Today’s blog comes from Ronnie Brown, Interim CEO, Quartet Community Foundation
This week sees the launch of the latest Bristol City Funds grant programme, focused on transforming our city’s health and wellbeing sector.
The programme will support voluntary, community, charity and social enterprise organisations based and working in Bristol to deliver health and wellbeing activities or to transform and strengthen the organisations themselves. The funding for the programme has come from Bristol Community Health as part of its legacy to community health in Bristol.
In the age of COVID, we’ve never been more aware of the crucial role of health and wellbeing in our individual lives and in the strength of our communities. And yet we also know that this is a uniquely challenging time for the social sector, with many organisations facing a simultaneous decline in income and increase in need.
The vision for this grant programme is to equip the health and wellbeing sector in Bristol to meet this unprecedented challenge. This could be through supporting the leaders of these organisations to think through and plan for the future, to develop new revenue streams or to test out approaches to reaching new parts of the community. We’re also keen to see more collaboration, with organisations coming together to create a bigger impact.
To ensure that this fund has the best chance of achieving systemic change, we’ve put in place some additional elements that go beyond a traditional grant programme. Firstly we’ve invested in ensuring that those with direct experience of health and wellbeing challenges are involved in the decision-making process for the fund, with a cohort of ‘Expert Citizens’ being trained and enabled to join the grant panel.
Secondly, we’ve commissioned the Good Faith Partnership and The Care Forum to work together to support potential applicants to the fund. They will be available to answer questions about the fund and to discuss potential applications, and they will also be conducting mapping and analysis of the sector and, in 2021, running a series of workshops to help organisations think about their resilience and develop strategies to thrive in the current context.
The programme is the latest grant initiative of Bristol City Funds, which is working to transform Bristol by funding solutions that target the causes and effects of inequality. City Funds aims to create positive and transformational change in the city by bringing businesses, community organisations, funders and the public sector together, to share resources and help address key priorities in Bristol. City Funds is a key part of the ‘One City Approach’ in Bristol, and also has a £10 million investment fund which can invest £50,000 to £1 million in impact-driven organisations with sustainable solutions to inequality.
To find out more about the Health and Wellbeing grant programme and to apply please go to https://quartetcf.org.uk/grant-programmes/bch/.