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We’ve supported 30 projects this year with our Citizen Local Fund

Thirty projects have been supported with grants of up to £3,000 through the Citizen Local Fund.

The fund is a pot of money available to community groups across the West Midlands who are running in our communities.

We put aside £50,000 this year to invest in groups which improve mental and physical wellbeing, reduce isolation and loneliness, bring people together of all ages and communities, and enhance local areas.

One of the latest projects awarded funding is the Champion Inclusivity CIC group and they used the money for a winter lantern walk at Prior Deram Park in Coventry.

Ten workshops were held in the run up to the event where people from the community could make their own lanterns at various public venues in Canley. The lanterns were LED as well as being solar powered and people in the community decorated them themselves. They then took part in the winter lantern walk once the lanterns were complete.

Nor Aziz, who is the founder of Champion Inclusivity CIC group, said: “The event was about bringing people together. There are a lot of Citizen customers who live here and we want to raise awareness of community in the area.

“It’s good for tenants living here to get to know each other. We had about 50 people take part in the walk and they were happy to be doing it.

“This event is a new idea for our group and we want people to feel a sense of belonging. I wanted to bring the community together more which is why I applied to the Citizen Local Fund.”

The group was one of 10 organisations who were granted funding in this round of the Citizen Local Fund.

Our customer engagement partner Caroline Arrow said it’s fantastic organisations like Champion Inclusivity CIC are supported.

She said: “Congratulations to Champion Inclusivity CIC on receiving their funding and for holding an event which has involved the local community.

“At Citizen we want to work with our partners to make a difference to our customers and our communities and the Citizen Local fund does just that.

“It’s fantastic to hear the impact that the money is making already by helping those living in our communities take part in events which feel help them feel included.

“Congratulations to everyone who has received funding in the latest round of the citizen Local fund. We are looking forward to it being used and seeing the impact it makes.”

Other groups who have benefited in the latest round are:

  • Slick Chefs, St Peters – The group will work with a group of six people one night each week so they can learn how to cook family dinners. Slick Chefs will provide the tools, ingredients and guidance.
  • Welshman Hill Allotments, Birmingham – 11 allotment plots are used by residents living on the Welshman estate. The area has become overgrown and the money will be used to improve the area, keep it maintained and to buy plants for it.
  • Sangam, Walsgrave, Coventry – This is a group set up during lockdown to help combat isolation and loneliness. They run a weekly Chai and Chat session and would like to use the money to carry out chair exercises, yoga, craft, board games, flower arranging. They would like to have sessions whereby guest speakers come and talk to them about various subjects, such as benefits advice, cost of living, healthy lifestyles.
  • Hereford Food Bank – money will help with the food bank. They operate through a system of referrals where they receive request for a food parcel from agencies and establish if the person or family is genuine.
  • Woodview Community forum, Edgbaston – the group are celebrating black history by providing activities for those in the community. They will use the money on intergenerational activities where people can share stories, reminisce and learn from each other at a community day.
  • Radford Community Allotment, Coventry – funding will be spent on the allotment which is local to Citizen customers. The project will help combat social isolation as people can engage with others at the allotment.
  • Chiswick House Garden, Coventry – money will help our customer buy some perennial plants for the garden
  • House Project Coventry – The project supports people age 16 to 18 who are leaving care to live connected and fulfilling lives. The care leavers live in Citizen properties and are supported to help them manage their own homes.
  • Head of Adullam Social Enterprises, Small Heath – the group will use the money to develop a food and wellbeing garden in the community to be used by vulnerable adults. The project will focus on teaching people how to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers and sensory plants in the garden.

The next round of the Citizen Local Fund will open in the Spring.

Find out more about the fund here

For media enquiries contact our Communications Team.

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