We have developed partnerships with community foundations in a number of UK locations to enable us to distribute grants effectively to organisations which are supporting the communities where our business operates.
Community foundations are place-based funders, working with local donors, funders and businesses to ensure their grant making is location specific, tackling issues that are pertinent to their locality.
By working with community foundations, we have the confidence that we are directing our funding to the places where it is needed the most.
Our partners represent the geographic locations of our office locations in Bradford, Chatham, London and Petersfield:
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation
- London Community Foundation
- Bradford District Community Foundation
- Kent Community Foundation
London-based Free2B Alliance supports LGBTQ+ young people and their parents across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton, as well as providing LGBTQ+ inclusivity awareness training to services and organisations. The organisation has a comprehensive range of programmes designed to reduce the impact that being part of a marginalised community can have. These issues can include alienation, abuse and abandonment. It aims to provide safe spaces for young LGBTQ+ individuals and help to champion empowerment, acceptance and peer support. Along with providing one-to-one support it also runs a youth club, school awareness workshops and online round tables for parents and carers.
Our grant is being used towards core costs, predominantly to expand a youth worker role to help meet increasing demands from local schools. This will enable it to engage with three more schools which have approached Free2B Alliance to run additional targeted therapy programmes and to develop a family therapy programme, where it will work with members and their parents to better communicate and promote positive practices.
Free2B highlights the importance of having a presence in school for those young people who haven’t come out to their families and therefore may not be able to access out-of-school support, and may be at greater risk of mental ill health as a result. It has also begun using a trained therapy dog to help young people engage – it plans to use the dog to increase impact during Support Forum sessions.
The predicted impact includes: increased organisational reach; increasing young people’s wellbeing, resilience and social connections; reduced isolation; and improving family connections.
Participate’s mission is to create an environment in which the great social ideas of individuals and organisations can grow, flourish and create lasting change. It does this through coaching, and helping people to focus on solutions to their challenges through activities which include venture support, business volunteering, third sector assessment, grant delivery, research and youth ventures.
The Venturists is Participate’s youth engagement programme that gives young people the opportunity to start viable social action programmes. Working specifically in schools and communities with high levels of deprivation, it uses a framework that inspires young people to take action on the issues that affect them and their immediate community. Young people become 'Venturists' and identify social issues in their community, developing their ideas to tackle them.
Our second year of funding will enable Participate to work in four school settings: a high school, a special educational needs school and two mainstream primary schools in very disadvantaged areas. We will work with 15 young people from each school where the young people will attend weekly sessions to explore their ideas for social change (either working individually or in small groups).
The sessions are delivered by a qualified primary school teacher who has also received enterprise coaching training. Sessions include: idea generation and development, goal setting, budgets and finance, fundraising, marketing, planning, presenting, and influencing – all of the sessions link into the curriculum, boosting educational attainment and key skills. The young people will be inspired and motivated by invited business speakers, social entrepreneurs and community champions who will share their stories, skills and experiences.
The weekly sessions lead to a presentation by young people to a Dragons' Den-style panel which can award a small start-up fund. The final sessions provide practical support to help young people deliver their projects and create real changes in their community.
Previous Venturists have created projects to improve the environment, support refugees, help homeless people and reduce food waste. As Bradford is Britain’s youngest city, Participate believes it's vitally important to focus attention on this group as they will be the community leaders of the future and there is an opportunity to harness their energy and ideas for wider benefit.
Colleagues have also had the opportunity to volunteer with this project through the Dragons' Den-style sessions and a community team challenge where a team went in to help build a greenhouse out of recycled bottles – one of the brilliant ideas from a young team of Venturists.
Connors Toy Libraries create a safe, warm place for families to come together, especially throughout the winter. Parents and carers have the opportunity to become volunteers, take up training and enhance their CVs. Families can borrow toys and resources to use within their own homes free of charge, allowing children to have access to good quality, specialist, therapeutic and fun toys to support their learning and development.
This charity is based in Portsmouth and has been in existence since 1973. Regular groups across the city create a safe and enjoyable place for families to meet, make new friends, gain peer support, borrow toys and resources and bring their children together to play. A mobile Toy Library was developed when other service providers asked for visits to their settings to provide a play and toy loan session for the families they support.
Whilst confident families attend their local Toy Library sessions, those suffering with post-natal depression, feeling isolated, lacking in confidence or new to parenting find it challenging to attend. An outreach project therefore provides one-to-one support for families for as long as they need it.
It receives referrals for hard to reach and vulnerable families from social services, health visitors, and a range of other networks such as Homestart. It also works with the hostel and refuge provision across the city.
Within the Toy Library sessions families can talk about concerns or issues including behavioural challenges, weaning, toileting, sleeping, attachment, etc. The charity is able to provide support, signposting or referral into the appropriate services where needed. The Early Intervention project was introduced. Parents are also supported with domestic abuse, post-natal depression, substance misuse, financial concerns and housing, again providing signposting to the advice they need at such a difficult time.
A child carers toy store is available for all p1rofessionals working with and caring for other people’s children, including foster carers, nurseries, childminders, speech and language specialists, and playschemes. This ensures all have access to good quality, educational and fun toys and resources for all children to enjoy. Families with children who have additional needs can access the child carers toy store to borrow specialist toys and resources to support their children’s learning and development within their own homes.
Our grant will be used towards the cost of all venues across the city to ensure they remain open for families to attend for 39 weeks of the year.