Residents’ Dragon’s Den decides community fund winners
Published by Lewisham Homes for Lewisham Homes in Housing and also in Communities
Sixteen local community groups are celebrating after being given the news that they will receive funding from the Lewisham Homes Community Fund to kick-start their projects.
Thirty applications were received for this year’s round of funding, nineteen more than last year. The fund was increased by Lewisham Homes for this year’s round, from £40,000 to £60,000. The thirty projects then had to face a Dragon’s Den-style panel of nine of their resident peers and two independent panellists, to showcase their project and answer questions from the panel.
The final sixteen were chosen after they proved that they met one or more of the Community Fund criteria of: improving the community; improving the environment; increasing safety in the area; and how their project would benefit Lewisham Homes’ residents.
The panel liked so many of the projects that some of thirteen originally chosen agreed to scale back their costs in order that an extra three projects could be funded.
Josh Franklin, Head Coach at Lewisham Community Sports, said: “It’s brilliant news that we got this funding. It’s really important that kids have something fun to do during the summer, rather than just sitting indoors. I’m sure all the other successful projects are as eager as we are to get cracking!”
Sue Asquith, Community Involvement Manager at Lewisham Homes, said: “Lewisham Homes is passionate about working with its local communities. It’s fantastic that so many creative and community-minded local people were inspired to apply this year. It’s a shame that we can’t fund all the projects that applied as they are all admirable. I can’t wait to see our successful projects in action very soon.”
Projects funded range from job clubs, peer mentoring, gardening for young and old and computer clubs for residents living in sheltered housing. Many of the projects will be entirely resident-led, and all have opted to use local community organisations and companies to commission work, buy goods from or deliver training and work experience for people from the local community, ensuring that as many Lewisham Homes residents as possible benefit from these local, community-focused projects.
The Community Fund initiative is part of the Lewisham Homes Residents’ Business Plan, which sees residents identifying their priorities for their homes and communities. For more information about the Residents’ Business Plan go to www.lewishamhomes.org.uk