We are very pleased to announce that from 54 applications we are able to fund 17 new projects in Round 5 of EF’s grant-giving programme. Congratulations to all these projects and we look forward to hearing how their work unfolds during the coming year.
See below for a list of the projects that were funded:
An Immersive Natural Experience
Luke Massey (INDIV)
Wild Finca is a 10-hectare farm in Asturias, N. Spain. The project aims to ‘agriwild’ the farm, using domestic animals in the form of autochthonous species; Xalda sheep, Asturcon ponies and Asturcelta pigs that help maintain a mosaic of habitats to benefit wildlife. The grant will fund the creation of an interactive educational nature trail for all ages. Wild Finca wants to become a location where people of all ages can come and learn about the natural world, and what they can do to help it; from nest box building to creating organic vegetable gardens. Luke and his team also want to show the healing power of the natural world, and provide an alternative income source for local people.
Beneficiaries: Both local and further afield of all age ranges and genders and unlimited numbers in N. Spain.
Mary Ann Clements (CIC)
Building skill sets and healing for change. Working within the field of international development, this project is in response to needs identified by Mary Anne during her individual project funded by EF in Round 2, and will continue with work which aims to heal – rather than perpetuate – injustice, with the hope of building Healing Solidarity as an organisation. Working with their existing large online community, this grant will specifically support: skills building in trauma informed approaches to healing and connection; provide low cost healing spaces for their Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) members to support their healing and resource their participation in this work; build story-telling and communications skills to build capacity for courageous story-telling for change.
Beneficiaries: Those working in international development, activists in the UK with a global impact, e.g. via work on migration and anti-racism. Open to all ages and genders, with designated healing spaces also set aside specifically for BIPOC members. Benefits will impact many others who participants work alongside.
Okela Douglas / Sister System (CIO)
“Honour Thyself” is a project borne out of direct conversations with care service users and aims to establish a new model working with black girls and young women affected by the care system. They will use workshops and mentoring delivered by staff, peer mentors, partners and key community members. It aims to enhance beneficiaries’ sense of purpose and community in life, leading to increased pathways and opportunities for skilled work, training and employment.
Beneficiaries: 24-30 vulnerable young black women, aged 16-24, in N. London Tottenham, Haringey, Enfield.
Mia Eskelund / Amala (ORG)
Capacity building for displaced youth in Greece. This project will provide transformational learning to young refugees aged 16 to 25 in Greece. Building upon the work already done in Athens, this project aims to catalyse the reach of Amala courses through building capacity in other organisations to run transformational learning programmes for displaced youth across the country. 50 facilitators will be trained from 10 organisations and shelters in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, the Peloponnese and Central Greece and provide them with the skills to run Amala programmes for displaced youth within their organisations and communities. They will also be actively supported to run 10-week long Amala courses on topics such as Living Peacefully and Ethical Leadership.
Beneficiaries: Organisations in Greece who work with young refugees, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors. Displaced youth from countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Sierra Leone and Pakistan.
Earth songs and our natural world
Katie Fairgrieve (INDIV)
This project will offer relaxation and engagement with nature, through therapeutic music and community participation. High quality, outdoor music workshops will be provided over a weekend in a community woodland setting in the Scottish Borders to communities and families. Participants will record and release an album of nature-inspired songs to share with families to capture the essence of community and environmental awareness. The workshops and album will be therapeutic and promote wellbeing and healthy lifestyles, teach singing and language skills, share knowledge of flora and fauna, and the seasons and seasonal foods, increase joy and inspire love for nature and environment.
Beneficiaries: Approximately 40 families attending the workshops with the album distributed to 60+ families locally in the Scottish Borders. Participants with additional needs, or from underprivileged backgrounds, or with mobility barriers will be welcomed.
Food First Growers’ Club
Sue Jeffries (INDIV)
The aim of the club is to improve Blackburn Foodbank’s community members’ connection to healthy, nutritious food. Over the year, 7 cohorts of up to 8 people will follow a 6-week long accredited Food Growing course. The course focuses on developing basic food knowledge and practical, hands-on skills to grow simple, nutritious foods at home. The courses are run by an experienced and qualified horticulturist and tutor. In addition, an ongoing club network will be established to consolidate and share the skills developed by these food growers and others. The network should be self-supporting by the end of the project and connected into other local food growing organisations. The FFGC will have a lasting impact on the healthy food choices and food growing skills within the local community and improve the quality of life and resilience of those who are currently disempowered and vulnerable on welfare and in food poverty.
Beneficiaries: 56 attendees, aged 25-64. 2nd beneficiaries: Friends and family and members of the local Blackburn community.
Active Hope for All
Kirsty Heron (INDIV)
The project, which will be delivered in the Calder Valley area of West Yorkshire, is built around a series of walks in nature. They offer participants the chance to connect with others and the world around, share difficult emotions such as grief and, through this process, build hope and resilience. It is modelled on the ‘Work that Reconnects’ as developed by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. The project will run over 3 phases: an initial series of walks for different community groups; a training programme for participants who would like to deliver the work within their own communities; and support for trainees in delivering their own walks. Building on connections with diverse, local community groups, there is a strong emphasis on making this work available to those who are disadvantaged and/or who would not normally access such a programme.
Beneficiaries: Approximately 60 people in groups of 15, each group taking part in 4 walks; 12-16 trainees doing 5 all-day trainings; 48-72 people joining trainee delivered walks. There will be ongoing benefit to others through further walks delivered by trainees.
The Sitting with Death and Choosing Life Project
Rose Diamond (INDIV)
The project focuses on providing 2 modules: The Essential Skills for Grieving Well, and Transforming Grief for Our World into Sacred Activism. There will be two 4-month Facilitator Trainings – explorations of death, dying, grief and loss to discover how these can be portals into new choices, increased agency, creativity and life. The main object of the programme is to provide space, permission and encouragement for participants to share grief and to explore death, dying and loss through open, inquiry-based conversations; to offer skills, practices and conceptual maps to support healing and release suffering; and to raise participants’ confidence to step into being facilitators and trainers.
Beneficiaries: 4-month long Facilitator Training for 8-12 people; 24 people to complete The Essential Skills for Grieving Well. 10 people to complete Transforming Grief for Our World into Sacred Activism.
Jelani – Rooting Leadership Embodiment for Young Women of Colour
Rehena Harilal / Under One Sun (START-UP)
Jelani means “power/strength and greatness”, and here relates to the creation and implementation of a leadership programme to support young women of colour (YWOC) to lead with impact, grow resilience and gain fulfilment while they navigate aspirationally inclusive but dominant white cultures and workspaces. The project aims to realign leadership skills development, which typically adopts a deficiency narrative, but here instead intends to pull together collective, individual and cultural dimensions. In this way it aims to build a holistic mode of being towards evolving resilience, ways of working and re-building communities to face the climate and extinction crises emerging.
Beneficiaries: Pilot project for 15-20 YWOC aged 20-32 from disadvantaged backgrounds from the UK. Secondary beneficiaries: organisations and wider communities.
An intergenerational wisdom project
Inez Aponte (INDIV)
Crazy Beautiful World (CBW) invites teenagers and adults to explore young peoples’ questions through online and in-person dialogue informed by a process called Compassionate Co-Inquiry. Through CCI a multitude of perspectives are explored and the deeper reasons for our inquiries. CBW is a co-creative project foregrounding young people’s ideas, passions and ways of interacting, with the aim of breaking down barriers between the generations. Extracts from CCI conversations will be recorded on video and shared on the CBW platform inviting further questions, thereby widening and deepening our collective inquiry.
Beneficiaries: Young people aged between 14-19 in Devon.
Sonic Landscapes of Colour
Somin Griffin Dave (INDIV)
As a young British/Indian dual heritage musician, who grew up in Devon’s predominantly white English rural landscape, Somin has directly experienced feelings of not being seen, heard or understood, and seeks in this project to inspire, empower and support young POC in the South West. SLoC will create a 60-minute sound art resource by interviewing 10 young POC, providing a safe space where they can talk about their lived experiences. Topics such as identity, culture, community, belonging, alienation, interconnection and racism will be explored. In collaboration with 5 non-western traditional instrumentalists, they will record their creative emotional responses to the interviews, and from these, Somin will design a sonic landscape to accompany them. The piece will be repackaged into 3-minute clips for BBC Radio Devon and other community radio stations. The full piece will be publicly available on all major streaming platforms and archived with an education charity for use as a heritage learning resource in schools.
Beneficiaries: 10 young people from Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall will benefit directly. The finished piece will benefit many other POC, especially those living in predominantly white rural areas of the UK.
Mental Health Support Through Herbalism for QTIBPOC
Aisha Mirza (INDIV)
This project is a herbal course that will be free to attend and will actively challenge the issues of loneliness, disconnection and poor mental health. It is a collaboration between Misery and Hedge Herbs, aka the herbalist, Rasheeqa Ahmad, who works to bring value and appreciation to plant medicine as a way to connect our bodies, souls and the ecosystems around us. The project will run a monthly programme of free herb walks during which a group of QTIBPOC will be guided through green spaces in London, learning about the herbs that grow wild, how to make plant medicines, and how to decolonise ideas around medicine and sustainability.
Beneficiaries: Both in person and online people who identify as QTIBPOC, many of whom will identify as having a mental illness, being neurodivergent and/or disabled.
Integration through Permaculture
Konstantinos Tsiompanou (ORG)
Based on the Greek island of Lesvos which has experienced rising tensions between the small local population and the vast number of refugees, this project has a twofold aim. One is to train a combination of refugees and local people in permaculture practice and the second is to forge empathy and understanding between the two groups. Permaculture is founded on 3 principles: care of the earth, care of people and equitable use of the land. Konstantinos was trained by leading permaculture activist Rosemary Morrow, who emphasises the importance of making this understanding available to those typically excluded. The training will be translated into the primary languages used by refugees.
Beneficiaries: Four 12-day courses each providing training for a different group of 10 refugees and 5 local people. This will provide them with skills for both improved care of the land and, for some, employment opportunities.
Dismantling Racism and Social Inequalities Collectively (DRASIC)
Dean Francis / Urban Mindfulness Foundation (CIC)
This project aims to heal the wounds of human racialisation in mutually beneficial ways. By combining the personal and collective benefits of contemplative practice, reflection, dialogue and critical thinking, this project will facilitate the maturation of compassionate individuals who are able to create new and positive connections between racialised groups that extend into serving the natural environment for a more sustainable life. It will culminate in fostering collaborative spaces and initiatives that combine trained allies to collectively decolonise aspects of grassroots communities and specific sectors including NHS, Academia, Local and National Government, Civil Society and the Workplace. Delivered by a diverse Oversight Group (OG) who embody the change they wish to see, this project will facilitate Contemplative-Based Inclusion Training (CBIT) and opportunities for mentorship and peer learning around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental Sustainability.
Beneficiaries: Adults of the POC community aged 18+ of all genders and abilities. Particular attention will be given to recruiting intersections from the LGBTQI, and non-binary, disabled or neurodivergent communities. Four POC groups will be established with approximately 10 participants per group from the UK.
Wigwam Sound and Voice Sanctuary
Ereni Mendrinos (INDIV)
Ereni, a qualified sound and voice therapist, aims to offer a year-long programme of support to those diagnosed with cancer and those connected to them. Working with the Wigwam initiative of cancer charity “Yes to Life” (YTL), she will offer a twofold approach: on one hand, participatory workshops and, on the other, through the use of videos she will produce, a ‘passive’ immersion in sound. Additionally, she would include some remote Reiki which she will soon be qualified in. She emphasises the benefits of deep healing, self-help, shared participation and sense of potential this work can produce.
Beneficiaries: People in the UK with a diagnosis of cancer, their carers and Y2L volunteer helpers.
Sustainably producing food and educating the community
Polly Cox Shalbourne Community Growers (CIC)
This is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme on an existing farm in a rural village in the UK. A disused commercial glasshouse, a strip of agricultural land and a polytunnel will be utilised to grow food and initiate a veg-box scheme, supply local pubs and businesses with fresh, organically grown produce, and become a site to host educational visits, talks and workshops. The aim is to reduce food miles and packaging, teach people where our food comes from and how to grow food sustainably, encourage proper land stewardship, restore local food sovereignty, and provide a space for local community to come together and exercise mind and body.
Beneficiaries: Upwards of 30 local people on a regular basis in working sessions and growing produce. Groups of pupils from the village school.
Living Unlocked Women’s Circles
Angela Green (INDIV)
The core aim of the project is to empower women to listen deeply to their inner guidance, and then to act positively upon what this is telling them in their wider lives. The project will empower women to reconnect with themselves, other women and the natural world through 20 two-hour Women’s Circles for up to 20 participants meeting in structured sessions to share insights. This will create space to connect with inner knowing and intuition towards self-actualisation, and to set intentions to benefit themselves, communities and the wider environment.
Beneficiaries: Women from Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.