VSSF Small Grants Fund update
The K+C Foundation has been working in partnership with RBKC to manage the VSSF (Voluntary Sector Support Fund) Small Grants Fund. The purpose of this fund is to help Kensington and Chelsea to become a fairer borough, improve outcomes for the most vulnerable residents and to nurture the talents of residents and help them to reach their full potential.
The fund offers voluntary and community sector organisations grants towards core costs. These grants are available to registered charities with income less than £100,000 and CICs limited by guarantee, for between £5,000 to £30,000 per year for three years (2024-2027).
To manage this fund, we followed a participatory grant making approach. We partner with and train local residents who have lived experience of particular social issues and bring their experiences and insights in deciding which organisations stand the best chance of making a difference. These residents were openly recruited from across the borough and were a diverse group in terms of age, ethnicity, disability, neurodiversity, experience and location in the borough. Over a 12 week process we worked with them to provide comprehensive training, enabling them to design the grant application process, set the aims and criteria of the fund and assess how well the applications from local organisations meet them. The applications were assessed thoroughly and fairly, according to the criteria agreed and stated on the application form. 9 organisations were selected for funding:
Minds United Football Club CIC provides wellbeing and employment activities in the north and south of the borough to connect the community together as a means of actively improving the mental, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of adults and young people affected by a wide range of mental health issues, disabilities and substance misuse/addiction. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £25,408
Our Power Hub CIC is dedicated to empowering individuals of all ages and fostering community wellbeing across the borough. They offer a diverse range of programmes and activities including technology based initiatives, sports activities, job placements, mentoring, art and crafts sessions, music programmes, day trips, weekend residentials, and STEM activities. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £30,000
Community Development 4 All CIC (CD4ALL) is a dynamic and proactive community organisation based in North Kensington. With a deep commitment to community development, CD4ALL aims to empower and uplift the local community by providing a wide range of projects and initiatives that address their diverse needs and aspirations. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £30,000
Ethiopian Women's Empowerment Group (EWEG) aims to empower refugee women by improving socio-economic, education and health issues for their integration in the UK. EWEG works with all refugee and migrant women in need, regardless of their country of origin. EWEG empowers women through education and employment projects, social gatherings and family learning programmes which increase skills, knowledge and confidence. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £9,944
Fit for Life Youth CIC (FFLY) is dedicated to promoting health, fitness and sports as pathways to a fulfilling life and personal development, with a particular focus on young people. They offer a range of services and activities to achieve this mission: sport coaching, employability training, youth programmes, holiday schemes and apprenticeship opportunities. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £30,000
Neighbourhood Doulas is a North Kensington grassroots organisation offering a free, specialised doula (birth companion) service. They provide support to those that have no birth partner and meet one or more of the following factors: poor perinatal mental health, coming from a racially marginalised community or speaking English as a second language. They identify and engage with the most at-risk pregnant women and new parents in Kensington and Chelsea to provide them with a high standard of emotional and practical support. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £30,000
WAND UK is a women’s organisation led by African women that supports over 1,000 women and girls including Black and ethnic minority and refugee women across London annually. 80% of these beneficiaries are based in Kensington and Chelsea, especially in Golborne one of the nationally poorest areas. They support women that are isolated, going through hard times and have poor mental health. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £30,000
Cuban Boxing Academy work with people of all ages in the community who struggle with a range of additional challenges that stem from chronic health conditions, poor mental health, poor/overcrowded accommodation, limited resources and other features of urban poverty. Aside from sports-based group work they also focus on intensive one-to-one support programmes, incorporating exercise and formal mentoring/life coaching. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £7,164.15
Urban Eye creates public art with the local community in Kensington and Chelsea. The charity has run projects with local groups in the north and south of the borough since 2000, using art and design to improve neglected public spaces. The aim is to increase civic pride and help improve public safety. Amount awarded per year 2024-27 - £7,483.85
We will now monitor the charities’ progress over the 3 year period, bringing them together regularly to learn from each other, collaborate and report on their impact.