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City Funds is a partnership of Bristol City Council, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) and Quartet Community Foundation (Quartet). We create change through social investment, managed by BBRC, through grant funding, managed by Quartet, and through brokering non-financial support for our local VCSE partners. We bring together people from many organisations across sectors in Bristol to work on the key challenges faced by the city.
We recently ran a pilot project to trial a new way of giving out funding called a City Lab. The City Lab brought together a group of people to explore some key issues in Bristol and develop a viable project idea that could address those issues. Our pilot Lab was in South Bristol (Hartcliffe & Withywood and Filwood wards) and focused on the One City Plan target, voted a priority at the last City Gathering, to: “Support community assets (such as community centres/ groups) to reduce social isolation and improve mental wellbeing, focusing particularly on communities with mental health inequalities.”
Three local organisations participated in the project, with one of their team members being part of the Lab and each recruiting (paid) local residents to participate as citizen experts. The participants carried out a Listening Exercise, engaging with local people to identify issues and then analysed the findings to identify potential projects. The University of Bristol enabled two student interns to work on the Quartet database to find data which informed the thinking of the Lab. Funding for the organisations and citizen experts was facilitated by Quartet.
Out of the group’s listening and deliberation, three key themes emerged:
Potential ideas to address the themes were identified, emerging from analysing the listening conversations. The Lab used a set of criteria to evaluate each option. These were:
One project was voted the highest priority to take forward and make a reality. We are now looking for an organisation interested in delivering this project brief to create and connect people to welcoming spaces in Withywood, including exploring bringing the Tenants’ Centre back into use, where people can get support to improve their wellbeing and address concerns such as isolation, anxiety and loneliness and can be signposted to other services.
The organisation will need to work closely with the City Council and other local agencies to ensure that there are safe, welcoming places for people to meet in Withywood and that local people know about these resources, are at the centre of deciding what new resources are needed and are able to access the support they need to improve their wellbeing. One potential resource to focus on is the Withywood Tenants’ Centre. We expect the organisation to explore the Tenants’ Centre option and also consider how other community buildings could be more accessible and welcoming to local people. We expect the initial phase of the project to last for 18 months, ideally starting in mid/late summer 2022, with continuation funding to be secured as part of the project’s activities.
We have secured up to £40,000 of funding to kick-start this project. The breakdown of costs will be determined by the successful applicant, but could be used to:
Please submit an expression of interest setting out how your organisation meets the criteria above and how you would deliver this project. This should be no more than two sides of A4. Organisations who are shortlisted will be invited to attend an interview. The successful organisation will be asked to complete a full application form to Quartet, providing detailed information for audit and monitoring purposes.
Your paper should be sent to Lucy Gilbert at Quartet firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 6th June 2022.
If you have questions, please email Lucy or Sally Britton: email@example.com
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