The North Solihull Partnership Main Grants Programme
Between 2007-2018 the North Solihull Partnership invested around £150,000 every year by inviting local community and voluntary organisations to bid for grant funding for schemes that directly benefitted and improved the economic prospects of communities in and around Chelmsley Wood, Smith's Wood and Kingshurst & Fordbridge. The programme ensured that funding was awarded to schemes that directly provided job opportunities, access to employment or for the protection of current employment opportunities.
A Socio Economic Workstream was formerly set up to assess submissions, award the appropriate funding and monitor outputs and targets on a quarterly basis.
During 2017/18 NSP funded the following projects via the grants programme:
|Project Name||Applicant||Project Outline|
Solihull Girls & Ladies Football Club
|Solihull Sporting Girls & Ladies FC||Solihull Sporting Girls & Ladies FC run a Personal Development Centre for girls aged 6-16 on a Friday night to encourage girls to participate in football but without the pressures of a team and results. All are welcome whether they are beginners or girls already established in teams. It is a fun and friendly learning environment while girls are making new friends every week from different areas and backgrounds.|
Isore Media are a Community Interest Company with an excellent track record in providing training opportunities to individuals with little or no previous educational attainment. Working predominantly with individuals with a history of substance misuse, criminal justice and/or mental health issues, recognising that many clients will fit into one or more of these categories.
This project aims to increase the personal development of participants who have a difficult personal history building confidence, teamwork and goal setting. The project will provide 2 OCNWMR accredited courses in film making over a 12 week period, 8 people per course.
This funding supports Solihull Council's Economic Development & Regeneration team by providing funding for their North Solihull Business Start up programme. The programme offers financial assistance to individuals in the North Solihull regeneration wards, with grants between £500-£2,000, who want to start up a new business venture, become self-employed or grow a young business.
Elaine Walker, who set up her own business in 2013, was awarded a £2,000 Kickstart grant which she used to buy better office IT equipment, freeing up her own funds to invest in marketing and staff. Elaine moved into the Enterprise Centre in Chelmund's Cross in 2015 and employs local people, as well as providing work experience placements for local people to improve their job prospects.
Elaine recently became runner-up in the 2017 annual Solihull Observer 'Six of the Best' Business Awards.
This project is being run by a local community business who secured a ten year lease and enough investment to open a community run fish & chip shop at Chelmund's Cross Village Centre.
The enterprise is unique in terms of training people within a real work environment and will create sustainable employment for 6 local people long term and 2 training posts on a roll on roll off basis, in an area where there are few employment opportunities.
It will also be re-investing its surpluses into local community and charitable activities with an aim to providing additional support services for the area's most vulnerable people.
Here is some feedback from some of the projects we contributed to during 2016/17:
|Solihull Moors||Extract from an email received from a lady in Chelmsley Wood.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the help and assistance you have shown me over the last few months. It is down to you putting on the paediatric first aid course and allowing me to attend it that I have been able to secure myself a job at a school. They were very impressed that I did the course voluntarily, that it was specifically paediatric based and that it fell in line with when their First Aid certificates are renewed. They mentioned it repeatedly in the interview and to other staff so I honestly feel that this played a huge part in me being offered the job. They were also pleased that I will have completed a Safeguarding Course and a Food Hygiene course by the time I start. Thank you doesn't seem enough. To put these courses on and to help and assist the way you do is an invaluable service to the local community.
Gro-Organic initially received funding in 2015 to pilot a training and employment programme called Roots to Employment. The pilot was set up to work with the hardest to reach young people between 16-25 (NEET) providing them with work experience and to take part in live community projects. This would help develop personal & employability skills which would help raise confidence, enabling them to improve their opportunities of entering employment, education or training.
The pilot year was a great success with the number of participants far exceeding those predicted. We evidenced exceptional outcomes in year one and two which led to funding being continued for this year. This will allows us to formalise the employability programme and maintain our existing partnerships with: Department of work and pensions, Standguide, APM.
Year two saw us working on live environmental projects in the community and at local schools, enabling parents who had been out of work for a long time to join us, providing a safe environment for them to develop employability skills and opportunities for volunteering.
Year three will enable us to be recognised as the provider of choice for young people, with Gro-Organic being a formal provider for NEET referrals in 2017/2018. This will also enable us to go on to be a commissioned provider in 2018. Our first co-hort of NEET adults will lead in the development of the programme and will join us on projects, working along side our workplace partners, Serco, Hilton and the NEC Group. This will give participants personalised work experience opportunities and an established framework for future co-horts for 2017/18 and beyond.
|SMBC Enterprise Development & Growth Project|
The new facilities developed through the Investing in North Solihull programme provides a significant impetus for delivering start-up support for delivery, information and commercial space for new businesses starting and setting up in the area.
An enhanced programme of promotion and business support events is planned for 2017/18 to build on this success, as well as piloting activity in Elmwood with the Princes Trust.