On 17 April we were joined by the funding groups from round 2: Myles and Devo from Kiki Bristol, Jason from Reparations Bristol, Sonah from Black Mothers Matter, Emily and Lau from Atamai Tutor Centre, John from Hazelnut Community Farm, Ry from Latent Pictures, Algis from St Paul’s Community Garden and Meg and Bryony from Radical Resilience Project. The meeting was facilitated by Francis from Phoenix Song Project, which was funded in round 1.
Usually this meeting would be for short-listed groups to collectively decide on how the pot of money is shared out amongst them. However, groups funded in round 1 decided to short-list 8 groups, which meant we only needed to raise £211 to be able to give each group the amount they asked for, which was donated shortly after the short-listed meeting. If there had been a decision to make it might have looked something like the process in this Edge Fund video: https://vimeo.com/115284127 We instead focused on getting to know each other and gathering feedback about Redistro.
After a round of introductions, each group talked about aspects of their project that had gone well and challenges they faced. It was fascinating and inspiring to hear how many of the groups adapted to lockdown and used it as an opportunity to spend time on tasks they wouldn’t normally prioritise. Kiki Bristol shared how they took time to regroup, thinking about their governance and vision as well as expanding their networks by connecting with groups across the country. Black Mothers Matter told us about the incredible engagement they achieved with their project supporting black birthers who have often been considered a ‘hard to reach group’. This had really proved they have identified an unmet need. Likewise, Atamai Tutor Centre were heartened by how well young people had responded to their project, coming along on a Saturday to spend time with their tutors.
Hazelnut Community Farm and St Paul’s Community Garden both talked about the value of having a space for people from different backgrounds to get together, using gardening and nature as a vehicle for new friendships and dealing with the stresses of our times. Radical Resilience Fund started out as a fund to support domestic and sexual abuse survivors who could not afford the basics for their own self care and have expanded their work to include an men’s learning course and work with venues around creating safe spaces. Latent Pictures and Reparations Bristol talked about how they appreciated being able to help people whose shoes they once walked in.
Some of the challenges raised included how people had struggled to fund projects when they themselves were struggling financially, and in the meantime seeing so much to be done. People talked of being pulled in all directions. Accessing funding when not an established group is very difficult. Having access to venues was also a challenge. We reflected on the different types of structures of organisation within the meeting and felt it would be useful to have support around choosing which structure to go for. Sharing information on which funds to apply for, policies (such as safeguarding) and HR advice would also be useful.
We then broke into smaller groups to share feedback on Redistro and gather ideas on what we could do to raise more money to support groups that typically can’t access funding elsewhere. We’ll be sharing more on that soon!
We closed with a one word check out, which included:
Positive. Grateful. Appreciative. Inspiring. Excited. Hopeful.
Some other feedback:
Thank you for a really special meeting. Thanks for all the hard work and care you are putting into the process.
I found connecting with similar organisations and individuals really valuable.
I feel like I'm in such inspiring company with you all
Great to hear everyone and all the excellent vital work going on. Look forward to hearing and seeing more of you all. Thank you brilliant folks of redistro and more power to all our elbows!
We really enjoyed meeting you all and the other groups.
We’re very grateful to everyone who attended the meeting on a sunny weekend afternoon and excited that with each round the Redistro community is growing with more opportunities to support each other. There is lots to do. If you would like to get involved please get in touch!