Knowle West groups pitch successfully for a share of £70k

Knowle West groups took part in a unique event at Ashton Gate Stadium this month to successfully pitch for grants of up to £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

And on this occasion it was local people and not funders who had the power to choose the projects they felt had the most to offer their communities. The event was organised for South Bristol by Voscur and the Big Lottery Fund

There was a poem and a demonstration of apple pressing as the groups gave the elevator pitches of their lives – with four Knowle West groups winning grants.

Community in Partnership Knowle West (CIPKW) – on behalf of Knowle West Together, re:work,  Knowle West Health Park’s Man Alive group and Redcatch Community Garden were all successful on the night.

The Northern Slopes Initiative (NSI) was later awarded a grant in recognition of their value to the community.

Results were:

Knowle West Together – £9,985 to put on Knowle West Fest

Knowle West Health Park Man Alive £9,972 – to grow the group and increase support.

Redcatch Community Garden – £9,938 to fund activities

re:work – £7,200 – to part fund a worker for the re:focus project

Northern Slopes Initiative – £1,190 – to fund tools for more volunteers to work on the Slopes.

Makala Cheung from CIPKW who pitched on behalf of Knowle West Together said she was “over the moon” to receive the money for the fourth Knowle West Fest to be held in September.

She said: “I told a story of growing up as a Knowle Wester and how people across the city see you and make assumptions about who you are… There’s so much going on in Knowle West and the festival will change feelings about the area both inside and out.”

Ian Watt a member of Man Alive read a poem about the group:

Man Alive

In days before,

We felt that we,

Had been passed by.

Does anyone have a role for us?

Was our collective sigh.

 

And so man DEAD

We sat, we sank

Failing to thrive

Could we become

Other than that:

Man ALIVE?

 

And yet this group

Helps the loop

To reconnect

We realise then

Despite it all

We resurrect.

 

To share our gifts

And socialise

And gradually

We open our eyes,

To fly the flag

for middle-aged men

Who’ve lost the will

To live again.

 

We may be crushed,

Not in despair

Though some of us

Have lost some hair.

 

And if it felt,

‘They’ didn’t care

WE RISE THE MEN

THE BLOKES, THE BOYS

 

TO ACT, TO SPEAK,

TO MAKE SOME NOISE

 

GET UP YOU GUYS

IT IS A CHOICE

TO BE RESTORED

TO GET A VOICE

 

WE DIG

for victory in patches

 

WE FISH

and get some real catches

 

WE HOPE

that England win

their matches

 

WE EAT

to get some mojo back

To see what IS, not what we lack

 

WE SEIZE

on life

we will arrive

 

THAT’S IT

THAT’S US

THAT’S MAN ALIVE

Chair of the NSI Bob Franks said: “We didn’t get enough votes to win any money on the night – but a little later we were give the money as part of the funding opportunity.

“We are buying replacement tools and new types of tools to enable more people to get involved in the work we are doing on the Slopes – and hopefully increase their health and well-being.”

Members of the NSI’s Green Gym on the Northern Slopes with their cheque for £1,190.

Funding Lead at Voscur Jenny Wildblood said of the event: “…I can’t really express just how great the pitches were  –  we laughed, we cried, we cheered as we grew prouder and prouder of the amazing work that South Bristol organisations do for their community…”