A host of initiatives benefiting the North Kensington community have received £400,000 of funding following the second Grenfell Projects Fund Decision Day.
Residents headed to St Clement Church on Saturday (8 February) to watch five-minute presentations from each applicant before voting for their favourite projects in outcomes three to six, which covered social and cultural events, community safety, activities for young people and food-based initiatives.
The event followed a first Decision Day held in January, which saw the community allocate £200,000 to dozens of organisations, individuals and new collectives.
Among the projects selected by the community to receive funding on Saturday’s second Decision Day was CHUMS, a new collective formed by North Kensington resident Jill Brown to tackle isolation and loneliness among the elderly.
Speaking after being selected to receive £10,000, Jill said: “I looked around and couldn’t find a system that meant this sort of care in the community was happening.
“I hope through this project we can branch out to have a volunteer buddy system making a phone call, picking up a newspaper, checking on people on a regular basis and bringing them together once a month.
“It’s for every culture and every faith – it doesn’t matter who you are. This is something I’m passionate about and I’m really looking forward to getting it started.”
Tom Fitch, of the Swinbrook Estate Residents’ Association, was successful in his application for £9,484 to create a new kitchen garden between the Westway and Golborne Road.
He said: “It will be healthy, it gives residents creative things to do and it puts them in touch with the seasons so that they can watch their plants grow at different times of the year and get closer to nature.
“It encourages them to cook at home, so they get better diets and it’s generally a happy thing to do – you benefit from digging the soil, planting the seeds and watching the plants grow.”
It was also a successful day for Ali Hassan, the Creative Director of Allegorical, which will use its £10,000 to put on a range of creative workshops for the area’s young people.
He said: “I have lived in the area since I was four and I’m so happy that there are initiatives within the local area that have been created since the Grenfell tragedy to give people the opportunity to do something positive.
“I feel amazing and over the moon that I will get to run workshops for people who are essentially my peers and friends.”
The Grenfell Projects Fund was created using £600,000 from Kensington and Chelsea Council and the money was allocated using participatory budgeting, which puts the decision-making power in the hands of the local community.
A total of 88 organisations submitted bids for funding across six outcomes, each of which received £100,000:
- Outcome 1 - Wellbeing for children, young people or adults
- Outcome 2 - Educational opportunities to increase skills, knowledge, enterprise and qualifications
- Outcome 3 - Social and cultural events that bring communities together and provide information to increase connections across the community including initiatives to reduce isolation for older people
- Outcome 4 - Community safety that increases the safety of everyone
- Outcome 5 - Activities for young people
- Outcome 6 - Food growing/greening and food-based activities that increase communities coming together and enhances the local environment