Central to the Thriving Communities Programme is our Fast Grants project.
What is a fast grant?
The Thriving Communities Programme is awarding fast grants which is a small amount of money, to an individual resident or a community group who have a great idea and require a small pot of money to deliver something at a local level which will build community capacity without introducing barriers or the unnecessary bureaucracy associated with many grant funding structures.
The aim is to encourage communities to work in an asset based way and to focus on what is strong within a community, to build on existing best practice and to try something new.
Some examples of what fast grants can be used for are as follows –
• Art and craft materials for a local group to set up and run a weekly craft group
• Groups to do photocopying to advertise their activities
• Refreshments for sessions
This fund is available to both constituted and non-constituted groups. Each grant should be between £50 – £500. Higher amounts can be awarded, but will require additional review.
These grants are for the rapid delivery of small actions that will have tangible benefits and support the programmes outcomes e.g. funds for a service user day trip or refurbishing a room to bring it back into use. It will be a resource available to constituted and non-constituted groups.
We know these types of activity will make a real difference, enable dynamic decisions and build trust and also relieve pressure in the system. Given the small nature of these grants and the large volume of them, we will capture the benefit and narrative from these grants in qualitative ways and replay the good news stories into the system to demonstrate the positive impact this has on Oldham people’s lives.
Buzy Bees were successful with their application for a Fast Grant of £300 to set up a sensory group on Fitton hill aimed at children under 18 months old with the aim of helping the parents to attend a positive group with their child/children. The group would enable the children to interact with other children and the parents will be able to socialise with other parents. The weekly group will promote positive mental health, support with parenting issues, and give parents an enjoyable engaging experience.
Many people have attended the groups and occasionally the group struggled to find rooms big enough to accommodate the number of people and the equipment. The feedback received from attendees was very positive and many went on to attend the different groups and some parents have asked about volunteering at the sessions.
Here is what some of the members had to say:
“The crafts are great memories that we keep. Gets me and my baby out of the house and socialising”
“Pearl and I had a great time today at our first group! Great mix of play and craft. Hope to come back again. Thank you”
“Really enjoyed, Ernie loved the sensory toys. Really enjoyable. Deffo come again”
“Love the lights and music for my little one. It’s good for my 3 month old to enjoy”
“Always lots to do and my babies have fun. Fab group”