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Could your community benefit from a £50,000 boost?

London’s mayor is set to allocate up to £1m in total to worthy projects

If you are involved in a community project that would benefit from a cash boost (that’s just about all of them, we reckon) then you had better get cracking.

London’s mayor is seeking worthwhile projects to donate up to £50,000 to. But, to be considered, you must put forward your case here by May 1, less than two weeks away.

The mayor Sadiq Khan is willing to boost the best crowdfunding campaigns. Last year he did the same, backing 26 projects. You will note that the sums differ quite widely. Here is just a quick rundown of the projects that benefitted:

A Bee-Spoke Learning Centre in Poplar was awarded £20,000 to help this volunteer beekeeping project to expand. The project aims to help 16-25-year-olds.

A Village Hall for Clapton Common, Hackney (£25,000) to convert an old toilet block into the Liberty Hall community kitchen and village hall (main picture).

The Beckenham Green Community of Commons project gained £25,000 to provide shared resources for a range of community groups to access. A stage and equipment will help the community to host events.

Build up Hackney (£30,000) allow for a new public space designed and built by local youngsters allowing them to reconnect with development happening in the area while learning creative and construction skills.

Bridges to the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (£30,000) will see the installation of a permanent bridge to the dinosaur models that “reside” on an island in Crystal Palace Park to enable easier access for educational and event purposes.

Community Kitchen for Twickenham (£40,000) will be housed in a historic building. Locals will be able to meet, share meals and reduce food waste by using surplus from local retailers and supermarkets. 

Community Cultural Quarter, Ealing (£15,000) entails repurposing a vacant shop in West Ealing to support mental and physical wellbeing and independent living. The shop will also sell affordable mobility equipment, refurbished by apprentices trained by a qualified mobility engineer. 

New school football pitch in Croydon (£2,000) sees London’s oldest football club and a local school coming together to create a shared resource for the wider community.

Dream Garden SW11, Wandsworth (£30,000) will provide a learning garden and community resource by making an under-used school site more accessible to local people. It will be designed and built by school children and community volunteers. 

D-Lab East, Newham (£30,000) will be a place of work and training in the Olympic Park East Village. The hub will provide affordable space and equipment to support the creative economy.

Keep London’s legendary Bubble Club Open, Tower Hamlets (£13,500) is a bid to secure the long-term future of the Bubble Club which is a vibrant, fun night club run by – and for – people with learning disabilities and those without. 

Friends Rejuvenation of Gipsy Hill, Lambeth (£2,500) involves tidying upand planting in neglected green spaces near the railway station by a newly formed community group.

Illuminate Rotherhithe! Southwark (£20,000) will fund a feasibility study into a scheme to illuminate six historic buildings in Rotherhithe to commemorate the area’s role in the Mayflower story.

Mother House: studios with childcare, Lewisham (£22,500) will combine affordable studio space for professional arts practice with a children’s area, where a dedicated team can offer daily activities. The facility will also include a gallery space for exhibitions and a programme to engage the wider community.

Save our Stables Grove Park, Sutton (£40,000) is the restoration of a stable building in a community park to become a learning centre and flexible space for local use.

Revivify Manor Park! Phase 1, Kingston Upon Thames (£15,000) involves the local engagement, design and feasibility work to re-imagine a public park with a bold, inclusive and community-led vision. 

Seymour Place Community Hub, City of Westminster (£32,500)feasibility and local engagement work for the restoration of a heritage building to better use the space and create opportunities for flexible community use. Homeless people will be empowered to rebuild their lives and participate in the wider community.

TATI: Brick Lane community café, Tower Hamlets (£7,500) involvesa proposed Bangla training kitchen and cafe on Brick Lane which cafe will look to train and empower Bangladeshi and other women to be able to start their own food enterprises, while providing an authentic Bangla dining experience for the public. 

Green Space at St Mary’s Open to All, Hounslow (£32,000) is aproject that aims to bring back to life the unused playground of St Mary’s Catholic Primary school, situated along the M4 in Chiswick. It would provide education opportunities, help mitigate local pollution and open-up the playground to the wider community during the weekends to host markets and other social events.

The Calthorpe Living Lab, Camden (£6,000) looks to create a solar-powered community shop to sell products made by local artisans. Workshops will promote upcycling; food preservation;  vegan and vegetarian cooking; urban food growing, and plant propagation, designed to help people reduce waste.

The Farm Café and Workshops, Barnet (£50,000) will see thetransformation the historic Clitterhouse Farm outbuildings back into a productive and sustainable multi-use space for the community and local creative enterprise. 

The Flower Bank Hub, Barnet (£30,000) is aproposal to transform a derelict shop into a community florist and learning centre where otherwise wasted flowers will be available to those who can least afford them. The project aims to promote zero-waste management and run workshops with local vulnerable groups.

Tottenham Café Connect Goes Outdoors! Haringey (£12,000) where a former bowling green will become a flexible, inclusive outdoor space to expand a community hub in the area. New power and a shelter will allow the space to be used year-round.

Union Chapel – Sunday School Stories, Islington (£37,500) will repair the roof of Grade 1-listed building and open up a new 200-capacity community space for people to share learning activities. 

Wolves Lane – Wood Green’s mini-Eden, Haringey (£7,500) is a project to add a sustainable, renewable energy source to support the Wolves Lane palm house and café which will allow the community to better use this resource in the winter months.

Urban Room Old Kent Road, Southwark (£15,000) will be an independent space where residents, businesses, researchers, planners, the council, developers and other interested parties can come together to plan the future Old Kent Road ahead of the Bakerloo Line extension and associated regeneration plans reported elsewhere on this site.

Does the above give you inspiration? It’s a pretty diverse bunch, isn’t it?

Put together your pitch and get it off soon. And … good luck.

All illustrations from the city hall website. 

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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