Bristol’s diverse communities are underpinned by a network of dedicated people in community organisations and projects that work tirelessly to improve the lives and opportunities of others.
With the escalating cost of living, resources are being stretched like never before. Not only are these vital groups having to work harder to stretch budgets, they are often seeing increased demand from those who need support.
This is why the Community Resilience Fund is important, as it will see a one-off capital funded £4m pot shared with groups based in and working with the most deprived areas of our city, and in city-wide groups supporting certain groups for example Disabled people, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and LGBTQ+ communities.
Community-led decision making is central to the fund – we want people to decide which projects are most vital for them. Over the summer, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations in all the eligible areas of the city, and across different equalities communities, will lead conversations with community organisations to identify potential projects. When all potential projects have been gathered, a group of VCSE organisations, councillors and residents in each community will be recruited to review them and make a decision about what to invest in.
The approach builds on last year’s Citizens’ Assembly which worked with a group of representative residents to make recommendations about key decisions which effect them. It also takes learning from the Port Community Resilience Fund (PCRF), which invested £1 million in communities connected to Bristol Port in 2018, with £314,000 invested specifically in community facilities. Decisions were made through a combination of council staff assessment, resident panel interviews with applicants, and a community vote.