Team members of the Cast Explore programme

Today, 26 organisations start their journey into digital service design on the 12-week Explore programme. Delivered by CAST, Explore is a new early stage digital funding strand of Comic Relief and Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s joint Tech for Good programme. 22 other intrepid organisations will start their journey in September 2020.

The Tech for Good programme responds to the need for charities to use technology to explore different approaches to delivering better services. The Explore programme will help charities to scope a digital solution to improve outcomes for the people they support, and to build the skills to develop a strong, user-led approach to digital service delivery.

The programme was open to UK charities and not-for-profit organisations with incomes of between £75,000 and £10 million, and applications were required to address one of Comic Relief’s key issue areas. Applications addressing challenges related to disability were also welcomed, acknowledging the critical potential of digital technology in tackling this issue.

This blog reveals who got funded and shares the most interesting statistics on who applied. We hope this data will be useful to you if you apply to the Tech for Good Fund in the future. We’re also publishing it as part of our commitment to working in the open

If you weren’t ready to apply or were unsuccessful but are still wanting to get started with turning an idea or problem into a digital service then join a Design Hop. It’ll help you get started, teach you basic skills and prepare you to seek funding in the future. 

Number of applications

208 organisations applied. 26 of these submitted ineligible applications. 

Of the remaining 182, 48 got funded.


Applicants had to apply under one or more of Comic Relief’s key issue areas. Applications addressing challenges related to disability were also welcomed.

They had to select a main theme, and sub-themes. Here is a combined breakdown of main and sub-themes selected.

And here is a breakdown of applicants and awards made by main theme.


Applicants could apply solo (for £5,000) or in collaboration with another organisation (for £7, 500). Only 13% of applications involved collaborations. The additional funding available didn’t seem to encourage collaborations. 

9% of awards were made to collaborations.

Other stats

Organisations applied from addresses all over the UK. The number of awards made in each region reflected this geographical spread. Note that this data is based on registered address, and not region of operation.

50% of successful applicants were small organisations with incomes of less then £500k per year.


Here’s a full list of successful applicants. Each one of these charities will be starting their journey today or in September.

Children Survive & Thrive

  • Musiko Musika
  • The Brathay Trust 
  • SoCo Music Project
  • Putney Arts Theatre    
  • Kazzum Arts                           
  • Become Charity                     
  • Creative Futures      
  • Home-Start Hampshire

Mental Health Matters

  • The Open Door Centre  
  • Just Like Us   
  • The Golden-Oldies Charity    
  • Think Children    
  • Fabrica 
  • Front Lounge Limited  
  • Young Solutions Worcestershire 
  • Worcester Community Foundation  
  • Health for All Leeds   
  • The Key     
  • Pennysmart CIC 
  • Leicester City in the Community       
  • Changing Faces     
  • Saint Catherine's Hospice Trust        

A Safe Place to Be

  • Aspire Oxfordshire              
  • Right to Remain    
  • Voices in Exile   
  • 1625 Independent People Ltd       
  • CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers)
  • Age UK Oxfordshire  
  • Moving on Durham   

Fighting for Gender Justice

  • Early Childhood Partnership
  • Hear Women   
  • Equation 
  • Brighton Womens Centre
  • AVA - Against Violence and Abuse      
  • Relate Northern Ireland    
  • The Gifted Organisation Ltd


  • The Pace Centre                    
  • Openstorytellers
  • Down Syndrome International    
  • Age Concern Birmingham     
  • Fitnniss
  • Deaf Action  
  • Solar Bear
  • Headway    
  • British Tinnitus Association  
  • Chiltern Music Therapy  
  • The Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research
  • Stopgap Dance Company    

You can read more about how and why the Explore fund was developed in this Tech for Good hub blog.  

More learning to share

These brave and brilliant organisations will be learning a lot over their 12 weeks. And so will we. We will share the most useful and relevant insights and tips with you in future articles like this.

In the meantime, join a Design Hop or arrange free support via Digital Candle to help your charity move further on its digital journey.

Main image courtesy of gdsteam on Flickr.

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