Beatbullying project granted £1.3m from Social Action Fund

Civil society minister Nick Hurd is 'impressed' by We're Altogether Better, which aims to support half a million children

Hurd with Beatbullying staff and volunteers
Hurd with Beatbullying staff and volunteers

The Office for Civil Society has awarded £1.3m from its £20m Social Action Fund to a new not-for-profit organisation set up by the charity Beatbullying.

The money, which will be paid over an 18-month period, will fund the establishment of We’re Altogether Better, a new umbrella group that will include Beatbullying and the charity’s existing schemes -  the employment project FutureYou, the befriending scheme MiniMentors and CyberMentors, a project in which young people can receive advice on bullying from their peers. It will also include a new mental health service. The existing projects will expand using the OCS funding.

The new organisation will aim to support half a million children and to recruit 10,000 new volunteers. It will also be able to sell Cosmo, a software platform for providing internet chat forums that was developed by Beatbullying, to other charities.

The OCS will monitor the group’s progress and will make the payments only if it is satisfied that the scheme is succeeding. The group’s progress in recruiting 10,000 volunteers will be one benchmark.

Speaking at the launch of We’re Altogether Better, civil society minister Nick Hurd said he was impressed by the organisation’s funding application because it included matched funding from the private sector and involved scaling up an already successful scheme. "This is about building up programmes that have been around and that clearly work," he said.

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, will become head of We’re Altogether Better. She said that she thought the bid for the funding had been successful because it showed evidence of social outcomes. "It is also a replicable, scalable, efficient way of delivering a service," she said.

The Social Action Fund, which opened in October, is managed by Social Investment Business and offers grants of £100,000 or more to not-for-profit organisations, public sector bodies and businesses to run projects in England that encourage volunteering and charitable giving. A second tranche of the funding opened for applications earlier this month.

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