Community Southwark are partnering with Guys’ and St Thomas’ Charity (GSTTC) to launch a Catalyst Grants Programme in Southwark.

Catalyst Grants programme brief (from Guys’ and St Thomas’ Charity - GSTTC):

Catalyst provides small grants of up to £500 to low-income and disadvantaged residents. Funds can be used flexibly for what people feel will make a meaningful difference to their lives and help fulfil personal goals. 

Awards are granted in blocks of £5000 to trusted partner organisations who then distribute funds to people they are already working with. Individuals use the funding for a wide range of educational and recreational opportunities that are meaningful for them, such as Pilates teacher training, taking The Knowledge test to become a taxi driver, gym membership, therapy sessions, or a new mattress etc. You can find out more about Cripplegate & Islington Giving’s previous run of the programme here.

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 have shown the catalyst grants to have – as the name suggests – the power to catalyse impact. This project is part of GSTTC's programmes focusing on social and economic determinants of health in order to ensure longer, healthier lives for all people living in urban areas. Please read more about this here.

Following Cripplegate's model, Catalyst organisations will meet quarterly (or more often if needed) to update one another and share best practice. We anticipate that bringing these organisations together through this programme will give us a focused method for building deeper partnerships in Southwark. 

Details of project run:

Host organisation: Community Southwark

Length of project: 14 months

Project start and end time: February 2021 until April 2022

Number of partner organisations: We are looking to have a maximum of 5

Funder: Guys’ and St Thomas’ Charity

Area: Southwark

Next steps:

  1. Co-design a ‘Catalyst’ programme to be implemented in Southwark
  2. Deliver the programme
  3. Evaluate the programme

The aim is to design the programme as of February 2021 and open grant applications from the 1st of April 2021 and finish 12 months later. However, the time frame does have some flexibility. As Community Southwark will be running the programme, we will be managing all of the administrative tasks we can perform from our end to try and make the partner organisations’ involvement as easy as possible. 10% of the grant (£500) to cover partners’ admin costs will also be made available.

How to get involved?

We have held an introductory meeting and have now opened applications for registering interest in becoming a partner organisation. Please see the form here.

Any questions?

If you have any queries, please contact Madeleine Marcateus (Community Grants Officer) at [email protected], or call 020 7358 7704. 

We are very grateful to Guys' and St Thomas' Charity for funding this programme.