On Tuesday 7th June we held the first ever public Brixton Fund event at Brixton East 1871, and together with Brixton’s community made the final decisions for this round of grants. Our idea was to make the grant-giving process more transparent, participatory, and democratic, so the public’s involvement was absolutely crucial! Thank you to everyone who came along, supported the event, spread the word, or got involved in any other way.
Out of all 60 applicants to this round of funding, with the help of our Fund Panel, we shortlisted nine. Representatives of these were present at the event and everyone had a chance to speak to them about their project and the work they do. Then, each person was given 10 chickpeas with which they could vote for the projects – all were guaranteed some amount of funding, but the public vote helped decide on its distribution between the projects. After we counted up the chickpeas, the final results were:
- A 4-day residential programme for young leaders with The Advocacy Academy– £2000
- A festival celebrating age with Age UK Lambeth – £530
- Promoting cycling and design with Bling Ya Bike– £573.5
- Refurbishing the kitchen at Brixton Community Base– £1000
- Supporting long-term unemployed into work with The Cornerstone Church Group– £500
- Feel Good Friday activities with Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society– £1000
- A community gardening project with Sccoop– £750
- A youth-led careers event with Speech Inspired– £573.5
- An exhibition exploring the changing social landscape of Brixton with WANT/Xavier de Sousa– £573.5
Brixton Buzz and Brixton Blog both published nice write ups about the event and the feedback we got from community members was overwhelmingly positive (if you were there on the night and would like to let us know what you thought, please do fill out this short survey!) More pictures are on the B£ Facebook page. If you took photos on the night we’d love to see them too!
The future of community activities in Brixton
While we were busy counting up the chickpeas, the main floor was given to a discussion on the future of community activities in Brixton. The Panelists included:
- Binki Taylor (chair) – Chair of the Brixton Pound
- Cllr Donatus Anyanwu – Lead Member for Community Relations, Lambeth Council
- Rebecca Trevalyan – Head of Partnerships, Impact Hub Brixton
- Mike Urban – Editor of Urban75 and Brixton Buzz
- Sue Sheehan – Green Champion, Lambeth
- Kwesi Shaddai – Regional Organiser, London, Edge Fund
With many questions from the audience the discussion was very lively, and we all agreed it needs to continue. That’s why we wanted to point you in the direction of Open Project Nights which happen every Monday 18.30-22.30 hosted by Impact Hub Brixton and Transition Town Brixton. The sessions are free and open to all, and can be used for working, networking, holding meetings, themed events, and you can experience the immediate benefit of engaging with inspiring community projects and enterprises. Current projects include Bank of Lambeth and The People’s Fridge, a community fridge that Impact Hub and TTB are currently crowdfunding for. Get involved!
Join the Brixton Fund Panel
As we asked on Tuesday night, we are looking for community members who would like to join the Fund Panel who scores applications to the Brixton Fund. It would require scoring up to 10 applications (2-4 pages long) twice a year. If you or anyone you know would like to get involved in this way, please email us on info(at)brixtonpound(dot)org with your or their name, email, and phone number.
How you can support the Brixton Fund
The next round of funding is planned for autumn, and we’d like to make it even bigger than this one! If you’d like to support the Brixton Fund, you can do so in a number of ways:
- Play the Brixton Bonus! Every month you have a chance to win B£1,000to spend in Brixton’s independent businesses, or runner-up prizes of B£20 or 4 cocktails from Fund partners Seven and Three Eight Four. Tickets are just £1, and if you sign up for a recurring entry, you’ll get some sweet rewards from us too!
- Spend electronic Brixton Pounds: 1.5% of every pay-by-text transaction goes straight into the Fund.
- Treat yourself to a Bowie tribute cocktail, the Ziggy Stardust, at Three Eight Four – served with B£1 note. Every sale supports the Brixton Fund!
— three eight four (@threeeightfour) March 16, 2016
Once again, thank you to all involved for your trust, enthusiasm, and participation in the Brixton Fund. The next round opens in October and we hope that with your support it can be even bigger and better!