Introduced last year to increase the resources available for community and socially-minded activities in the area, the Brixton Fund is the Brixton Pound’s local grants scheme. On Tuesday night, locals gathered to decide how the funds should be distributed.
With the Brixton Pound receiving a huge number of applications from people wanting to do good things in Brixton, they extended an open invitation for interested parties to decide how the funds should be shared out amongst their shortlisted candidates.
The event took place in Brixton East, just off Coldharbour Lane, in front of a large crowd with the nine shortlisted projects set up in stalls hoping to persuade attendees to give them their support.
These were the nine projects:
- A 4-day residential programme for young leaders with The Advocacy Academy
- A festival celebrating age with Age UK Lambeth
- Promoting cycling and design with Bling Ya Bike
- Refurbishing the kitchen at Brixton Community Base
- Supporting long-term unemployed into work with The Cornerstone Church Group
- Feel Good Friday activities with Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society
- A community gardening project with Sccoop
- A youth-led careers event with Speech Inspired
- An exhibition exploring the changing social landscape of Brixton with WANT/Xavier de Sousa
The way it worked was something like a philanthropic Dragon’s Den, where people were first given the opportunity to find out more about each project by talking to the organisers.
Then, everyone was given ten chickpeas in a cup (acting as tokens), and were invited to distribute them to the projects they liked, up to a maximum of five for each one.
The projects that had the most tokens got the full amount of cash they were asking for, and through a complicated formula that probably involved quantum physics and the analysis of subatomic particles, others would get a percentage of what they asked for.
After all the tokens were counted up, the groups were awarded the following amounts listed below, but – like a TV quiz show – no one went home empty handed. Or, as Hot Chocolate put it, Everyone Is A Winner.
- Advocacy Academy – £2000
- Age Uk Lambeth – £530
- Bling Ya Bike – £573.5
- Brixton Community Base- £1000
- Cornerstone Church Group – £500
- Lambeth Elfrida Rathbone Society – £1000
- Sccoop – £750
- Speech Inspired – £573.5
- WANT – £573.5
There was also panel discussion that tried to address the tricky question of:”How can community activities exist, let alone thrive, at a time when London’s development creates increasingly difficult conditions for it?”
The speakers in the panel were:
- 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
The night also featured short talks from people who had previously been funded by the Brixton Fund, followed by a raffle for a highly desirable limited edition David Bowie Brixton Pound print. Which we failed to win. Bah!
We loved the event and applaud Brixton Pound for their bold initiative, which lets valuable community groups get much-needed funding without all the faffing about with endless red tape and form filling.
It’s just a shame that we failed to with that Bowie print. 🙂
Here’s some more photos from the event:
Facebook event page
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