This month we turn the spotlight on the charities and social enterprises, supported by the Innovative Projects Funding programme, set up by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2012. The fund was set up to support the local voluntary sector to find new, sustainable ways of delivering services that benefit local residents and help tackle council priorities.
Over the three years of the programme, there have been two rounds of funding and 15 projects have been supported for either one, two or three years, with over £1 million invested by the borough.
Below are three of the projects that have benefitted from the investment:
- A pop-up crèche has been set up by Westway Trust, in partnership with locally based organisations the Venture Centre, the Clement James Centre and Catalyst Housing. In the first year of this mobile crèche’s operation it provided almost 1,500 hours of crèche provision, allowing 210 parents and carers access to training courses they would otherwise not have been able to attend. The initiative has also created 16 jobs, many of which are flexible enough for parents of young children to be able to take up. The Royal Borough provided an investment of £27,433 through its Innovative Projects Funding Programme to help make this project a reality.
- The seeds were sewn for community kitchen gardens across the borough as part of the two year Cultivating Kensington & Chelsea project that has been coordinated by Groundwork London. A grant of £101,437 from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea kick-started this project and you may have seen the volunteers involved selling products made from locally grown fruit and vegetables at Portobello Road market. You can get involved in reducing food miles whilst increasing growing spaces within the borough by becoming a community gardener or helping this organisation develop by contacting Cultivating K&C on 020 7960 2678 or emailing Rukshana at email@example.com.
- £106,846 from the Royal Borough made it possible for Age UK Kensington and Chelsea to set up its At Home service to help older people with the tasks that many of us take for granted, such as doing shopping, laundry and getting dressed. Such assistance can mean the difference between an older person staying in their own home and being required to move to an older people’s home – a costly and usually unwelcomed necessity for many. The nominal fee that is charged to clients is used to support the wider work of this Age UK branch including befriending services, information and advice and day trips to reduce isolation amongst local older people of the borough. If you are interested in accessing this service please contact Age UK Kensington and Chelsea on 020 8960 8137.
All of the above projects show that with an initial investment to get new ideas off the ground, projects with a social purpose or that generate trading income to support the work of charities can be both sustainable and improve the lives of local people.
For more information on the Innovative Projects Funding programme, please contact the Community Engagement Team on 020 7598 4633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.