Recipients of funding under the Community Pot initiative announced

Published on Nov 29, 2021

The Old Street District Partnership has today announced the recipients of a £20,000 funding pot, designed to support local charities and community groups in launching transformational projects for the Old Street area. Eight charities and community groups will benefit from the scheme this year.

The Community Pot scheme was launched this year to promote and enhance the area around Old Street. Supporting local community projects is a core aim for the Partnership, and the Community Pot has been introduced to help support grassroots initiatives.

There was a high level of interest in the Community Pot scheme, with dozens of imaginative and inspirational applications. In the end eight local groups were awarded the funding: A New Direction, Contact, FCV Dorcas, The Hackney Foodbank, Shoreditch Town Hall, Ministry of Stories, Soapbox Islington and Headliners (UK).

Recipients of the funding range from organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people to charities working with elderly members of the community, local heritage venues, a local foodbank and more.

The funding will facilitate the delivery of programmes and projects across the area, including  meals for the elderly and disadvantaged; community events including swing dancing and storytelling and digital skills programmes for young people in the area. The Partnership will also work with the successful applicants to raise awareness of their important work and extend their reach.

Peter Morris, Chairman of the Partnership said:

“On behalf of the partnership, I am delighted to announce the recipients of this funding. The work of our many local organisations never fails to impress me, and we hope that the Community Pot funding will assist the chosen groups in delivering ever more inspiring work across our community.

2021 marks the inaugural year of the Community Pot and we would like to thank everyone that took the time to submit an application this year. The partnership will run this grant programme every year going forward, targeted specifically at local grassroots projects.’’

James Dellow, Manager of SoapBox Islington said:

“SoapBox is delighted to have received this grant to support our weekly ‘SoapBox Live’ music events, where local young people will be able to showcase their musical skills and talents to both a live and online audience throughout 2022.

The grant shows the Partnership’s commitment to supporting creative talent in the local community and the desire to see young people given a platform to realise their potential. 

We are extremely grateful that local businesses are making a much needed contribution, not just to our work at SoapBox, but also towards vital organisations working across our local community.”

Successful applicants under the Community Pot 2021 scheme:

  • A New Direction: a not-for-profit organisation working to enhance the capacity and agency of children and young people in London. With the funding they’re aiming to address barriers to learning opportunities for disabled children and young people.

  • Contact: a charity supporting UK families with disabled children with expert information and advice, peer support plus campaigning. With the funding, they’ll support two primary schools in the district and their pupils with additional needs.

  • FCV Dorcas: a volunteer-led scheme aiming to reduce isolation among elderly members of the community. Funding will help them provide a hot meal and social interaction to otherwise isolated elderly people.

  • The Hackney Foodbank: the foodbank supports people who are in crisis or trapped in poverty by providing emergency food parcels. The funding will help them to kickstart a home delivery service.

  • Shoreditch Town Hall: an independent cultural and community organisation that usually welcomes over 70,000 people every year. The funding will help the Town Hall­­ to bring back Tea Dances, Baby Disco events and Swing Dances and keep them as a regular part of the Town Hall’s programme.

  • Ministry of Stories: a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping children and young people develop their writing skills. The funding will support their Time to Write campaign.

  • Soapbox Islington:  a youth provision in Islington providing world-class nonformal education for young people, including music, dance, tech, creative arts, digital and more. The funding will support their long-term goal toconnect local young people with industry leaders.

  • Headliners (UK): a Hackney-based charity that supports disadvantaged young people to have a voice across society from a young age. The funding will support their Reaching Out Safe Spaces hubs, which enable young people from Hackney and Islington facing exclusion to engage in weekly journalism and story-telling activities.