Sport can have a significant and measurable impact on people’s lives. Recognising the positive impact rugby union and its values can have on individuals and communities, Comic Relief and England Rugby are working in partnership to deliver the Try for Change Fund.

Through the large grants programme, Comic Relief are looking to fund projects which will have a significant and lasting impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in England. Organisations which use rugby union, its values or the rugby community to tackle some of the biggest issues facing society are invited to apply for a grant of up to £100,000.

Try for Change aims to help people reach their goals and fulfil their potential, whilst delivering long-term benefits to the wider community. Proposals to the large grants programme must demonstrate wider social outcomes and not just focus on increasing participation in rugby. Proposals must therefore work towards at least one of the following Try for Change outcomes:

  • 1. Increase community cohesion or social integration
  • 2. Improve educational attainment
  • 3. Increase employability
  • 4. Reduce involvement in gangs and/or reduce the risk of re-offending
  • 5. Improve mental and physical health


Examples of the types of projects Comic Relief will fund include:

  • Projects that use a mixture of rugby, mentoring and personal development sessions to provide opportunities for unemployed young people to develop work-relevant skills; whilst also improving their health and well-being.
  • Intergenerational projects that use rugby to connect people of different ages and tackle the effects of dementia, depression and loneliness.
  • Projects that provide opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers to develop key life skills, and use the game of rugby to bridge social, economic and cultural divides within communities.
  • Where rugby is used as a diversionary activity for those at risk of becoming involved in gangs or crime.


The fund is open for proposals from 4 September to 2 October 2017 (midday). Assessments will take place in November and all applicants informed of the final decision by the end of January 2018.

Visit Comic Relief's website for further details and to apply.