We. Did. It! – We have launched the Community Investment Policy

We took Barking and Dagenham’s Community-Led Investment Policy to Parliament and got an extra £550k for the Fund!

On Monday, 20th of June 2022, our Community Steering Group (CSG) – a group of residents from the borough of Barking & Dagenham, launched the pioneering new investment approach at Parliament.

The House of Commons event attended by potential investors and policy makers  gave the group a platform to explain how, unlike other impact investments funds, the decisions about how the Community Endowment Fund will be managed, invested, and spent will be led by local people.

The 12 member strong CSG have been meeting since last October to learn about impact investment, agree on their ambitions for the borough, and develop a robust investment policy for Barking & Dagenham’s Community Endowment Fund.

The group had little investment knowledge and experience when they first met. They came together out of a shared desire to influence how investments are made within the borough and to help shape a better future for their families and the community they love.

Facilitated by BD Giving and social enterprise The Curiosity Society, the CSG members received expert advice and support throughout, and in line with charity regulations, any decisions they made were approved by BD Giving’s board of trustees.

In Parliament, members of the group described their journey and how their new found skills and knowledge has grown their confidence in making investment decisions. Their obvious commitment to the area and experience of investing into their personal, professional and community endeavours inspired the audience and was rewarded with an announcement from Barking and Dagenham Council of a further half a million pounds commitment to the endowment.

After the launch event, one resident said:

We began this journey knowing all about our borough and committed to making a difference. We’ve learnt a lot in the last 9 months and today we sent a message that together we can build a better future for ourselves, and future generations. We’re planting the seeds for something beautiful and fruitful to grow in our borough.

At the event, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership & Engagement of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Saima Ashraf, announced that the £907,000 originally transferred from the council to BD Giving would be supplemented by a further £550,000 taking the Endowment Fund to £1.456m. 

 Cllr Ashraf said: 

Our borough is a fantastic place that has already attracted considerable investment and together with BD Giving, we have created a lasting legacy that will benefit all of our residents now and for generations to come. I know that local people have the drive and the vision to invest and manage the Fund for the changes they want to see, that is why we are giving an additional £550,000 to the Endowment Fund. This not only demonstrates our Borough’s continued commitment to this approach that puts our residents and community groups first but will also play a key role in supporting them during what are likely to be difficult times ahead.

CEO Geraud de Ville de Goyet says:

Today our CSG showed what can happen when a local authority trusts its residents and empowers them to be a part of the solution. This is the beginning of something revolutionary, not just for Barking and Dagenham but for the country. We want to attract more investment into the borough so this group of community heroes and others that will follow in their footsteps can take a proactive role in shaping the future of their neighbourhood.

With the launch of our policy, our next steps will be to start deploying investments – some of which locally – and build an impactful portfolio that embraces the group’s vision. Our overall ambition is that this approach to investment becomes a new form of community power and shows other places what the future of funding could be.

Discover our heroes' journey

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