Bristol City Funds
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.
City Lab project
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:
- People feel isolated, lack self-confidence and are anxious about engaging in local activities and groups
- There is a lack of safe, inclusive spaces for groups and activities, particularly in Hartcliffe and Withywood
- People don’t know what is happening locally so they remain isolated and don’t get the support they need
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:
- Co-production (local people have to be at the core of the service)
- Legacy (the project should have the potential to be long-lasting)
- Partnership (involving agencies from different parts of south Bristol)
- Profile (need people to be aware of it and have ways of engaging)
- Innovation (trying new ways to do things)
- Clarity of outcome (clear benefits to local people)
The project brief – Calls for expressions of interest
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 selection criteria for the organisation are that they:
- Are currently or have recently delivered services in the local area
- Have a diverse team who have experience of living or working in an area of socio-economic hardship
- Can demonstrate their understanding of the needs of the local community
- Be committed to collaborating with an Advisory Group of local people and to shaping the project to reflect what the group puts forward
- Be running activities and services which are led by and actively involve the local community
- Be open to feedback from the local community on their impact to inform future activities and be willing to work with the Advisory Group to evaluate the project
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:
- Employ a worker to carry out the work, including mapping local resources and engaging/consulting with statutory and other agencies
- Employ sessional workers to support the work
- Cover related management costs, overheads and expenses
- Service, support and train the Advisory Group
- Pay members of the Advisory Group – this is seen as essential
- Carry out consultations
- Secure future funding
- Other appropriate tasks and activities, including engaging in local/city wide initiatives which could promote the development of wellbeing services and resources, such as Social Prescribers and the Community Resilience Fund process.
How to apply
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