On Monday, we hosted the launch event for the co-production of the Council's new grants policy (you can read more about what is happening here, if you were unable to attend). Once in place, this policy will impact Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations or groups applying for a grant. Tower Hamlets Council has committed to co-producing their new grants policy and is asking people from the VCS and local community to help decide on issues such as: 

What areas of work should be funded as a grant (as opposed to being commissioned by the council)? 

  • Eligibility for council grants
  • Areas of focus for grants
  • Should grants be one-off or long term? 
  • How often can people apply
  • Can people apply for multiple grants?
  • Matchfunding criteria
  • And more.

THCVS are putting on a series of events and other ways to help the co-design process reach as far into the community as possible (see below). This is a great opportunity to make sure that council grants offer the maximum possible benefit to everyone. We recommend engaging with this issue. You (and local community members you work with) can get involved in three ways. 

  1. Events and workshops
  2. Focus Groups and community research 
  3. Surveys

1. Events and Workshops

All events are FREE. Please check the training and events page of our website for a full and up to date list of all of our training and events:

Co-producing the new Tower Hamlets Grants Policy - Workshop 1: Shaping the Framework (for repeat session on 22nd November click here)
Thursday, 16th November 2017, 2:30pm - 5:30pm, Poplar Union, E14
(Repeat session) Wednesday, 22nd November 2017, 10am - 1pm (optional light lunch afterwards), The Centre, Mile End
This is the first of two workshops that will allow the VCS and community members to contribute to the new grants policy development. Come and help shape the future of grants in Tower Hamlets. (Please make sure you click on the right date for you). 

Workshop 2: Co-producing the new Tower Hamlets Grants Policy
Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 10am - 1pm (optional light lunch afterwards), PDC, E2
This will be the second and final workshop in the co-production process for VCS and community members to contribute to the new grants policy development. We will look at feedback from the whole of the co-production process and finalise our thoughts. It's recommended that you attend one of the first workshops, or have participated in a focus group / grants policy survey before attending this event.

Feedback Session: 'You Said We Did'
Wednesday, 6th December  2017, 4pm – 6pm, venue TBC
This event will summarise the process of co-producing the Tower Hamlets Council grant policy framework so far and outline the next steps. (Bookings not yet open).   

2. Focus Groups and Community Research

We would like to have a series of conversations to make sure that everyone is offered the opportunity to and that the policy is fair and representative of people in the borough. We want to have an ongoing focus on each of the 9 protected characteristics: 

  • older people / younger people 
  • disabled people 
  • LGBT+ 
  • BAME communities 
  • women / men
  • pregnancy / maternity 
  • religion / belief
  • etc.

We are also keen to talk to small groups and local people in each of the 8 local areas (LAP's) of Tower Hamlets. Please contact me (elvis.langley@thcvs.org.uk) to book for me to come to you and speak to your group / organisation personally, or to find out more about focus groups as they occur.

As part of this process we are training and using community researchers; so if you have a volunteer, service user or group member (or yourself) who you think might be interested in becoming a community researcher, please let us know

We will also be posting more about focus groups and community research on our News page of the THCVS website.

3. Surveys 

In the next few days we will be launching a SurveyMonkey survey, so people can help design the new Tower Hamlets Council grants policy. Watch this space for more news and info.