New £150m community enterprise fund
£150 million Power to Change fund will support community enterprise
The Big Lottery Fund has launched a new £150 million initiative to support the development of sustainable, community-led enterprises across England.
Power to Change will invest in creative projects that involve local people and resources to improve their local neighbourhoods, villages and town centres, such as community farms and gardens, pop-up shops and resident-run resources.
The fund will be delivered by an independent Trust established next year but in the meantime there are opportunities to get local publicity for your project. BLF is partnering with media company Trinity Mirror, which will help publicise the fund through its regional newspapers and is looking for stories about local community enterprises.
If you'd like the chance to raise the profile of your project, go to the Power to Change website and send in your story. The website also has more information about the fund and a community enterprise map.
£1m grant fund for park ideas
Rethinking Parks fund launched
Nesta, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund have opened a £1m grant fund to back the best parks innovations, called Rethinking Parks.
Against a background of public sector budget cuts for discretionary services such as parks, Rethinking Parks aims is to find new business models that will enable parks to thrive for the next century.
Voluntary and community sector organisations and public sector organisations from across the UK may apply for grants of between £50,001 and £100,000 as well as nonfinancial support to carry out their innovative ideas to make the UK's public parks financially sustainable. For more information go to the Rethinking Parks website.
New film about local food
A new film telling the story of the local food movement in the UK has been launched.
Local Food Roots documents how an innovative local food movement in the UK has emerged and developed from a handful of pioneering initiatives battling against the odds in the early 1990’s to a diverse UK-wide movement. The 35-minute film also looks at where the 21st century opportunities now lie, including the relevance of local food to feeding towns and cities, and hopes to inform and inspire future growth.
The trailer is currently available for viewing online, featuring Sheila Dillon, Radio 4’s The Food Programme, Pam Warhurst, Incredible Edible Todmorden and George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol. Follow this link to view the trailer.
The documentary was funded by a £48,100 grant from Local Food, a Big Lottery-funded programme that supports projects working to make local food more accessible and affordable to communities. It has been co-produced by community interest company f3 and Sprout Films.
Gardening helps cuts stroke risk
Research has found that gardening is an effective way to help prevent strokes and heart attacks in the over 60s.
Swedish researchers who studied more than 4,200 people aged over 60 found that those who performed a high level of “non-exercise physical activity” (NEPA) including tasks such as cutting the hedge or mowing the lawn, were 27 per cent less likely to suffer from heart attack, stroke or angina.
Such low-level activity appeared to be beneficial whether or not people also took part in organised exercise.
Follow this link to read an article about the report in The Independent.
Outdoor activities good for mental health
MIND research backs mental health benefit of outdoor activities
New research released by mental health charity MIND has provided fresh evidence that taking part in outdoor activities is good for mental health.
More than 12,000 people took part in MIND’s five-year ecotherapy project, participating in 130 ‘Ecominds’ programmes at gardening, growing or conservation projects across the UK. Several FCFCG member projects were part of the scheme, including Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham and London’s Sydenham Garden and Bankside Open Spaces Trust.
Seven out of ten people with a mental health problem who took part in the ‘Ecominds’ programme reported "significant increases in wellbeing" and more than 250 of them were helped into full time employment. Participants reported improved self-esteem, a greater desire to see friends and family and more drive to become involved in their community.
The scheme also has huge potential for economic savings. An economic analysis of the project showed that getting 254 people from the programme back into full-time employment resulted in £1.46m worth of savings and contributions to the State in just one year.
Jeremy Iles, CEO of FCFCG, said: “Research like this backs up the common-sense knowledge that outdoor activity and engagement in community growing is good for all of us. The cost benefits of programmes like Ecominds should also be acknowledged by government in these times of budget constraints.”
MIND is now making the case for ecotherapy as a public health intervention and a mental health treatment. You can find out more about Ecominds and help support their campaign here, or follow this link to read more about the economic analysis of ecotherapy benefits.
Local Food Awards winners
Four community growing projects have scooped prizes in the Local Food Grants awards.
The Local Food programme, which distributes grants from the BIG Lottery Fund to a variety of projects to help make locally-grown food accessible and affordable to local communities, gave awards in four different categories to Local Food projects:
Community Growing Award: Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
Enterprise Award: Tamar Grow Local
Education and Growing Award: Garden Organic
Small Grants Award: Middlesborough Environment City
The awards were announced on Wednesday, 20th November at a celebratory event in Manchester.
FCFCG led the consortium which developed Local Food and bid for the Lottery funding that has enabled Local Food to give grants worth £42 million to date, to 450 projects across the UK.
You can find out more about the Local Food programme and the award winners on the website.
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