Fundraising: How we got the grant - Happening Horticulture

Julian Jacobs, development manager

Why did you apply to this trust or foundation? We have been fortunate to receive a number of small grants from Help a London Child over the past four years. This was the first time Capital Radio had launched a large grants scheme and our Happening Horticulture programme fitted the criteria - of working with children who are experiencing disadvantage, and providing opportunities for employee involvement and awareness raising.

We employ a community gardener who works with children to develop their skills while improving their environment. They have opportunities to participate in traditional gardening activities, community action days, food-growing projects and community composting and recycling facilities.

What did the application process involve? The process was very simple. We put together a four-page proposal and the grants officer phoned me within a couple of weeks to arrange a visit. We were one of nine out of more than 60 applicants that had been shortlisted. Two members of the Help a London Child team came to our offices, we discussed the nitty-gritty and then we took them to a housing estate to demonstrate how the project would work in practice.

I think this was what clinched it - it is one thing filling in forms, but actually having the staff on an estate talking to my colleagues who work with the children was what really got them fired up.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? The £23,000 grant covers activities, equipment and training for participants and volunteers. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and Bridge House Trust cover core costs.

Did you apply to other funders? Not for this element of the programme. The Neighbourhood Renewal Funding ends in April 2006 and we are approaching other funders for the community gardener's salary.

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