The names of the successful applicants for a Social Innovation Grants scheme have been announced. The grants, launched in Bristol earlier this year by the British Council, are to be used by individuals and organisations based in the city to gain access to and develop international networks and experiences.
The scheme aims to tackle social problems and better meet social needs by connecting cities through face-to-face and digital activities. The British Council chose Bristol as a trial location for the scheme having been a partner in the Global Parliament of Mayors Summit, which was hosted by Bristol City Council in October 2018.
An open call for applications received over 40 submissions, of which 14 have been awarded micro-grants of between £250 and £1,000. The total award allocated to the city for the trial was over £10,000.
We were very excited at the high quality and huge variety in these applications. We’re delighted to be supporting projects across a mix of sectors, some individuals and some organisations, from different parts of the city with a huge range of international reach. I think their experiences will make for a really interesting round-table at Festival of the Future City in October. Kathy McArdle, British Council
The winning projects will be developing links with Beira, Berlin, Chicago, Dakar, Dublin, Hamburg, New York, Puerto Morazán and Sulaymaniyah, among other locations. Projects include pioneering an online trauma awareness training programme to meet the needs of those providing refugee services; an innovative approach to food and horticulture production and community action; seeing how the legacies of slavery are handled in other cities and exploring potential eco-friendly tourism projects.
Grants are being used to attend international conferences including the European Forum Primary Care conference in Paris; the Social Enterprise World Forum in Addis Ababa; the AfroTech2019 Conference in Oakland; and the AGM of the Association of Significant Cemeteries of Europe in Ghent. Participants are looking to deepen their understanding of a wide range of social issues, share ideas and best practices with others and develop effective new collaborations.
‘Bristol has always been an international city and today is made up of communities from all around the world. Many individuals and organisations wish to meet others doing similar work and learn from their experiences, rather than starting from scratch with projects in our city. We’re delighted the British Council grant has made funding accessible where it wouldn’t otherwise be, and we look forward to seeing the outputs of these visits, as individuals and organisations from across the city build new relationships and collaborations across the world.’ Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
The scheme is managed by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (BCDP). All grant holders will have the opportunity to showcase their work and its impact during sessions at the third Festival of the Future City which runs 16-19 October 2019.
We are incredibly grateful to the British Council for investing in Bristol’s international relationships through this funding pot. The Festival of the Future City is the largest public debate about the future of cities and the programme will be made all the stronger by hearing about the results of the fantastic mix of projects. Andrew Kelly, director of BCDP and curator of Festival of the Future City