Give it A Go Fund grantees announced

Give it a Go Fund awards ten initiatives filling a gap in the borough

We are excited to announce the ten grantees awarded £2,000.00 each in our first round of the Give it a Go Fund.

Selected by our eight decision-makers, a group of residents from the borough, these are the ten people and initiatives which were chosen:  

  • Christina Ford – Creative Connections for Divergent Families 
    • The grant will support Christina with the launch of ‘Creative Connections with Divergent Families’, an initiative dedicated to empowering single-parent families, particularly those navigating neurodiversity and learning disabilities, through innovative arts-based practices.
  • Laura Iosifescu – ‘I am an Arktivist’ 
    • The grant will support the project: “I am an Arktivist” which seeks to address the pressing waste management challenges in the Barking and Dagenham. 
  • Daniel Vajsabel – Open mic night at The Exchange
    • The grant will support n open mic nights at The Exchange to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their music in a welcoming and supportive environment.  
  • Phinnah Ikeji – “Dismantling Barriers” podcast 
    • The grant will help launch ‘Dismantling Barriers’, a bi-weekly podcast for  young people in the borough to discuss issues that matter most to them, interview their role models across the borough and learn about different career options. 
  • Abel Holsborough – Community Cinema in Barking 
    • The grant will support creating a community cinema hosted in A House for Artists, an intergenerational space for sharing, enjoying, discussing, and even making films which reflect the cultures and stories of the area. 
  • Nassaba Guibá-Fernandes – Community garden allotment workshops
    • The grant will support community garden allotment workshops at the Hedgemans allotment site in Dagenham, enabling families to share knowledge, build a community and a sense of belonging as well as promote sustainable gardening practices transferable to the comfort of their homes.
  • Onyenachi Ajoku – ‘Mums with Bumps, Buggies and Young Ones’
    • The grant will help run a 20 week support group for soon-to-be-mothers and mothers with babies and young ones who identify as experiencing mental health challenges, disabled and/or neurodivergent. 
  • Marcel Andrew – Healthy Mind, Healthy Grind 
    • The grant will support Soul and Sound’s latest initiative: Healthy Mind, Healthy Grind, which will deliver a six week plant-based cooking workshop for young people and families in the borough. 
  • Katja Rosenberg – Evening film screenings at Dagenham Library 
    • The grant will support  bi-monthly evening film screenings aimed at adults in the Dagenham Heathway Library, presenting non-mainstream productions from different cultures, to represent the cultural \mix of Dagenham.
  • Marina Sanduleac – Big Friendly Coffee 
    • The grant will enable Big Friendly Coffee, a cafe in Barking Park, to to offer educational games and toys for disabled and neurodiverse children who visit the café regularly. 

“These are some really great initiatives and credible ideas to make our community better. I look forward to seeing the Give it a Go Fund in full swing.”

What is the Give it a Go Fund?

The Give it a Go Fund is a small grants fund for people in the borough to test out new ideas.


The fund was made possible by the returns of community led investment decisions which have generated significant returns for the borough. 


A group of eight residents designed the fund and decided that the fund should offer ten applicants £2,000 grants for something which fills a gap in the borough. 


The panel also decided the basic criteria for the fund, which is:

  • Annual turnover of no more than £50,000
  • Able to demonstrate that can fill a gap in the borough 
  • Have the potential to deliver social impact in the borough

How was it decided?

First we recruited a group of eight resident decision-makers, made up of some of the co-designers, as well as others from our network. 


We received over 50 applications from organisations, businesses and individuals across the borough. Applications were initially sifted by BD Giving, using the basic criteria outlined above. 


The decision-makers were then sent the remaining applications to score online. Following this, we met twice as a group to discuss the higher scoring applications and narrow down to the final ten. We learnt a lot from this process and plan to share our learnings in a BD Giving Note next month. 

What's next?

We would like to thank everyone involved in the process. We have been really inspired by the applicant’s thoughtful and innovative ideas, as well as the insights provided by our decision-makers and co-designers.


And this is just the first of many! We plan to run the Give it a Go Fund several times a year, and will adapt and develop the fund so we can meet the needs of the borough and support as many people as possible. 


We encourage any resident with an interest in shared decision-making to join us on the next part of the journey. 

Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about the next funding round for the Give it a Go Fund, as well as any other future opportunities for funding or getting involved in decision-making.

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