After a flurry of activity, the first round of 2017 Catalyst application assessments came to a close a short while ago. We received a significant number of applications, and it’s my pleasure to share an update on the successful fellow-led projects receiving RSA funding.
Projects receiving a scaling Catalyst grant of £10,000:
- Wessex Social Ventures, led by Adam Boxer FRSA, works with international development charities to increase impact and cut reliance on donors, fostering the transformation of local people in communities receiving aid into social entrepreneurs who are able to grow predesigned businesses which are proven to benefit their community. Catalyst funding is supporting the development of a training programme which will enable the team to further support international development charities globally. More information on the project is available at the Wessex Social Ventures website.
- Liberty Kitchen, led by Janet Boston FRSA, is a street food social enterprise working to provide training, skills and post-release opportunities to prisoners and ex-prisoners through producing and selling street food. The aims of the project include reducing rates of reoffending, and promoting rehabilitation and reintegration into society. RSA support for this project is enabling the development of a programme of training and supervision for participants.
Projects receiving a seeding Catalyst grant of £1-2,000:
- Talk Reflection, led by Lydia Hirst FRSA, is an app which encourages care providers to post care experiences via text message within network groups. The app allows group members to comment on posts, thereby giving new perspectives, leading to new solutions. The shared experiences of the cross section of app users can provide solutions that are quick to implement, resulting in better person-centred care. RSA funding will support taking the piloted app through a larger trial for proof of concept, before being made widely available to care providers. More information on the app is available at the Talk Reflection website.
- Stand Up Speak Out, led by Giles Kenningham FRSA, aims to empower disadvantaged young people to shape society. The project seeks to do this by encouraging participants to become more involved in politics and connecting them with political and third sector decision makers. The purpose of the project is to create meaningful networks between pupils and the political world including MPs, think-tanks, NGOs, charities and campaign groups. RSA funding will support events in schools, a work placement network and regional awards to recognise civic participation and social action.
- PAPER Talks, led by Simone Kidner FRSA, forms part of PAPER Arts, a social enterprise working with unemployed and under-employed young people in Bristol to support them in exploring careers in the creative sector. RSA funding will support a series of talks and workshops on creative entrepreneurship led by industry experts, aiming to actively engage young people from diverse inner-city communities to participate in discussions and to gain fundamental education in the power of creativity in enterprise.
- The National Forest Gardening Scheme led by Paul Pivcevic FRSA, aims to launch a National Forest Gardening Scheme to get people engaged in planting, eating, visiting and learning in forest gardens to increase access to these spaces and catalyse a transformation to a sustainable society. Forest gardens are planned, self-sustaining food systems with potential for long-term wellbeing and education. RSA funding will support the development of a film to promote the work of the project and educate viewers about forest garde
Successful applications were identified following review by a panel of elected Fellowship Councillors – thank you to all those involved in the process. Each of these projects is now underway, using Catalyst funding to develop and scale up their ideas for positive social change. On behalf of The RSA, congratulations to all the successful projects!
The closing date to apply for the next round of Catalyst funding is Monday 18th September. More information on Catalyst and further RSA support can be found on our website. If you have any questions about applying for Catalyst support, email the Catalyst Team. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with questions about the projects outlined above.
How Alison Kwan FRSA, winner of RSA Catalyst Seed Grant, is using the Grant to create an innovative, sustainable way to empower Women in Central Vietnam to be independent farmers.