Community groups across Brighton and Hove will put a little bit of pride back into their city thanks to grants worth nearly £20,000 from the Pride Social Impact Fund (SIF).
In what has been a record year for grant applications, nearly 30 groups representing people of all ages from Mile Oak to Moulsecoomb, Saltdean to the city centre will benefit from money awarded by the independent grants panel.
The cash, most of which is raised from businesses who benefit from the annual LGBT celebration, will ensure that the positive impact of Pride extends beyond one weekend a year.
Grants awarded this year will see parks and open spaces improved; community groups host events and day trips; equipment provided to sports groups; and charities supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable given a boost.
Tim Ridgway, chairman of the Brighton Pride Social Impact Fund, said: “This year saw a record number of entries with bids from more than 45 groups from across the city requesting more than £30,000 to make their communities a better place.
“With the fund oversubscribed, making decisions on individual bids was not an easy process.
“But those groups who have been awarded money will ensure that the legacy of Pride is far-reaching, extending to all corners of the city.
“We hope it will help some of the city’s amazing community and voluntary groups create a colourful rainbow of happiness and inclusivity all year round.”
Launched in 2016, the Pride Social Impact Fund has now distributed about £35,000 to groups across the city.
Projects put forward do not have to be LGBT+ related; or directly-linked to Pride (although applicants directly impacted by the foot print of Pride will be favoured).
However big or small, the only criteria is that it brightens up people’s lives by the time Pride comes round again later in the year.
Funding comes from contributions made by businesses who are part of the Pride Village Party in the St James’s Street area as well as a top up of extra funding from Pride.
The panel was made up of representatives from the city’s media organisations including The Argus, Latest TV, Brighton and Hove Independent, Sussex Life, Brighton and Hove News, Juice 107.2 and Gscene.
Among the largest grants awarded this year are two separate bids to the Friends of Preston Park: £942 will be used to plant three new trees in the Brighton park; while £1,000 will go towards putting on a Halloween event for children and families in the area.
Another grant of £1,000 will support a weekly girls group at the Tarner Community Centre, which was set up to meet the needs of local girls and young women in the Tarner and St James’s Street area, many of whom are deemed at risk.
Grants awarded will also benefit community centres who support some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
One successful bid saw £500 given to the Honeycroft community centre in Hove to establish a group to support lone parents.
Natasha Silsby, general manager of Honeycroft, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected by the Pride Social Impact Fund for support. Lone parent households with dependent children in our area is one of the highest in the city.
“This funding will enable us to set up a lone parent support group at Honeycroft to address associated challenges including; isolation, lack of social network and limited support with childcare.
“Our aim will be for the group to become self-sufficient and directed by the parents attending and this essential funding will give us the opportunity to make this possible, thank you.”
Another grant saw £500 awarded to the Hangleton and West Blatchington Foodbank in Hove. Trustees will use the cash as £10 monthly vouchers which can be spent in a local butcher to ensure the provision of fresh meat for those in need.
Zoe Smith, of Hangleton & West Blatchington Foodbank, said: “We are incredible grateful for the support of the Brighton Pride Social Impact Fund.
“As a local Foodbank we work hard to support the needs of all members of the community and this grant will enable us to assist and make a positive impact to the health and wellbeing of people living in food poverty in the Hangleton and West Blatchington area of the city.”
This year also saw the Pride SIF support a range of sports clubs, such as buying tracksuits for Crew Club United under-11s football club.
A further £1,000 will be spent on supporting table tennis sessions for young people with Trisomy 21 (which is known as Down Syndrome).
Philippa Hodge, of T21 Table Tennis, said: “T21TT is delighted to receive support from the Pride Social Impact Fund.
“Our young table tennis players will really benefit from the monthly coached sessions that the funding will help to pay for, together with the passionate support we receive through our Brighton Table Tennis Club Headquarters.
“We already have three players representing Great Britain and working as qualified Coaches, and we are so proud of them, and some young talent that we are nurturing. We are Brighton T21 Table Tennis – Ping Pong powered by our extra chromosomes!”
A further grant of £500 will provide colourful planting in garden beds at the Saltdean Lido pool and community centre.
Rebecca Crook, one of the volunteers at the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, said: “We are all big fans of Pride and are so pleased that they like the lido as much as we like them.
“We have almost £3 million still to raise to renovate the building but every little really does count!
“We will use this money to buy plants for the area by the changing rooms which is looking a bit sad at the moment.”
APPROVED GRANTS FOR 2018
♦ Brighton Oasis Project – £1,000 to run a series of holiday arts activities for young people affected by substance misuse in the family, in conjunction with poet Lemn Sissay and choreographer Charlotte Vincent.
♦ Mile Oak Recreation Action Group (MORAG) – £775 to run regular art sessions which will explore the outdoor environment of the park
♦ Hangleton & West Blatchington Foodbank – £500 to allow trustees to give out vouchers of £10 per client per month to a local butcher to ensure the provision of fresh meat for those in need
♦ Diverse City Bowlers – £100 towards boosting participation of ten pin bowling within the community, with emphasis on providing sessions for the elderly
♦ Brighton Table Tennis club – £1,000 towards continuing pilot table tennis sessions for up to 15 children with Down Syndrome
♦ Friends of Preston Park (bid one) – £942 for the planting of three new trees
♦ Friends of Preston Park (bid two) – £1,000 towards a Halloween event for young families and children
♦ The Manor Boccia and Lunch Group – £490 to run a 14-week programme of Boccia with healthy lunch for the over-50s in east Brighton
♦ Friends of Farm Green (bid one) – £695 towards Mini Farm and Community Picnic in the park in Lower Bevendean
♦ Friends of Farm Green (bid two) – £695 towards Mini Farm and Community Picnic in the park in Moulsecoomb
♦ OUTReach at the B Right On LGBT Community Festival – £1,000 towards the costs of the accessible adaptations needed to make the venue fully accessible for older, deaf and disabled attendees
♦ Creative Cascade Recovery – £450 towards creating free community performances for a group which supports people in recovery from addictions
♦ Honeycroft – £500 to establish a lone parent support group at the community centre
♦ Stay Up Late – £974 towards building on the success of Wild Rainbows, a gig buddies scheme for LGBTQ+ communities established by Social Impact Fund
♦ Surrenden Field Group – £500 for improvements to Surrenden Field, including the creation of a butterfly bank, community composting area and wild flower field
♦ Saltdean Lido – £500 towards plants for garden beds at the heart of the pool and community centre
♦ Crew Club – £620 to fund a day out for low-earning families in east Brighton to Tulley’s Farm, while also providing equipment for Messy Play sessions
Dotties Cafe – £400 towards creating a ramp to improve accessibility to a cafe in east Brighton staffed by deaf people
Young City Reads – £300 to allow two primary school classes who would otherwise be unable to afford it to attend the finale event of the giant book group
Crew Club United – £400 towards new tracksuits for a newly established under-11s football team in east Brighton. Some funding will also support the club’s end of season awards.
Say Aphasia – £200 towards funding day trips so that members can practice their communication skills in public
Quiet Down There – £500 of match funding to help people explore the Open Market through culture, making the project accessible to 100 more people; 60 children and 40 adults
Audioactive – £1,000 towards supporting a female-led ‘Young Woman’s Music Tech Group’ in Brighton
Tarner Community Project – £1,000 towards weekly girls group, Tarner Young Women, which was set up to meet the needs of local girls and young women in the Tarner area, aged 12 upwards, many of whom are deemed at risk
St Peters Cricket Club – £400 towards funding kit for one of the youth cricket teams
Little Green Pig – £500 for printing of books containing an anthology of stories created by young people
Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition – £500 for costs towards a Homelessness Action Group specifically to contribute to practical services including shelter for those on our streets
Friends of Dorset Gardens (bid one) – £1,000 towards improved accessibility of Dorset Gardens – non-slip matting for the two entrance ways
Friends of Dorset Gardens (bid two) – £566 towards improved accessibility of Dorset Gardens – new handrails
Up to £1,000 has also been allocated towards buying a projector and screen that will be held by Brighton Pride and used as a community resource. This will be used by 4 Street in Hove and Pop-Up Brighton, as well as other groups.