Every year, the RSA proudly supports Fellow-led projects by giving them the option to apply for the Catalyst Grant. Here, we are delighted to announce the recipients of Round 2, 2018.
Our Fellows are always doing brilliant work around the world, and we want to enable their ideas and plans by offering a Catalyst Grant to get their projects going. There are two levels of Grant that Fellows can apply for:
• £2,000 Seed Grants, for when you have a seed of an idea that you want to pilot,
• and £10,000 Scaling Grants for proven concepts that are ready to grow.
Applications are reviewed by a panel of RSA Staff, and then a panel of Fellowship Councillors. The projects that are funded are those that are
• innovative in addressing a societal need,
• a sustainable model,
• and have a clear outline of ‘what happens next’.
Since 2016, we have received nearly 400 applications. Interestingly, considering women make up 32% of the Fellowship, we have received 52% applications from women, with women making up 51% of the winners.
Around the world, we receive most applications from the UK, and would love to see more from our Global Fellows!
blue circles = number of applications from that location
green circles = number of successful applicants
Catalyst apps worldwide
Catalyst apps UK
Once again, we have selected a diverse range of projects that we feel have the potential to make real change in a new way, from passionate Fellows close to their subject area. Thank you to all those involved in the process, and congratulations to the recipients!
SCALING GRANTS (£10,000)
MeeTwo Kids (London) – Kerstyn Comely FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Amy Butterworth)
Based on the award-winning MeeTwo app for teenagers, MeeTwo Kids makes it easier for children under the age of 13 years to talk about difficult things. MeeTwo kids provides children with on-demand support, plus unique opportunities to develop emotional and social literacy and shows young people how they can help themselves, by helping each other. Informed by the latest psychological research, the app is a fully moderated early intervention designed to alleviate anxiety.
The Grant will be implemented to develop the app. One of the biggest challenges with the current MeeTwo App is that it is free. MeeTwo kids will be available to download from the App and Play stores for £2 a month. By demonstrating a sustainable revenue stream with MeeTwo Kids, they hope to secure investment needed to be able develop both apps and the supporting infrastructure necessary to be able to support 20,000 young people by this time next year.
Latin Elephant (London) – Patria Roman-Velazquez FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Maja Bayyoud)
As regeneration schemes throughout London continue a process of significant urban transformation, small migrant and ethnic business are increasingly under threat. This project expands their current work to grow and protect local migrant economies (principally Latin American) in Elephant & Castle to Seven Sisters and Brixton, acknowledging that a business is often a community asset, a shared space of social and cultural significance.
This is particularly poignant now, just before the huge development of Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, and the large numbers of local businesses it will dislodge. The Grant will help scale up the project to support more than the current 150 MEBs, promoting responsible working and business practices, identifying access to funding and growth opportunities and establishing partnerships with financial and legal organisations and NGOs.
SEED GRANTS (£2,000)
the-wib (Wellbeing Indicator Badge) (London) – Alan Bec FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Lauren Orso)
the-wib is a physical badge, which can be adjusted to display numbers 1-10, to indicate to others your current state of well-being and energy. Alan has been wearing it for a year, and working with established community programmes to support delivery of well-being initiatives within Healthcare, Education, Employers & socially isolated individuals. It has also proven useful in physical recovery (e.g. your leg can be healed, but your mental state may not yet be).
The Grant will help him further establish 'proof of concept' and future sustainability. In particular, gaining specific insight into the badge design, the user experience & needs and exploring its digital/data applications in more detail with 3 target groups.
5 STAZ Educational Board Game for Refugee Camps (Canada) – Susan Fairburn FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Adanna Shallowe)
5 STAZ is a boardgame developed by Joel Baraka (Queen's Young Leaders Award, 2017), when he was a child in a refugee camp in Uganda. The game was to encapsulate education for children in migrant communities, rather than wait for international aid. Now studying at the University of Wisconsin, he has been working with Susan to continue to develop the game, with pilot programmes each summer for the last two years.
The Grant will develop physical games and t-shirts for volunteers to deliver in the camps themselves, to really see how effective this product can be.
Solar PV (Exeter) – Chloe Uden FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Naomi Bath)
Tired of the boring, inky navy rectangles of every solar panel they see, Art and Energy in Exeter are developing more creative installations using solar PV technology. Working alongside the School of Art in Exeter, The Fab Lab in Plymouth and University of Exeter Renewable Energy Dept., they will be using the Grant to create a prototype for new generations and their artistic relationship with this increasingly used energy source.
Chatty Café Scheme (North) – Alexandra Hoskyn FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Rachel Barker)
Quite simply, the scheme encourages cafes and social settings to designate a Chatter & Natter table, this is where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers. Nicely aligned with our own work at the RSA, it takes a 21st century approach to loneliness by doing something positive, reducing by actively bringing people together.
The Grant is being used to evaluate the impact of the scheme, creating evidence to be brought to larger organisations (currently 300 branches of Costa Coffee, and even our own Rawthmell’s!)
Local Equity Stakes (North) – Phil Arnold FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Arrun Degenhardt)
A devolved neighbourhood public service hub around Culcheth Library, they are building a whole community service for locals. The Grant will develop public consultation and business plans, and the project team found the following issues that required clarification, reinforcement and further dialogue (Economics, Scale, Choice, Actions, Mechanics, and Impact modelling of gains and outcomes)
Sustainable Seaweed (South West) – Nicola Wilson FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Lynne Davis)
Coastal communities are some of the most deprived areas in the UK experiencing high levels of inequality, increased unemployment and lower wages. At the same time, the ecosystems and habitats that these communities depend on for their livelihood are suffering from over-fishing, pollution and the effects of climate change. They wish to develop a network of small-scale seaweed farms around the south-west based on a social franchise model.
The Grant will help fund a research trip to coastal Scotland, undertake a site selection study to identify appropriate sites, inform a future licence application and collate detailed costs to inform the business plan.
Just Cities (London) – Noha Nasser FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Kavya Menon)
JUST CITIES is a series of 5 webinars and a 24-hr global online conference aimed at bringing global attention to the social, economic, ecological and political movements led by women impacting cities in ways that are challenging the current status quo. Each webinar is followed by a 3-month call for collective action. It is supported by women-led networks in UK, USA, New Zealand, and Europe.
The Grant is to pilot the first webinar.
Proxy Address (London) – Chris Hildrey FRSA
(Relationship Manager: Eleanor Toner)
ProxyAddress provides a way for people under threat of homelessness to retain access to vital services and avoid becoming entrenched in otherwise worsening conditions. It does this by connecting long-term vacant addresses to individuals without a fixed abode via a “proxy” address, a temporary address providing consistency, access to benefits, financial inclusion, and the avoidance of stigma.
The Grant intends to fund the process of building partnerships and establishing expert legal advice. They are currently discussions with multiple councils and the Royal Mail to create live trials, directly benefitting people under threat of homelessness but, crucially, requires the creation of an online database and associated website to provide access.
We are very excited about these new ideas on the ground and around the world, and we look forward to sharing updates with you!
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.
The Covid-19 Catalyst Award aims to both enable much-needed action on the ground now, and to open doors to Fellows’ ideas