Where our funds go

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  1. Oromo - Thorpe Park trip (616x423)

    The Brighton & Hove Oromo Community is a small group of Oromo refugees, originally from Ethiopia, many of whom now live in East Brighton.

    They were awarded a £500 small grant from East Brighton Trust in January 2017 to run a health project for the women in the community. The funding went towards 3 elements: 10 swimming classes, 10 Shape-Up classes (beginner level aerobics) & a day trip to Thorpe Park.

    The community got in touch to tell us about how they spent the funding: “Because of the swimming and shape-up sessions, 16 adult and young women feel happier, less alone, less stuck at home, and spent more time with friends and family, and some also experienced physical improvement from doing some healthy activities.

    Having women-only swimming and exercise classes was really important for us because it gave us a chance to meet in a space where we can be together, just the Oromo women, and socialise, bond with our daughters, as well as do something healthy. We don’t have many opportunities to go out, and cannot afford leisure activities so these regular activities are really important for us.”

    And talking about their trip to Thorpe Park: “A total of 45 Oromo people (including 15 women and 20 children) were able to enjoy a day out for the first time in a year.

    Our trip to Thorpe Park was the only holiday that our members were able to have in the year. As a result of the trip, 15 women and 20 children felt happier, felt closer to their families and community, and felt less isolated. It was amazing for us, particularly women and children, to have the opportunity to have a little day trip, and have some fun and spend some time together outside of our usual routines, and to simply get out and get a change of scenery.

    The women in our community don’t have many opportunities for leisure activities, because we are the main carers of our children but also because we can’t afford it. We just don’t get to have holidays and go away like some other people can. We were able to have a break, and relax, and to get out, and see something different outside of Brighton. It also really helped to improve our family relationships to have time together in a fun and relaxed environment.

    We are very happy that East Brighton Trust gave us some funding. We would not be able to run some of our activities for our community without this funding.”

  2. The Good News Centre in Moulsecoomb applied for the grant from East Brighton Trust in to pay for electrical work to enable their Men in Sheds project to take place. The Good News Shed is a community space for men to connect, chat and make things together. The activities undertaken are similar to those which typically take place in garden sheds and the communal setting helps reduce loneliness and isolation as well as being fun.

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    The money went towards paying an electrician in to put in extra power points for power tools and to purchase a Silverstone 750W dust extractor. The power tools used in the woodwork of Good News Shed creates a lot of sawdust, which was necessary to extract. The extraction of the sawdust means that the working area now remains relatively dust free, which not only allows for a cleaner work space, but also promotes the health and wellbeing of those using the building.  

    The sheds project provides huge benefits to participants, enabling them to improve their confidence, feel part of a community and to feel empowered by sharing skills with others.

    Project Organiser Neil Hilton told us “Many of the people who attend the Good News Shed are elderly, and have experienced loneliness and isolation. Attending this project twice a week has become a highlight for them. They have learnt new skills, or awakened dormant skills, they feel a sense of personal achievement, and a sense of community with their fellow attendees.”

    The local community has also benefited from the work of the men in the Good News Shed. They have been involved in the following projects:

    * repairing of local park benches that have been vandalised

    * making a shed for the local adult learning centre's garden project

    * making access ramps for individuals in the community

    * making flower pots for a sensory garden for members of a dementia group at the Bevy community pub

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    Men in sheds - Flower boxes for the Bevy Dementia Group sensory garden (102


  3. Thank you to everyone who applied for a small grant in our January funding round in partnership with the Sussex Community Foundation. 

    We are very happy to have awarded grants to the following groups and look forward to sharing their news with you as and when we hear from them:

    • 55th Brighton Scout Group
    • Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
    • Brighton Pebbles
    • Bristol Estate Community Association CIC
    • Broadfields Tenants Association
    • Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove
    • East Brighton Bygones Local History Society
    • Good News Brighton
    • Kemp Town Gardening and Community Group
    • Oromo Community in Brighton and Hove
    • Safety Net
    • Sew Fabulous CIC
    • St.Andrew's Fellowship
    • St George's Hall
    • Trust for Developing Communities
    • Wellspring Community Brighton
  4. Safety net is an organisation working to keep children and young people safe from harm and abuse. They work with children, families, schools and neighbourhoods, delivering programmes of training, advice and guidance for adults and young people. In early 2017 they approached us via our small grants scheme for funding for a particular programme of resilience training for targeted pupils. These were all young people living in Whitehawk and attending Longhill school.

    The training affected 46 pupils and covered 3 specific areas:

    1)    1: 1 resilience support for vulnerable children aged 11 – 15 via the Safety Net Assertiveness programme (SNAP).

    2)    Small group workshops covering online safety, friendships, personal safety & body image.

    3)    Parents’ resource pack on online safety including a top tip sheet.

    Other related activities included year 7 pupils working with Safety Net to write and deliver an assembly to both City Academy Whitehawk and Saltdean Primary school – two of the feeder schools for Longhill. The pupils spoke to 120 pupils in each school.

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    (Year 7 pupils from Longhill High School after delivering their online safety assembly at Saltdean Primary School.) 

    When asked to give feedback on the programme, 100% of pupils stated that “they had learnt something and that they would recommend this project to others.” One pupil even said “I loved doing this project and want to do it again” and another said “By being part of the online safety project I have improved my confidence.” And in addition to this great feedback, one staff member at Longhill school said to Safety Net “I would like to say a huge thank you for all your hard work with these pupils. They have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it is a memory that they will never forget.”

    A number of pupils taking part in the programme have since been referred to other relevant services, such as Miss Represented, a local arts project for young women, as well as Safety Net’s own school holiday activities programmes.

    Please visit the Safety Net website for further information on the work they deliver or follow them on facebook and twitter for updates. 

  5. In May 2017 Strike a Light applied through our small grants scheme to run a series of workshops in East Brighton as a part of their series - Remembering Together - Life History for the community.

    Strike a Light is a community arts and heritage organisation which engages people in creative and heritage activities - many around exploring memories.  

    With the help of our funding, they delivered a series of 18 workshops over the course of 7 months at three locations in East Brighton - Moulescoomb Library, The Bevy pub, and with East Brighton Bygones in the Whitehawk area. These were aimed at encouraging local residents to engage with their memories, record experiences and celebrate local lives to create life history books to keep and share into the future. As well as encouraging intergenerational integration, the workshops aimed to help develop a sense of local cohesion.

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    Though the groups were open to any local residents, they were particularly promoted to two specific groups. The first was people experiencing early onset dementia, as a way to help support their life changes and memory loss in a positive and grounding way. And the second group was those adopted, fostered or in care.  Life history work was in fact originally developed for engagement and support of looked after people, to nurture a positive sense of belonging and identity. The Strike a Light workshop groups provided a means of support to young people from these backgrounds, who may have experienced feelings of isolation and marginalisation in their lives – giving them a chance to discuss their own experiences with other participants.

    During the guided sessions, participants and carers received resources and reminiscence training, as well as materials to make their books - including old photographs, photocopies, maps, collage and text.

    Each group also had the chance to visit The Keep – a Moulsecoomb based archive and historical resource centre. This gave participants the chance to explore their family history using Ancestry software and national archives.

    The books created are something that participants can treasure themselves and share with other people, as well as being used by carers and family members to learn more about the person they are providing care for.

    Creative Director Nicola Benge sent us some photos of the sessions at The Bevy in action and told us: “During our sessions with groups of older people we have laughed and cried whilst making creative and personal books about participants’ memories that they can take home and share. It’s an honour and a privilege to engage with groups from East Brighton to share their life stories.”

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    Find out more about the organisation on the Strike a Light website and keep an eye on their facebook page for details of upcoming workshops. 

  6. Early last year, the 225 (Brighton No.1) Squadron Air Training Corps received £500 from our small grants scheme. Based at Preston barracks, the group is attended by many young people from the East Brighton area. The 225 Squadron are a uniformed youth organisation for young people aged 12-20yrs, they parade 2 nights a week, for 2 and a half hours per evening and deliver training to enable cadets to progress through their cadet classifications. They applied for funding to purchase 2 new laptops which were necessary for cadets to complete their ATC exams, all of which must now be taken online. With limited computer resources, the group had previously struggled to put cadets through their exams in a timely manner. These delays meant that cadets' progression on to further topics were therefore also slowed down.

    225 squadron remembrance day

    (The Air cadets at the Remembrance Parade 2017, photo from the 225 Squadron twitter account)

    Cadet Warrant Officer Jane Kistnasamy, who submitted the application to us, got in touch to say “Thank you so much for awarding us the grant. We have been able to purchase the 2 laptops as planned. The laptops were already put to use within the same week of purchase, with cadets using them to take their exams. Our project of teaching the air cadets syllabus is ongoing so the laptops will be in good use. We have future plans to run collaborative projects which wouldn’t be possible without the new laptops.”

    We’re glad the laptops have been so useful and wish all the cadets the best of luck with their future progression through the STC programme.

    Look up the 225 (Brighton No.1) Squadron ATC on twitter @225SqnATC to follow what they’re up to. 

  7. What a year for East Brighton Trust! We've awarded small grants, partnership grants and enrichment grants, we've celebrated some big anniversaries with our friends and we've celebrated ourselves, having awarded over £500,000 to groups in the area.

    Watch this short video about our year.

    And if you want to find out more detail about some of the groups we've supported, have a browse of our Recently Funded Projects page. 

    Our next deadline for small grants is 5pm on 12th January and you can find the simple online application on the Sussex Community Foundation website. Please make sure you get your applications in on time and share with any other local groups who may not have heard of us before. Our small grants of £500 are for groups in Moulsecoomb, Bates Estate, Saunders Park, Manor Farm, Whitehawk, Craven Vale, Bristol Estate and Higher Bevendean.

    Many thanks for your support and enthusiasm this year! We wish you all the best for the festive season and we’re looking forward to connecting with you and getting involved in lots more work with East Brighton’s communities next year. 

  8. East Brighton Trust offers grants to community groups and charities in the East Brighton area, an area covering some of the poorest wards in our city.

    We have typically allocated grants through three channels – our small grants of £500 which we award 3 times a year, our partnership grants offering funding for projects over a longer period of time, and our Colin Sayers ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ grants which give an extra helping hand to community groups in need. 

    But we have recently become increasingly aware of the need for different kinds of provision for some of the people living in the areas we support.

    This year, parents, teachers and headteachers across Brighton & Hove launched the ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign to oppose austerity measures which are cutting £11.5 million from education in Brighton and Hove and £3 billion to schools nationwide. On the frontline, schools are painfully experiencing the effects of these cuts, with funding being drastically cut and art, music and sport provision being cut back or lost entirely.

    It is in this respect that East Brighton Trust realised we could step in to provide some assistance where it is particularly needed. We therefore decided to support Moulsecoomb Primary School with a grant to fund some of the extra-curricular activity that the school could not afford to fund themselves. We have named it an “Enrichment grant” to reflect the nature of the activities the grant will fund – things like the breakfast club, after school club and day trips that will enrich pupils’ educational experience and consequently their lives. We have agreed to fund the school with £10,000 per year for the next three years to support these activities and with just the first instalment, an impressive amount has already been achieved. Over 120 children attend the afterschool club every week and 120 go to breakfast club – a phenomenal number. Each class was assigned a proportion of the grant to make sure the money was well distributed across the whole school and the individual classes could then choose how best to spend their share of the funds.

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    Moulsecoomb School got in touch with a list of activities that the East Brighton Trust Enrichment grant has been used to fund or part-fund. These have included:

    • Year 6 Residential trip to PGL activity centre
    • After school club
    • Breakfast Club
    • “Chocolatician” visit to Reception
    • Heritage activities for Year 2 as part of their Enrichment week
    • Seven sisters trip for Year 3
    • Samba band sessions (for Years 4, 5 & 6) for the Brighton Festival
    • Bus tickets for i360 trip & adult tickets (all year groups)
    • Gladrags sewing project for Year 6 girls
    • Stone Age workshops for Year 3 & 4
    • Bus tickets for Pizza Express trip
    • Set up funding for toddler group & Nursery “Rhyme and Shine” group
    • Nursery and toddler group trip to Tilgate Park

    We’re proud to be able to support the school in this way and look forward to hearing more about the activities taking place at the school and the difference it is making to local children’s lives. Thank you to the school for sending over these lovely photos of how some of the money has been spent. 

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    We’re also pleased to say that a similar grant has also been agreed with St Marks School in Whitehawk and we will share more details of this once the school begins to spend it.  


    East Brighton Trust director Warren Carter is also a governor at Moulsecoomb School and he wrote back in March about the effects the budget cuts were having on the school and the ways they are working with other organisations to try and plug these funding gaps. 

  9. Last year, East Brighton Trust were approached by A Band of Brothers -  a charity committed to positive social change through personal development and community building.

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    Affectionately known as Abob, the charity was borne out of concern at the continuing escalation of self-destructive and anti-social behaviour among young men. The organisation engages mentors to act as role models for young men who are experiencing difficult life situations well as offering programmes, training and experiences to support them in turning their lives around. Since conception, the Brighton community has grown to over 100 mentors working with over 50 local young men, primarily from the Whitehawk Estate.

    The local group were looking for funding for a group of young men from Whitehawk to travel up to Scotland to undertake tree planting and conservation work in the Caledonian Forest. These men had experienced substantial hardships and challenges throughout their lives and were in the process of rebuilding them with the help of the group. After having completed a 10-week mentoring programme, the process was ongoing - with weekly meetings and continuing support from older men who volunteer with ABOB. The trip to Scotland was the next part of the programme.

    East Brighton Trust were pleased to be able to help ABOB fund the trip with an award of £2000 from our Random Acts of Kindness fund. The special fund was set up in memory of former East Brighton Trust Chair Colin Sayers and is intended to give an extra helping hand to community groups in need.

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    A review of the trip

    ABOB mentor Tom Walker got in touch with the amazing photos featured here and to tell us about how the trip went:

    “3 mentors and 7 young men from A Band of Brothers travelled from Brighton to the Highlands of Scotland to do work for Trees for Life, a charity dedicated to restoring the natural forests and rewilding the land. It was an epic journey by sleeper coach which finally ended at the remote bothy in the beautiful Glen Affric. The lads had quite a shock when I broke the news that there would be no phone signal, no running water and no electricity - but it was perfect for them to have complete isolation and was a real bonding experience. We were led by an inspiring man called Mick who could relate to the guys with his past and had turned his life around to live a life close to nature and helping others to connect.

    It was a really good feeling to see the lads planting trees with their mentors in the mountains. We jumped in the freezing river, climbed a mountain, played in the snow and saw a golden eagle. The whole trip had a perfect balance of adventure, challenge, tree planting and emotional work through sharing and using nature to help process problems. It was great to be able to give the young men an experience like that and to know there is a lasting legacy in the trees we planted growing in the highlands.”

    Feedback from the participants

    Tom also sent us some feedback from some of the young men who took part:

    “I really enjoyed it, it was great experience to be a part of bringing the wildlife back. Someone's got to do it! It was good to get together with the lads, and good to be able to do the emotional Abob work while doing TFL work in Scotland.

    It was good to hear Mick's knowledge and hear about his way of life, where he's come from to where he is now. It was easy for us to relate to him.

    I would definitely do it again.”

    Ben Dalby, 23


    “It was the most amazing experience! Experience of a life time, I'll never forget it. It was good for team building and good to be giving back to the earth and helping nature. I also conquered a fear of heights I've had for a long time when we climbed the mountain. I can't believe I climbed a mountain!!!”

    Zak Young, 21


    “I was thrown right out of my comfort zone at first and it was nice giving back to the earth by planting trees - I really enjoyed it. It was one of the best times of my life and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Mick is a legend! He's one of the nicest down to earth people I've ever met, got a lot of respect for him. Had a nice sense of community climbing up the mountain on day our day off.

    I got a nice sense of independence and freedom when I was in the mountains with trees for life.”

    Jake Baker 22

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  10. baca media students

    Back in March when we held our party at The Bevy to celebrate having awarded £500,000 to groups in East Brighton, we were very lucky to work with a team of media students from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA). They came along on the day to talk to some of the Bevy staff, volunteers and regulars as well as to the East Brighton Trust team about the impact the pub has made on the community and to the everyday lives of the individuals who visit it.

    Many thanks to Keeran, Nadja, Bradley, Jake, Logen, Jade, Kieran, Killian, Gabi and Chloe for all your hard work and well done on such a brilliant collection of films. 

    Each of the videos is a fantastic piece of work, showing impressive filmmaking skills from the students and giving a real insight into some of what goes on in the pub. Grab yourself a cup of tea then sit down and have a watch to find out what a community pub looks like...