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Nine Miles East is a podcast about a financial first. BD Giving’s GROW Fund is the first community-led investment fund in the UK.
In Barking & Dagenham, residents have the power to make decisions about how a significant endowment is invested in their neighbourhoods. And they have chosen to back community enterprises that will make a commercial and social impact in their area.
Host Elvire Matu, speaks to the business owners, the local decision makers, and BD Giving’s team who trust in the wisdom of local people to improve things for their community.
Listen to 9 Miles East wherever you get your podcasts.
9 Miles East episode 8 - 𝐆𝐑𝐎𝐖 𝐅𝐔𝐍𝐃 𝐋𝐄𝐆𝐀𝐂𝐘 & 𝐅𝐔𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄

Latest Podcast

Episode 8: Grow Fund Legacy & Future
In the final episode of 9 Miles East podcast, Kate Harmatz, BD Giving’s Head of Partnerships and Fundraising, Cameron Bray BD Giving’s Head of Learning and Participation and Wunmi Oyewole, who was part of The Grow Fund community steering group, reflect on the GROW Fund’s success and share their hopes for the future.
 

As a financial first, the Grow Fund has created a blueprint for transforming the way money moves through a place, supporting local businesses and the community. So following the success of the 2023 cohort, what’s next? How can BD Giving build on this success? How can local residents get involved? And what’s the message to any curious social investors out there? Listen to episode 8 to find out!

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9 Miles East episode 7 -RADICAL DISPERSAL: A BETTER WAY OF INVESTING
Episode 7: Radical Dispersal - A Better Way of Investing
In episode 7 of 9 Miles East, Kate Harmatz, Head of Fundraising at BD Giving, Amir Rizwan, a social investment expert, and Julian Corner, CEO of Lankelly Chase Foundation, came together for a conversation about making investment more democratic.

Barking and Dagenham has been on quite a journey over the years. From a thriving industry hub, to a deprived borough full of tension and division, and emerging as a place where civil society are taking a participatory approach to decision-making and funding.


Kate, Amir and Julian discuss what conditions and attributes made that change possible. And Julian opens up about the inspiration he found walking alongside the people of Barking & Dagenham.

 

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Episode 6: Arts & Culture is the Answer

In episode 6 of 9 Miles East podcast, we meet AJ Haastrup, the co-founder at One Room Live,  Ade Yusuf, the head of collaborations and partnerships at One Room Live, and Edem Setsoafia, the co-founder at Area 44, who are joint Grow Fund grant recipients. 

 

Barking and Dagenham wasn’t always a positive place for people of colour to live, but it has transformed into a borough that is bursting with cultural diversity and creative energy. Passionate about harnessing that creative energy are Ade, AJ and Edem. They work together to showcase the borough’s imaginative nature through music and arts events. 

 

Collectively they want local creatives to know Barking & Dagenham is somewhere to stay, build and grow artistically.  By working with local artists and other young people in the borough, they are putting Barking and Dagenham on the map as a creative hub.

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Episode 5: Challenging the landscape

In episode 5 of 9 Miles East podcast, we meet Georgina Alexiou, CEO and Founder of Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance and Sarah Robertson, MD of Future M.O.L.D.S. Communities who are joint Grow Fund grant recipients. 

 

Barking and Dagenham has some of the highest youth unemployment rates in London, and much of the current career advice isn’t helping to tackle it. Georgina and Sarah are both passionate about helping young people see possibilities that meet their aspirations and the modern working landscape. In partnership, they have made it their mission to provide bespoke career pathways for young people in the sports and arts sectors. In this podcast they also talk about the benefits of unrestricted, non-competitive funding for smaller organisations like theirs and their hopes that other funders will follow suit.

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Episode 4: A temple to the imagination

In episode 4 of 9 Miles East podcast, we meet Carole Pluckrose, the CEO and Artistic Director of The Boathouse Studios, and another of the Grow Fund grant recipients. 

 

Gone are the days when every neighbourhood had a community hub; a space for people to come together for what we fundamentally need as people – human connection. With a background in the arts, Carole is passionate about the importance of creativity for bringing people together, and has made The Boathouse Studios the perfect place to do it. Located in the heart of Barking and Dagenham, it’s the ideal space for imagination to be explored and expanded. 

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Episode 3: Sew Sustainable

In episode 3 of 9 Miles East podcast, we meet the first of the business owners who received the 25K grant and 6 months’ of business support from the Grow Fund. 

 

It’s no secret that the fashion industry has had a harmful impact on our planet. But what is less well known, is how small businesses are doing their part to make a difference. Kemi Oloyede is the Creative Director of the Sew London Project. A teacher and fashion designer of many years, Kemi is passionate about ethical fashion, recycling textiles and upcycling clothes. The Sew London Project runs sewing classes, workshops, and also provides a bespoke fashion design service to the local community. 

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Episode 2: Steering in the right direction

In episode 2 of 9 Miles East, we meet Wunmi Oyewole, a proud member of BD Giving’s Community Steering Group (CSG). Nobody knows what a community needs better than the people who are part of it. So who better to involve when it comes to making important funding decisions? It was the CSG who decided which local businesses would receive 25K from The GROW Fund. In episode of the podcast Wunmi explains why it was so important to involve people who knew the borough best. 

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Episode 1: Barking & Dagenham: Riches to rags, back to riches

In the first episode of the podcast – 9 Miles East, we take a look back at Barking and Dagenham’s history, exploring the rise, fall and rise again, of one of London’s most underfunded boroughs. But what could a brand new funding model do to change things for the local community? Enter the GROW Fund! BD Giving’s Head of Learning and Participation Cameron Bray breaks down how the fund works and why it’s so important for the people and local businesses in the borough. 

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9 Miles East Trailer

Nobody knows what a community needs better than the people who are a part of it. So why are residents so often excluded from funding decisions? Just nine miles east of Central London, an ambitious funder is changing that. Barking & Dagenham Giving’s GROW Fund is the first community-led investment fund in England. Residents have the power to make decisions about how money is invested in their neighbourhoods. And they have chosen to back community enterprises that will make a commercial and social impact in their area. Nine Miles East is a podcast about the rise, fall, and rise again of a chronically underfunded and deprived London borough.

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