Since the spring East Brighton Trust has responded through our grant giving to a range of recent emergency situations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the past few months we have awarded a significant amount of grants totalling over £60,000, directing funds where they were most needed and benefiting thousands of people across East Brighton. The communities that we support have found new ways to come together and support each other - responding to emergency need in the first instance whilst swiftly developing new ways of working throughout the pandemic and into the future.
East Brighton Trust is pleased to have been able to respond quickly with grants where financial help was most needed.
Here is an overview of where our funds have gone over the past few months.
We ran our Autumn small grants round as planned and were able to support the following local projects to deliver work and activities in the East Brighton area: The ABC Fund, Badgers Tennis Club, BELTA, Bevendean Community Garden, East Brighton Food Cooperative, The Flamenco & Spanish Group, Good News Brighton, Moulsecoomb Community Market, RAW Youth Club, Salaam Football Club, St Georges Hall, Whitehawk Community Food Project, The World Food Project and the On your way job club.
Though we have cancelled our January 2021 round due to our funds being awarded early as and when they were most needed, we hopeto be in a position to recommence our small grant funding later next year.
Emergency food provision
Many people in the areas we work in were already facing hardship, and the lockdown only increased the pressure on families who were already struggling to make ends meet. As the need for emergency food and provisions went through the roof, established food projects ramped up their outreach and new initiatives were created to fulfil newly identified requirements.
The food projects we supported with grants during the lockdown are:
- Sussex Homeless Support - to set up a food bank and get food to homeless people in and from the East Brighton area.
- The Bevy – to support their Bevy Meals on Wheels service to isolated older people who would normally have attended their weekly lunch clubs.
- East Brighton Food Co-op - to distribute food to local people in Whitehawk, Bristol Estate and Manor Farm via two community kitchens that have been set up specially for this purpose.
- Craven Vale Food bank - to purchase food helping them to supply almost 100 households with provisions.
- Bevendean Food bank - to help them address the increase in demand they had experienced since the beginning of the pandemic and help them supply food to 50 families. We also gave them some funding to spend on craft supplies to keep families entertained over the holidays.
- Brighton food factory – to source surplus food from the catering trade and redirect it to local food projects.
- BELTA (Bristol Estate Leaseholders and Tenants Association) – to supply equipment to help their volunteers coordinate the emergency food provision on the Bristol Estate.
- St Cuthman's Church - to provide a takeaway service for young people on the Whitehawk estate who would regularly attend their weekly Youth Café.
- Very local food hub - to help them set up and begin providing low-cost food parcels of fresh produce to residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, enabling people to cook nourishing meals for their families.
"We would like to say a MASSIVE thank you!! for your contribution and support with funding, allowing us to upgrade our tech support. We have a new laptop and will soon have two mobile phones to use for the ongoing work with BELTA and the Bristol Estate and East Brighton communities. The laptop is a great addition and allows us to work remotely and not have to access the office (Community Hub) so often." Stefan at BELTA
"The money has enabled us to share not only food, but a true sense of goodwill between those who are in need and those who enjoy packing and delivering it - we truly believe that the food bank is pulling the whole community closer together.” Alan Cook, Secretary of the Craven Vale Community Association
Community support & projects
To help with other community and family needs, our funding went to:
- Brighton Women’s Centre - to buy devices to help them cope with a surge in demand for their services during the lockdown whilst also having to swiftly adapt the way these services were being delivered. Some funding also went towards keeping their freephone helpline free.
- Fernee Forest Club - to help them teach their sessions online and to send out education packs to local families.
- St Andrew's Church – to enable them to purchase equipment so they could livestream church activities online.
"The money we received will have a great impact on our helpline service, allowing us to reach more women who are feeling isolated through the pandemic. The service is already having a great impact, providing these women with emotional support, and directing them to services that can support them with food, recovery and financial advice. Thank you for supporting us when it was most needed." Brighton Women’s Centre Volunteer Services Coordinator Madison Hartwright
We sponsored local community resource Gladrags to deliver two projects during the pandemic:
- A Covid stories blog in which people were invited to submit their experiences of how they spent lockdown. The stories have now been made into a teaching resource for local schools and community groups to reflect on their own experiences of the pandemic and those of others’.
- A community bunting project where crafters across the city made flags, which were sewn together by volunteers into lengths of bunting which will be loaned out for free for community events and activities.
You can read more about both Gladrags projects here.
Primary school funding
And last but not least, as well as issuing the next instalment of our enrichment grants to the local primary schools (which you can read more about here) we also topped up their funding at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Moulsecoomb Primary needed to buy tablets to help pupils with onsite and remote learning. This came in particularly useful in enabling young people to access the online Oak Academy in which almost 10,000 free lessons are available for pupils of all ages.
- St Mark’s Primary used the EBT top up funding to provide school meals, transport and cooking equipment to families who urgently needed it, with the remainder of the funds going towards resources such as stationery packs for those learning from home. At the end of the school year we also helped give the year 6 leavers a decent send off, sponsoring the pupils to plant an oak tree and create a mosaic which will leave a lasting legacy at St Mark’s as they transition to secondary school.
East Brighton Trust funding 2021
We're glad to have been able to support our community during this unprecedented situation. Due to our funds being assigned when they were most needed, East Brighton Trust has decided to cancel our January small grants round in 2021.
We hopeto be in a position to recommence grant funding later next year and remain committed to supporting the communities of East Brighton as everyone recovers from the pandemic and its economic effects and starts to look towards the future.