Natalie Smith: Being Brave

Nat Smith works as an Education Director at Arc Theatre, which specializes in creating and performing theatre that challenges assumptions and causes real change in the way that people relate to one another at work, at school and in the community. Arc Theatre received a grant from the Rapid Response Fund to purchase new computer equipment which would allow them to continue their work online and support them after the pandemic.

Jane Shetewi

My name is Jane Shetewi and I live with my husband, my 20-year-old daughter and my 17-year-old son. I had been mentoring Year 7 students at a local school, but this has stopped during the COVID-19 lockdown; since then I have found various ways to maintain connections with my community. During the lockdown, I have […]

Wumi Oyewole

Let joy be a carrying tool in hard times. Wumi Oyewole has a vision to create a world full of radiance, creativity and confidence. A mum of two sons and married to Adeyinka, Wumi is currently contracted to work in local government and works from home in the field of children’s social care. After taking […]

Hannah Kupoluyi

Hannah Kupoluyi is the founder of All Women’s Network which started the ‘Birth Your Vision Coaching Programme’ in January of 2020. The ‘Birth Your Vision Coaching Programme’ was funded by The Faith & Belief Forum and LBBD. This followed her award-winning achievement in 2019 from Faith & Belief Forum with her work in empowering women […]

Sustaining the community response: Our response to the review of civil society

A white person's hand holds up an unlit lightbulb to the sky, which is a mixture of pink and blue shades

At the end of June, the Prime Minister asked Danny Kruger MP  ‘to consult with civil society organisations, local authorities, our colleagues in Parliament, and across government to develop proposals to maximise the role of volunteers, community groups, faith groups, charities and social enterprises, and contribute actively to the government’s levelling up agenda.’ In keeping […]

How the Rapid Response Fund was allocated

In the span of six weeks, the Rapid Response Fund has been launched and allocated with the last few payments being made by the end of this week. It feels very strange to be on the other side of things and even if we’re not quite finished yet, I wanted to take the opportunity to […]

Rapid Response Fund: Who we funded

We’re pleased to announce the recipients of the Rapid Response Fund for Barking & Dagenham. In the end, we had 43 applications totalling £187,452. With only £100,000 available, this obviously meant that we could not fund everybody. That said, a majority of applications were successful, with 24 applicants being awarded funding. You can read more […]

Rapid Response Fund is now closed

As a result of being inundated with brilliant applications from across the borough, we are now in a position where we have to close the fund. When the fund was launched, we set a deadline of the end of July or whenever the funding ran out.   We knew when we launched the Rapid Response Fund […]

Designing the Rapid Response Fund

You may have seen that the Lankelly Chase Foundation has given a grant of £100,000 to distribute to the community to help our borough during this crisis. As a funder, they are interested in how power is shared and how systems can be changed to address issues in society which cause harm to people and […]

A new model of local giving

Anyone who works in the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Barking and Dagenham will know this too well: finding money is becoming increasingly more challenging. The causes are multiple: changing priorities and the lack of core funding support; poor communication between funders, which in turn increases the amount and complexity of reporting work and; […]