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Strengthening Communities in Wandsworth

 

The second round of the Wandsworth Community Fund was launched on the 2nd September, welcoming applications for projects that are working to build a prosperous, vibrant and cohesive local community.

Wandsworth Borough Council’s partnership with The London Community Foundation began in 2011, when the Wandsworth Community Fund was set up to support local community activities that encourage civic and community action. This is an excellent example of how endowment funds can create sustainable, lasting change in a specific area, with the original money invested with the intention of spending over 10-15 years, whilst remaining flexible to the changing needs within the borough.

So far, 4000 local people have benefitted from grants to 34 projects across the borough, and through the adaptability of the community foundation model, we are looking forward to the continued success of the programme as it keeps responding to local and changing needs in Wandsworth.

Case Study: World Heartbeat Music Academy

How funding from the Wandsworth Community Fund was used:

The World Heartbeat Music Academy is a music school that offers musical training to children and young people who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn music and discover the powerful positive effect it can have.

A £4,975 grant helped the academy to deliver a dynamic and innovative youth talent development programme using the genres of Asian, Jazz and Reggae as a platform.

15 young people aged 15-21 were recruited and over the course of the project received one to one mentoring, individual tuition and careers advice.

The young people involved developed skills in administration, marketing, PR, fundraising, research, community work and youth work.  With increased confidence, many went on to gain employment or further training in their chosen fields. World Heartbeat were delighted to report that students from disadvantaged backgrounds progressed to secure courses at renowned institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music and Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Milda’s Story:

Milda was 15 years old when she came to World Heartbeat. Originally from Lithuania and with English as her second language, she felt isolated from people in her age group and struggled at school. Alongside guitar and singing lessons provided by the charity, Milda got involved with the academy’s Wandsworth Radio Station, taking part in workshops and presenting the academy’s radio show. She has made amazing progress as a result and has transformed from a shy young girl to someone who can confidently express her views, interacting with Wandsworth residents in a way she never would have done previously. Milda is now going to be one of the first young people in Wandsworth to take the nationally recognised Gold Arts Award; a brilliant measure of success that highlights the positive social change taking place in the borough as a result of the strategic support of the Wandsworth Community Fund. 

Published on 17 September 2015

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