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Your Big Break in the Time of COVID

As we all face up to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Foundation for FutureLondon (FFL) and Westfield Stratford City have committed to support East London residents, groups, organisations and businesses. The Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is a five-year programme that will pump £10m into local communities of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Small grants of £1k-£5k for arts, culture, innovation or creative placemaking projects that focus on education, skills or training have already begun to be awarded.

Leading by example right here, the pilot print edition of The Wick has been made possible due to a grant from FFL’s Connecting People and Place fund, supported by the City of London.

Several other medium and large-sized grant schemes have been announced or are coming soon, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on to make sure you’re aware of the latest opportunities. The aim is to jumpstart projects, businesses, start-ups and employment skills and qualifications, for locals across the four boroughs that border the Olympic Park.

Have you got a project idea of your own that needs funding? We asked some recent grant awardees to share their advice on how to successfully apply…

Coming out of education, the only language and structure you learn is academic. Over the years I’ve had to slowly unlearn that, and understand that you just need to be genuine, clear and straight to the point.

Art Clubbers are an organization that supports budding creatives through workshops and training. They recently received funding to launch S.Y.N.C (Skills Youth Network Create), a programme designed to train young creative leaders in Tower Hamlets and Newham for the 21st century workplace.

Read the grant application guidelines carefully, and be focused on answering the questions and show your passion for what you are doing.

Newham Poetry Group is an organisation which celebrates the diversity of the borough through poetry. They received FFL funding to launch their latest project, Newham Poetry House, which is a weekly gathering of poetry lovers to enjoy workshops and classes in a library space.

We recommend that you speak to the team about your project idea before you apply, as from our experience it will help you to structure your plan – and make your application stronger.

Trapped in Zone One is a Black, Asian and People of Colour-led organisation running in Tower Hamlets which empowers locals to make social change. They received funding to launch their project, The Bigger Picture, a monthly programme of themed film nights showcasing the work of Tower Hamlets-based filmmakers.

The schemes all encourage applications from marginalised communities, something that’s especially important today, given the uneven impacts of Covid-19. “We are pleased to kickstart our grant schemes during these difficult times to support local economies, jobs, skills and places,” says Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO at Foundation for FutureLondon.

Similarly, Alyson Hodkinson, General Manager at Westfield Stratford City says “we are also delighted to be supporting local talent, providing access to new career opportunities and important training for people with big ideas within our communities.”

To keep track of dates and details of the new Medium and Large Grant Schemes, sign up to the Foundation for FutureLondon newsletter.

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