An update on our easily accessible small grants fund, for one-off projects which brought hope and joy to the North Kensington community
Set up on the morning after the fire, the K+C Foundation’s Grenfell Tower Fund raised £7.1 million. Of this, £5.5 million was distributed as quickly as possible to the survivors, bereaved and hospitalised, as well as being used to provide immediate support to local organisations responding to the tragedy.
The remaining £1.6 million was used to create the Grenfell Community Development Fund. Launched in September 2018, these funds were invested over three years in community programmes in North Kensington to support those affected by the fire on their journey to healing.
The funding priorities for the Grenfell Community Development Fund were informed by a Listening Project, through which we asked the survivors, bereaved and other members of the local community to tell us what they thought the most pressing needs were post-Grenfell, as well as their ideas to help to address them. One of the areas The Listening Project identified was the need for community projects which would
- bring some joy back,
- provide community activities and places to go,
- promote integration and togetherness,
- feature recognition of local culture and history
The Green Shoots programme was specifically developed to meet these needs.
Green Shoots eligibility and criteria
The Green Shoots fund was designed to be an easily accessible small grants fund, for one-off projects which brought hope and joy to the North Kensington community, such as a street party, a series of workshops, a community barbecue or planting a new green space.
The fund was open to local voluntary and community groups, faith groups, residents’ associations and community interest companies.
A simple application form required details of the group applying, project overview, expected beneficiaries and a budget.
£70,000 per year was available and initially organisations could apply for a grant of up to £1,000 each year. This was increased to a maximum of £2,500 in the final year of the fund in response to a decreasing number of applications.
Impact of Green Shoots
Over 100 different organisations received grants from the Green Shoots fund – many of them in multiple years. It’s estimated that there were over 30,000 beneficiaries from the fund, across three years.
In some cases, a small amount of Green Shoots funding proved to be the first step to success for new projects, such as Minds Utd football club which received £982 in September 2019 and has since gone from strength to strength.
The Gold and Ashes photography project, documenting the community of people who are survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire received a grant of £1,000 in March 2019. The project has also thrived – culminating in an exhibition and book in July 2021.
Again on a very specific Grenfell Tower theme, the Dictating to the Estates project received £2,500 across two years. The play, about the Grenfell refurbishment, was initially performed in January 2019 as part of the build up to a full premiere in 2021.
There have been many one off events such as Christmas parties, family fun days and carnival related activities, meeting the objective to bring joy and promote togetherness.
The allocated Green Shoots funding was used up in July 2021, and as the Community Development Fund was all fully allocated there was no option to extend.
The Community Spirit Small Grants Fund, a borough-wide extension of the Green Shoots approach, will be launched in September 2021, with £40,000 available in the first year. Grants of £1,000 will be available for one-off events and short-term projects such as cultural and celebration events, school holiday activities, workshops, sports sessions, and equipment.