to  humanity  again, at  least  for  a while.” 

Audience feedback from Alternative Visions exhibition (https://ahsw.org.uk/alternative_visions)


On 15 October the Prime Minister launched the Loneliness Strategy: (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/750909/6.4882_DCMS_Loneliness_Strategy_web_Update.pdf)


Loneliness is linked to heart disease, strokes and dementia. By 2023 all GPs will be able to refer people experiencing loneliness to community services, including arts groups and activities. The Campaign to End Loneliness has helpful information on Loneliness including guidance on measuring Loneliness: 



National guidance on measuring loneliness is also being developed by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and you can sign up for alerts here: https://whatworkswellbeing.org/loneliness/


Young People’s Mental Health

In the South West, young people’s mental health is a significant public health concern and health services are struggling to meet the need. Self-harm and alcohol related hospital stays for under 18s are both worse than the national benchmarks. The number of school pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs is also higher than national averages. You can find out more about the statistics by region, county and locality here: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/mental-health/profile/cypmh/data#page/0/gid/1938133090/pat/6/par/E12000009/ati/102/are/E06000022


Birmingham University’s Mental Health Policy Commission: Investing in a Resilient Generation is a good place to start for a strategic overview (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/impact/policy-commissions/mental-health/index.aspx_)

and this is a useful briefing from the Cultural Learning Alliance on young people, the arts, health and wellbeing: https://culturallearningalliance.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Arts-Health-and-Wellbeing-Briefing.pdf


You can find out more about children’s and young people’s experiences of loneliness: 2018 from the Office of National Statistics: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/childrensandyoungpeoplesexperiencesofloneliness/2018


Important Notes

Funds raised from lottery or public sector sources (e.g. Arts Council, Big Lottery, Universities, Local Authorities, NHS or Public Health), trusts and foundations and sponsorship will not be eligible for match funding.

We are most interested in supporting those who are diversifying their current income streams and trying out new ways of raising funds. In particular we want to support organisations developing their individual giving skills. This can range from individual philanthropists who might donate substantial amounts to small donations including collections at events. The CHALLENGE FUND 2019 builds on Arts & Health South West’s own learning from the Arts Council Catalyst Evolve Fund and on the experience of the 2018 Challenge Fund participants.


If you would like to download this information as a PDF, please click here: Challenge Fund 2019 Information






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