Comic Relief Community Cash grants of up to £1,000 each have been awarded across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to 47 smaller voluntary organisations and charitable groups carrying out great work helping local people living tough lives. The funds totalling £46,174 were raised earlier this year through Red Nose Day and are being distributed by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) – the county’s largest grant-making organisation.

Gilly Green, Comic Relief’s head of UK grants said, “The Comic Relief Community Cash initiative enables us to help more than a thousand smaller projects all across the UK. The grants awarded today can be used for a wide variety of needs, from equipment for disability sports clubs, to activities bringing communities together, to specialist training for volunteers providing essential support.”

 Good Mental Health Cooperative, Portsmouth, Grant Award: £1,000

The Good Mental Health Cooperative ‘Human Library’ project in Portsmouth was awarded £1,000 to identify and work with volunteers who have experienced stigma and discrimination to train them in the art of public speaking and personal narrative.

The ‘Human Library’ project is effectively a pop-up library where members of the public have the opportunity to speak informally with these trained up ‘people on loan’ about mental ill-health, gender transition, old age, disabilities and other experiences of stigma and discrimination at fairs, festivals (such as Wickham Festival), hospitals The project is designed to help reduce prejudices and encourage understanding, enabling groups to break down stereotypes and stigma by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive way through personal stories. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding throughout the local community.

Sue Dovey, Chief Executive at Action Hampshire and supporter of Good Mental Health Cooperative advised: “This is a group that has established a strong reputation for its work to promote good mental health. Though a small group themselves, they have built strong partnerships and worked with a range of other organisations, including Solent MIND, which is about the largest MIND in the country. The Human Library project is a particularly innovative way to address mental health issues, whilst giving confidence to its participants that their experiences are important and can help others.”

Jakes Ferguson, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation commented: “We are delighted to be working closely with Comic Relief and to have identified these great causes to receive the Community Cash initiative grants. These are inspiring projects where a small grant can make a huge difference, and HIWCF works hard to ensure that our grant-making focuses on the areas of greatest need. Last year we were able to target 70% of our £1.1m grant spend to the 50% most deprived wards in our area.”

If you would like to find out more about HIWCF and our valuable work across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth please look at

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 Comic Relief Community Cash Initiative Grants Awarded by Area

Grant Application Name Amount Awarded Grant Application Name Amount Awarded
Basingstoke & Deane   New Forest 
Basingstoke Food Bank £1,000 Compass Counselling Service £1,000
Hampshire Fostering Network £1,000 Home-Start New Forest £1,000
Test Valley Men’s Shed £600 HOPe New Forest £1,000
Tune For Life £1,000 New Forest Disability Information Service £1,000
8th Alton Scout Group £1,000 SCARF £1,000
Bridges Support Project £1,000
Eastleigh Bivol Trust £1,000
Dwarf Sport Association UK South Central Region £1,000 Compass Carers Support Group £1,000
Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP £1,000 Dis-Play App CIC £1,000
Joyful Jams CIC £1,000 Frontline Debt Advice @ Paulsgrove £1,000
Young People’s Wellbeing Service Ltd £1,000 Good Mental Health Cooperative £1,000
Portsmouth Autism Support Network £1,000
Gosport Portsmouth Voices £1,000
Harbour Cancer Support Centre £1,000
Loud and Proud £1,000 Rushmoor
Marvels and Meltdowns £1,000 Home-Start Rushmoor £1,000
Hart Southampton 
Junction 5 Money Advice £1,000 Apna Group £1,000
Caulkhead Strollers Walking Football Club £1,000
Havant Families First Southampton £1,000
Artscape £1,000 Friends of St James’ Park £1,000
MSLipreading £1,000 Merryoak Computer Club £1,000
Sailing Therapy £1,000 New Dawn Child Contact Centre £1,000
Southampton (Hardmoor) Opportunity Group £1,000
Isle of Wight 
Cowes Sailability Club £824 Test Valley
Cruse Bereavement Care (Isle of Wight) £1,000 Andover Child Contact Centre £750
Isle of Wight Beach Soccer £1,000 Andover Foodbank £1,000
Our Place – West Wight £1,000 James’s Place Community Group (JPCG) £1,000
Shanklin Voluntary Youth & Community Centre £1,000
Home-Start Meon Valley £1,000
Winchester Go LD £1,000



 Contact details for Editor:

Name:                           Lucy Sweet

Title:                             Marketing Manager

Organisation:                HIWCF

Telephone:                    (01256) 776101

Direct Dial:                    (01256) 776116



About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aims to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world.

For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)


About Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation

Registered Charity No: 1100417 – Registered Company Number 4534462

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is an independent charitable trust established to inspire local giving for local need. The Community Foundation works both with donors who want to give something back to their local communities and voluntary groups providing vital services for local people where often a few hundred pounds can make a real difference to their lives. Companies, individuals, families and trusts can establish a fund with the Foundation, which supports a growing programme of grant-making to communities. HIWCF is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations, one of the fastest growing philanthropic movements in the UK. Local groups can take a look at the HIWCF website to see if they might qualify for a grant: or email HIWCF at