Mayor’s cash boost for local community volunteering
A people’s café, a ‘speed-greening’ project and a gym group that helps the elderly are among 16 inspirational projects to win Mayoral funding to increase volunteering opportunities for Londoners. Funding between £2,500 and £10,000 has been given to a range of projects across the capital through Team London’s Small Grants innovation fund.
Projects include GoodGym, a city-wide group of runners who carry out physical tasks to help community organisations and visit isolated older people as part of their workouts, and Create London, whose volunteers encourage enterprise among young people while bringing back the East End tradition of hop picking.
Now in its fourth year, the Mayor’s Team London Small Grants scheme was established to help expand vital local projects and provide more volunteering opportunities for Londoners across the capital. Last year alone, £300,000 was given to the third sector in grants to support small charities in London focused on innovation in volunteer recruitment and has helped to fund over 6,700 volunteers. The focus this year is to create more speed-volunteering initiatives and schemes where volunteers work in groups.
One of the top reasons people give for not participating in volunteering is a lack of time. A number of the schemes that have been awarded a grant are specially designed to enable Londoners to volunteer their time on an informal basis at short notice, in a way that’s easy to sign up to, and only takes a few hours to complete.
The 16 organisations to receive a Team London grant this year are:
- Delete Blood Cancer UK (£5,000) – Setting up Volunteer Hubs all across London to raise awareness about blood cancer and register potential stem cell donors.
- GoodGym (£5,000) - A group of runners who carry out physical tasks to help community organisations and visit isolated older people as part of their workouts.
- People Dancing (£5,000) – Recruiting volunteers for the Mayor’s Big Dance, offering around 350 individual and 30 group-volunteering opportunities, generating at least 2,100 hours of volunteering time.
- Wise Thoughts (£5,000) - Getting volunteers involved in the annual LGBTQI cross arts festival and the London chapter of the national LGBT History Month Festival.
- Worldwrite (£5,000) - Providing young people, minorities and community groups with an exciting platform to voice their concerns on local and global issues and make an impact.
- Create London (£7,500) – Encouraging enterprise among young people while bringing back the East End tradition of hop picking.
- Providence Row (£5,000) - Working with homeless and formerly homeless adults, supporting them to move into and maintain accommodation and employment.
- The Maypole Project (£5,000) – Helping children and young people with complex medical needs to take part in sports.
- Sufra NW London (£5,000) - Transforming a large derelict site on St. Raphael’s Estate, Stonebridge into a working food growing project, to reduce social isolation amongst the disabled, those suffering long-term illness and the elderly.
- Brixton People’s Kitchen (£5,000) – Using surplus food from local green grocers and markets to cook lunch and dinner for deprived communities and estates.
- Haringey MENCAP (£5,000) - Providing speed volunteering opportunities for people to give up two to six hours to help others.
Kensington and Chelsea
- Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea (£5,000) – Developing an Ambassadors scheme for people to volunteer at local events including a meet and greet service at Portobello Market.
- Sutton Community Farm (grant of £10,000) - A welcoming, inclusive space for people to learn food growing skills and make friends.
- Cordwainers Grow (£5,000) – Setting up ‘speed-greening’ sessions for people to take part in hands on gardening activities to benefit community gardens and green spaces in Hackney.
- Selby Trust (£5,000) - Helping to combat unemployment, improve the environment, boost health and fitness and skills development through making wood products.
- Deen City Farm (£5,000) – Offering practical volunteering opportunities for groups of employees, students and community organisations to help with farm maintenance and gardening.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “These organisations are doing fantastic work and it is wonderful that increasing numbers of Londoners are willing to give their time to build stronger communities and improve the capital. Whether you have a lot of time to give, or just a few hours to spare, Team London has a wealth of volunteering opportunities with something to suit everyone’s interests and lifestyle. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Team London website and get involved.”
Since being set up in 2011, Team London volunteers have given over one million hours of their time to volunteering across a huge range of projects and over 100,000 active volunteers are now part of the programme
Notes to editors
Team London is the Mayor of London's ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital. The aim is to improve life in London through programmes that will reduce crime, increase opportunities for youth and improve quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods. Team London promotes volunteering opportunities for over 1,400 organisations. For information about volunteering opportunities in London, please go to http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk @teamLDN