Small grants

A small grants fund has been set up to support organisations to put on remembrance events as part of this year's To Absent Friends festival. (1-7 November 2021.)

Two types of small grants (of up to £250) are available:

Community grants: These are for organisations and communities who want to plan private remembrance events at which their community can come together (online, outside or in small gatherings) to share memories, stories and solace.

Public grants: These are for organisations who want to organise an interactive public event (online, outside or in a public space) such as a concert, exhibition or installation, freely open to members of the public.

What kind of events will the small grants fund?

The fund aims to support activities that provide opportunities for storytelling and/or remembrance of people who have died.

The range of ways in which organisations can participate is wide and varied.

In previous years, events have included concerts, poetry nights, craft activities, memory sharing events, storytelling suppers, exhibitions and much more. Last year, people adapted to physical distancing rules by holding a range of online or outdoor events, for example beach bonfires, lilies to remember, and a remembrance walking trail.

It is important that events comply with the public health guidance in place at the time, and we appreciate the need for flexibility if people's plans have to change in accordance with changes in Scottish Government rules and guidance.

Some ideas of relevant activities organisations might wish to undertake are listed on the To Absent Friends website, but we also encourage creative and innovative ideas that feel right to local groups and communities.

Are the grants connected to the covid-19 pandemic?

The To Absent Friends festival runs every year, providing a time to remember and celebrate people who have died - either recently or long in the past.

The covid-19 pandemic has brought much suffering and loss. People have been bereaved because of covid-19, and people have died during periods of physical distancing restrictions, when when loved ones couldn't physically come together to say goodbye and share solace.

As a society it is important that we take time to recognise the impact of this. We are keen to support communities to organise events that remember people who have died from covid-19 and during the lockdown periods.

As in previous years, we are also keen to support communities who want to remember people who died in previous years or long ago, but who remain in their hearts.

Who can apply for the grants?

Any organisation with a bank account can apply for a grant. We would encourage applications from charities, community groups, care homes, NHS organisations, small businesses, prisons, arts organisations, schools, education institutions and more.


Grants are available for up to £250.

We are keen to support:

  • Events that celebrate and remember a person or people who have died – whether recently or long ago.


  • Events that recognise the loss caused by coronavirus, and provide opportunities to remember people who have died from covid-19 and/or during the lockdown period.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 12pm on Tuesday 31 August 2020. (We will aim to inform applicants of whether or not they have been successful by 14th September.)

A short grant application form and guidance notes for applicants are provided below.



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