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Multiple long-term conditions

Piloting catalyst grants to improve health outcomes

We have partnered with Community Southwark to explore how small, unrestricted grants to individuals at risk of developing long-term health conditions can support them to manage their health better.

Key partnership information

Partner: Community Southwark 

Development grant amount: £91,189

Duration:  January 2021 to April 2022 

Programme: Multiple long-term conditions 

 

What we’re doing together

We have partnered with Community Southwark to pilot how small grants awarded to individuals at risk of developing long-term health conditions could positively impact their health 

Community Southwark is the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Southwark. They support charities, community groups and individuals through capacity building, volunteering and social action and are leading on the coordination and evaluation of the pilot project.  

Catalyst grants of up to £500 per person will be awarded to individuals, identified by voluntary organisations already working in the community, to improve their health and wellbeing. Residents can use the funding for a wide range of meaningful educational and recreational opportunities where a financial barrier to accessing them currently exists, such as gym membership or a digital literacy course.  

The community organisations taking part in the pilot are: 

  • Bede House  
  • CGL Southwark 
  • Fair Finance  
  • Peckham Rights!  
  • Bells Garden TRA  
  • Rastafari Movement UK 

The Catalyst programme is unique due to the speed with which organisations can award grants and ‘seize the moment’ where appropriate. Individuals will be offered support at key points in their lives where the grants can make the most impact, such as when they are applying for work or starting a training course, moving home or recovering from an illness. 

 The organisations can take measured risks, responding to creative ideas without any bureaucratic delays, keeping up the momentum of an individual’s needs and interests from the point they are expressed. 

Through funding projects that improve people’s life circumstances, we hope to address the social and economic determinants of health in order to ensure longer, healthier lives for all people living in urban areas.

Aims of the partnership

Through our partnership with Community Southwark, we aim to better understand how small, unrestricted grants to individuals might help mitigate their risk of developing long-term health conditions. 

There will be quarterly evaluations, with opportunities for all organisations involved to share learnings on the grant-making process and success stories from how grants have impacted participants. Our aim is to assess if there is the potential to scale-up this type of funding model after the pilot phase. 

The organisations already working with local people in the area have a real insight into their lives, the challenges they face and their motivations. By building strong relationships with these organisations through the pilot, we can make sure our future projects have the maximum impact possible. 

Connection to our strategy

The life circumstances of some people living in urban areas can mean that they are more likely to live with long-term health conditions than others. Financial health, housing and work can all drive health inequity and contribute to people losing up to 15 healthy years.

Through funding projects that improve people’s life circumstances, we hope to address the social and economic determinants of health in order to ensure longer, healthier lives for all people living in urban areas.

Carole Coulon

Have questions on our work using small grants?

Carole is our Portfolio Manager leading this work.

Contact Carole to find out more