Community Benefit update: Nov 2019

Community Benefit Fund launches in London and the South East.

As a not-for-profit organisation, LHC returns any surpluses generated from its procurement activity to its members. So, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new Community Benefit Fund in London and the South East. 

This will be managed by Locality, our new independent fund manager for LHC’s Community Benefit Fund.

It’s a delight to announce the first two awards from the Fund to community projects in Lambeth and Islington.

The successful projects demonstrated the following features:

  • supporting strong and sustainable neighbourhoods,
  • contributing to one or more of the Borough or County Priorities for their communities,
  • innovative or clearly demonstrating positive social impact.

We Rise, Lambeth

We have awarded a grant of £10,000 to We Rise. They will build an innovative film editing suite to add to their successful work with young people in the borough.

We Rise is a Brixton based community business, launched in November 2017. They empower young people to create successful futures through inspirational work experience projects.

The grant will enable We Rise to:

  • create a self-contained editing suite,
  • provide associated equipment,
  • train two members of staff to use the relevant software,
  • pay for an editor.

This will improve the delivery, range and reach of the work experience projects they run for disadvantaged young people in Lambeth. 

We Rise will also be able to generate extra income through the editing suite when not in use with young people.

Octopus Community Network, Islington

We have awarded a grant of £10,000 across three community hubs in Islington. They will encourage residents to tackle food poverty through locally driven social action.

The hubs are part of Octopus Community Network. They are a collaboration between fourteen of Islington’s largest multi-purpose community centres. The network formed in 1999 via the need to become multi-funded community-led organisations. Coming together as a peer-led network they ensure that community centres survive and thrive in Islington.

The three community hubs are:

  • Hornsey Lane and New Orleans Estates
  • Hilldrop Community Association
  • Blackstock Estate and Blackstock Triangle

They will run three healthy eating hub/food hub pilots to develop sustainable and scalable projects. All three projects will be tailored to local needs and will focus on targeted social housing estates.

From this work, Octopus will create a community-led social action model, so every member of the network has the potential to become a ‘Healthy Eating Hub’ and/or a ‘Food Hub’.

Food poverty is an issue of rising concern in Islington. Evidence shows escalating levels and major inequalities of diet and diet-related health. Causes are complex from low income, poor access to healthy food, to lack of budgeting skills. Impacts can be hunger, malnutrition and obesity, early death and/or disability, stigma and social exclusion.

The Islington Food Poverty Picture:

  • 19,000 people in Islington experience high levels of food insecurity
  • 2,770 emergency food parcels supplied in Islington in 2015-16
  • 1 in 10 children (in London) go to bed hungry
  • 1 in 5 parents (in London) skip meals so that their children can eat

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Executive Member for Community Development at Islington said: “Food poverty is a real issue in Islington and is something that Islington Council is determined to do all we can to address by working with our partners. I am delighted to see this award going to Octopus Community Network members and am sure the project will make an invaluable contribution to Islington’s Food Poverty Action Plan”

Hackney Community Small Grants

Locality is working closely with London Borough of Hackney on LHCs contribution to their Community Grants Fund. Voluntary and community sector organisations can apply for small grants between £1,000 and 5,000 for projects that contribute to one or both of our grants programme’s two priorities:

  • promote social inclusion, encourage independence and develop personal resilience
  • build positive relations between different groups and communities that will maintain the high levels of community cohesion in Hackney

Potential applicants can find more information here. Applications are open in the afternoon of Tuesday 15 October and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 26 November

Future grants

In 2019/20 further grants will be awarded in the following local authority areas:

Hillingdon, Haringey, Ealing, Tower Hamlets and Buckinghamshire.

We will send you an update on these in our next quarterly LHC Community Benefit Fund newsletter.

Locality, LHC’s new fund manager

Locality is the new independent fund manager for LHC’s Community Benefit Fund. Locality is the national network supporting community organisations to be strong and successful. Locality will work with LHC and its members to:

  • assist with the application process,
  • help distribute funds,
  • to support grantees to ensure the fund delivers maximum social value.

LHC Members have a well-developed knowledge of communities and experience of diverse investing. The Fund aims to add value to those resources through working with a project champion within each LHC member organisation. Where members have a well-developed system of grant making, we will work alongside you to ensure that the LHC Fund adds value. Where appropriate we will work through a strategic partner introduced by the Member.

Your Locality Membership benefits

As further support to the Fund, participants, both member authorities and grantees, are get six-month free Locality membership which includes:

  • Invitations to Locality exclusive Locality member-only events.
  • Use Member Advice Service to get answers to knotty problems from Locality specialist staff.
  • Connections with members of the network doing similar work.
  • Resources on issues such as governance, business planning, marketing and communication.
  • Add your voice to our campaigns – we influence public policy to help communities thrive.

Find out more at

Keep it Local at LHC's Public Procurement Conference

Locality shared it’s national Keep it Local campaign at the LHC's Public Procurement Conference in July.

David Moynihan, Head of Service (South) from Locality said that by unlocking the power of community, local authorities can create more responsive services that reduce long-term costs and invest in the local economy.

Locality recently launched a collection of essays and case studies exploring the six Keep it Local principles - and how they are being put into practice. The essays show how councils and communities are coming together to transform their places.

You can read the essays and case studies here

Community Benefit Fund Locality03
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