Catalyst Grants Project Community Southwark's Catalyst Grants pilot programme in Southwark, working with Impact on Urban Health Updated 9 February 2022 Catalyst Grants Programme brief: The Catalyst Grants Programme provides small grants of up to £500 to people on low income. Funds can be used flexibly for what people feel will make a meaningful difference to their lives and overall well-being, or help fulfil personal goals, where a financial barrier currently exists. Community Southwark has been funded by Impact on Urban Health (part of Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation), to run a pilot programme of the Catalyst Grant model in Southwark, the first time it has been set up in this borough. We are also looking to see if this project has a positive impact on overcoming Social Determinants of Health (SDH) This grant model was originally set up by Cripplegate Foundation, who have been running their programme successfully in Islington since 2009. The evaluation of Catalyst is limited due to the small budgets associated with the project, with case studies reported via organisations. Some of these case studies however have shown the Catalyst grants to have – as the name suggests – the power to catalyse impact. Awards are granted in blocks of £5000 to trusted partner organisations who then distribute funds to people they are already working with. This pilot is set to reach between 10-20 individuals per organisation (50-100 in total during the run of the pilot). The first 5 partner organisations were selected in February 2021 and 90% of grants have now been distributed. These partners are: Bede House – Assist domestic abuse survivors, people with learning difficulties, and offer youth programmes to children/young people from families on low income. CGL Southwark - Support individuals with substance misuse issues. Fair Finance – Provide specialist debt advice, focusing on providing bespoke one-on-one support to the most vulnerable in society. Peckham Rights! and Bells Garden TRA (joint bid) – Peckham Rights! promote racial equality and human rights for marginalised communities. Bells Garden TRA is a Tenants and Residents Association that serves the Bells Gardens Estate. Rastafari Movement UK - Deliver culturally specific, sustainable projects and hubs to counteract food injustice. Our Catalyst partners and Community Southwark are currently meeting every other month to support, update and share best practice with one another on the model and report on perceived impact of the grants. Working together through this project has given us a focused method for building deeper partnerships in Southwark. We are hoping that the end-result will be to scale up this programme (this we know will be subject to funding) giving us the ability to bring in more partners and thus help more people but we are waiting to evaluate impact of the first wave. Initial feedback from partners and grant recipients has been very positive with partners and grant recipients alike reporting on the positive impact the grant has had. “I call it our ‘feel good fund’. It makes us all feel good. People are amazed when we tell them they have a choice to spend the money on something for them, to make themselves feel better. They are amazed that there is someone out there who cares about them.” Quote from Catalyst Grant Partner, 4th partner meeting "My hope for the grant is…that I will feel less anxious and stressed and have a sense of doing something for myself for once.” Quote from Catalyst Grant recipient, pre-grant survey “I just have a bit more of a feeling of self-worth now” Quote from Catalyst Grant recipient, post-grant survey You can read our recent progress report here. A final evaluation and feedback event is planned for March 2022 and we will be putting together a final report for the end of April 2022. If you want to read more about SDH and how urban living impacts our health, you can download Impact on Urban Health's report 'Easing pressures: How work, money and homes can make our cities healthier and fairer'. Any questions? If you have any queries about the project or the application form, please contact Shaida (Community Grants Officer) at [email protected] or call 020 7358 7704. We are very grateful to Impact on Urban Health (part of Guys' and St Thomas' Foundation) for funding this project.