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First participatory grant-making fund from Community Foundation opens for applications

The Community Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of its first participatory grant-making fund supporting communities across Sunderland.

The fund has been named ‘Mackem Money’ by the panel of residents from across Sunderland who have come together to develop the focus and guidelines for the fund. Using their lived experience of the challenges faced by local communities, the panel will also agree the grants from the £130,000 fund.

The panel has prioritised funding for local organisations that are:

  • supporting inclusive communities – bringing people together, building social connections
  • creating opportunities for healthier and happier people – play, physical activity, healthy food and;
  • raising aspirations – building confidence and ambition, developing skills, encouraging achievement

Sunderland resident Joanne Youngson who sits on the panel that developed ‘Mackem Money’ said:

“I’m extremely proud to play my part on this panel. I’m born and bred in Sunderland and have worked and volunteered in the city since I was 12 years old. I am Dyslexic and through my work supporting other dyslexic adults at the SID project, I aim to use my lived experience to contribute to inclusive and fair decision-making. Through my volunteering work supporting Sunderland fans with wellbeing and bereavement, I feel I have gained an understanding of what small projects and groups need to keep providing essential support to the people of Sunderland in their time of need.”

The Sunderland Participatory Grant Making Fund is part of the Community Foundation’s aim to better engage communities. Nils Stronach, Head of Grant Practice and Programmes at the Community Foundation who is overseeing the programme explains:

“This pilot programme puts grant-making decisions into the hands of people who live in the communities that we want to support with our funding. We’ve tried to remain fully independent throughout, so we can be sure that it is the communities themselves that decide where the funding should go. This approach is what Participatory grant-making is all about and we are excited to see how it progresses and who the panel decide to fund!”

The panel have decided to focus on supporting organisations, based and working in Sunderland, that have an income under £250,000, with priority for those under £100,000. They have also split the fund into two parts. The first with a deadline of 12 November 2023 will support community and festive activities in 2023 with grants from £1,000 to £2,000. The second with a deadline of 22 December 2023 will offer larger grants of £2,000 to £5,000 for projects in 2024.

For full details and to apply click here

The Sunderland Participatory Grant Scheme is one of two pilots the Community Foundation is running. The other is a partnership with The Phoenix Way North East focussed on supporting Black, Asian and miniaturised ethnic communities.

Members of the Sunderland Participatory Grant-Making Fund Panel