Aisha Chaudhry, Project Manager with the L&Q Foundation manages the Place Makers Fund, aiming to help organisations to grow with the potential to move on to an investment programme.

In October 2018, The L&Q Foundation launched its Place Makers Fund, managed externally by our grant management partners, Rocket Science.

Place Makers Fund is a key part of the L&Q Foundation’s work to deliver its strategy. The purpose of the fund is to support projects covering at least one of the three priority areas:

  • Education –  Children and young people will have the opportunity to improve their life chances and access opportunities to develop skills and reach their potential
  • Health and wellbeing – support everyone within L&Q communities to be happy and healthy through every life stage
  • Isolation and exclusion – create a sense of community that enables people to engage and create a sense of togetherness

Place Makers comprises of 2 funding streams:

  • PM Local – offers grants for up to £10k to support local, community led projects which reflect the need of the local area
  • PM Growth – offers opportunities to local organisations to apply for grants for up to £50k, this can be for revenue and/or capital costs, thus helping organisations to expand or develop work that supports L&Q residents and the local community.

The L&Q Foundation, through the Place Makers Growth Fund has to date, funded 15 organisations to grow their capacity and develop their businesses through expansion of their work into new areas of delivery. Helping organisations to develop and increase their revenue to enable them to become less reliant on traditional grants.

This could be a completely new area of expertise for any organisation who has always gone down the route of applying for funds through the traditional grant giving systems. However, to support these organisations we also offer a free capacity building programme ‘Funding Plus’, funded by the L&Q Foundation and run by CAN Invest, the UK’s largest charitable provider of premises, skills & finance support.

This is a fantastic opportunity of highly specialised and professional support for charities or social enterprises, focussing on supporting the capacity of the social sector, offering free capacity building support to organisations in terms of their financial sustainability, growth and delivering effective social impact.

Place Makers provides a gateway opportunity for suitable organisations to transition from grant reliance to accessing the blended finance options offered by CIP.  L&Q Foundation staff along with our delivery partner, Rocket Science, take every opportunity to promote CIP to those organisations with whom we work.

Fight for Peace is an example of a project funded through the Place Makers Growth Fund, initially looking for funding to expand into new areas of delivery. The project achieved its objectives through the development of a new Hub. A state of the art facility, offering a welcoming and safe space for young people for social activities and personal development. It has been designed in collaboration with young people to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Once the Hub is fully functional it will empower young people through its classes.

Case Study: Fight For Peace

Bala came to Fight for Peace (FFP) because she had heard that we ran a female only sports session. She was shy and only turned up for these sessions. I started working with her and it came to light that she was also suffering from an eating disorder. Once I started up the Warriors group, Bala joined in. I continued to work with Bala in our one-to-one mentoring sessions regarding her eating disorder and also looked at the issues of body image and self-esteem, to bring in different perspectives. 

Bala started to gain confidence within FFP.  Some changes were made to the boxing sessions, a new mixed (male and female) beginner’s class was introduced, and I encouraged her to try it out. We arranged the Warriors sessions so that the young women could go straight into the boxing session together, in solidarity. Bala embraced this opportunity and is now, five months later, in the ring sparring. She has also tried Olympic Weightlifting, attends the Fighting Fit Gym sessions and is a peer promoter in the Warriors.

When the Youth Council were recruiting, I encouraged Bala to apply. We practised her interview together and she got the role.  Since then she has been to Liverpool as an ambassador to artist Sonya Boyce’s (MBE RA) Newham Trackside Wall Commission.

All this has been alongside the one-to-one mentoring and the combined, holistic approach has had a positive effect on her and the difficulties she has been struggling with. The exercise, discipline, mentoring, group work, responsibilities and recognition of her achievements (Bala has won awards in FFP) has helped her to take a healthier approach to eating and her self-image. While this is still a work in progress, Bala has had a change in her mindset about what she is working towards; not to ‘be thin’ but to love herself in her normal and healthy body.