LHC Community Benefit Fund update: Summer 2021

More than two years ago, we commissioned Locality to help deliver the LHC Community Benefit Fund across London. Since then, the fund has been used, and continues to be used, to make a community level difference city-wide.

A total of 33 local community groups have so far received a slice of the Community Benefit Fund, which is aimed at helping make a positive difference in these areas: wellbeing, food poverty, social isolation, community empowerment, environment and employment. (For more on these areas, visit https://locality.org.uk/lhc-community-benefit-fund/).

Despite the pandemic, the majority of local projects have continued to be developed and implemented, with some of them having to be slightly adapted with COVID-19 in mind. A new batch of brilliant projects has also received funding. They range from helping young women and people with addiction issues to develop resilience, though to refurbishing community hubs. Mutual aid groups are also being helped to build capacity following COVID-19 and youth groups are being provided with ways to measure their social impact.

For the full list of our latest grantees scroll down to the bottom of this story. In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of some of the projects that have received a helping hand from the Community Benefit Fund. 


Grantee snapshot 1: Art4Space and School Grounds Sounds

This year, we’ve provided grants to two groups to help them enhance their measurement, and consequently, how they tell their story.



Art4Space is a social enterprise that connects and enhances communities to inspire individuals through creativity. Their LHC grant will help them to implement a new monitoring and evaluation system – leading to improved efficiency, improved reporting of outputs and outcomes, and analysis of impact.

Meanwhile, School Grounds Sounds, run by Tom Scott, is focused on empowering young people through music.



They’re using their grant to buy an app and invest in training for their team. Like Art4Space, the app and training will make the way they operate more efficient, eliminating lots of duplicated paperwork. They will also be better able to help evaluate outcomes for their participants in relation to their musical skills, mental wellbeing and general life skills (including confidence, communication, self-reflection, self-discipline, teamwork, determination, planning, problem-solving and creativity).

“The funding also develops our capabilities to expand our current offering to young people. We’ll be able to run more projects, particularly for 11 to 16-year-olds through our After School Programme, which involves song-writing and music workshops. We will also be able to run more projects with youth centres,” explains Tom.


Grantee snapshot 2: Sister System

Young people leaving care are amongst the worst affected by COVID-19. The impact of the on-going lockdown has compounded their isolation, employment and potential for abuse. In Haringey, our grant went to Sister System for their Haringey Covid-19 Emergency Support Programme aimed at BAME Haringey girls and young women (13 to 24) in and/or leaving care. The initiative provides a wraparound support service, combining mentoring, food and hygiene baskets and wellness sessions.


A real-life example of the difference Sister System is making


Blessing is a 14-year-old girl, who was referred to Sister System in June 2020 through the exploitation panel. She had been excluded from two mainstream schools due to her challenging behaviour and is now back in an external educational provision.

Blessing turned up to her first mentoring session with Sister System alone and since then has been regularly attending the Sisterhood programme sessions. She has now completed her first level 2 leadership accreditation and presented and demonstrated a marked improvement in her behaviour and response to others. 


Grantee snapshot 3: Accelerate

At the start of the year, we updated you on the Accelerate Programme in Southwark and how school students from under-represented backgrounds are being given access to invaluable education, training and mentoring opportunities in design and the built environment.

Open City’s Accelerate is a free course for young people that aims to increase diversity within the built professions. It works with top architectural practices to deliver a programme of practical workshops and mentoring sessions that equip up to 40 Year 12 and 13 students from across London with the skills and portfolios they need to pursue careers within the built environment.



We contributed £10,000 from the Community Benefit Fund to Accelerate, which enabled 10 people from Southwark to take part. They have now completed the latest programme and their work is being exhibited at Brunel Museum.

One of the students, Sania, says her Accelerate experience has been a valuable one:

I have learnt a lot from my Accelerate journey. From learning things about the smallest of fragments to designing my own building on a site in Bethnal Green. It was really nice working with Whittaker Parsons, where we got the brief, and having the chance to design our own building on a site where it facilitates our beliefs.

My project was called Project Desi, which helps children from the ages of 11 to 16 establish their South Asian descent, which was reinforced by the type of activity and area. I began my journey thinking architecture was merely about designing buildings, but I soon realised there is so much more and my aspiration to become an architect is now set in stone.


The full list of LHC grantees for 2020/21:  






Brent CVS


Capacity building project for mutual aid groups



Wycombe Multi Cultural Association


Community centre kitchen refurbishment and expansion

Oasis Partnership


Men’s Shed activities as part of a new community hub


Sister System


Early intervention for females affected by care




Capacity building for voluntary and mutual aid groups



Finsbury Park Trust


Refurbishing kitchen and food project



School Grounds Sounds


Impact measurement for youth project



Impact measurement for youth project


Accelerate Programme



Programme to encourage young people into the built environment industry

Tower Hamlets

Outside Edge Theatre


Theatre project for people with addiction issues


For more information or if you have any queries about the LHC Community Benefit Fund, please email LHCFund@locality.org.uk

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