News 30/04/2018 Community

10th birthday for Greenshoots

Hanover’s popular small grants scheme helps support resident groups with funding for estate projects and community activities all over the country. Greenshoots has now been in operation for nearly 10 years. In that time, over 600 grants have been successfully awarded - a 70% acceptance rate from the 850 applications submitted.

Categories for Greenshoots grants 

Greenshoots grants provide up to £500 per estate for one social trip or event, while up to £2,000 could be provided for an estate project or a series of activity. Applications for these grants fall into three categories, which have recently been updated to:

  • Getting active and being connected such as reminiscence therapy, garden improvements, dance classes, computer or digital skills training, intergenerational events and activities
  • Increasing resident involvement such as making improvements to accessibility, such as access to a garden patio, purchasing hearing loops for a lounge
  • Living well on estates such as creating a sensory garden, building raised vegetable beds or a covered seating area, providing learning activities or classes

Such projects could help make a difference to everyone living on the estate by improving their surroundings, supporting those who would otherwise be socially isolated or providing opportunities to socialise and learn new skills.

Hen garden at Braziers Field, Hertford

Estate Manager Gary Clarke worked closely with the residents to apply for funds to make better use of a neglected seating area in a far corner of the shared garden. There is now a brand new chicken coop, some high planters for residents to grow vegetables and a wormery for kitchen waste, which has become a real talking point.

The project has created a close bond between residents, who particularly enjoy collecting the eggs laid by the hens. The patio area is now well-used, as can be seen in the photo below.

Garden improvements at Sandalwood, Crosby

Last July residents in Crosby successfully applied for a Greenshoots grant to improve the main garden at Sandalwood. The funding was used to create some raised beds, which were soon filled with colourful shrubs and plants, including roses, herbs and lavender. The fragrant sweet peas proved very popular, with residents taking bunches home for display in their flats. There was also a competition to grow the tallest sunflower, resulting in some friendly rivalry! After serious research into which variety provided the tastiest fruit, an apple tree was also purchased. A Sandalwood resident commented: ‘This whole project has created an immense amount of interest and a great deal of appreciation among residents. It's safe to say that more people sat out in the garden last summer than ever before.’

Social enterprise grants

Greenshoot’s new bi-annual social enterprise grants have also been causing a flurry of interest. Up to £5,000 will now be available to support local or community ventures, such as Grow Your Own, Men in Sheds, HenPower.

Residents in Dagenham were one of the first groups to take advantage of the new offer, using a social enterprise grant to re-open their on-site shop. Previously, some housebound residents had to rely on friends or family to shop for them. Now they’re enjoying the convenience of being able to buy household essentials on their own doorstep, while the shop itself has become something of a social hub for the estate!

Information for applicants

A panel comprising four Hanover residents and three members of staff meet monthly to assess applications for Greenshoots. Before applying, resident groups should refer to the application guidance, frequently asked questions and scoring guide. This information will outline what the assessment panel is looking for. Please note that groups applying for funding are required to have their own bank account.

For all grants, 20% of the total cost of the venture needs to be raised upfront, which often results in some creative fundraising ideas! Residents and staff can also source additional funding through Hanover’s community fundraising portal. For further infomation, case studies and full details of the application procedure, please visit the Greenshoots page via the link below.

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