Our new fund to support local charities, helping them to develop a greener approach in their day-to-day activities has awarded six grants. The projects range from a repair service for broken violins to environmental training courses for staff members. The awarding panel, with a total grant budget of £30,000, included environmental experts and local residents.
Congratulations to all awarded groups – we can’t wait to see the local impact of this great work:
Artbox London empowers people with learning disabilities and autism to create, exhibit and sell artwork. Their activities include art workshops, outreach and 1:1 sessions, trips to galleries and museums, exhibitions and creating sales opportunities for the artists they work with. Their Planet People project aims to explore their impact on the world and the way in which it can minimise environmental harm. As part of their move to a new studio, they want to think creatively about becoming more carbon neutral, as well as introducing ways in which they can demand less from our planet.
Founded by a community police officer, YES Outdoors run bicycle maintenance schemes – bringing young people together to learn skills and socialise. They also offer free homework clubs and boxing sessions. Their workshops and programmes take place all over the borough, and by choosing to not have a fixed base, they make use of youth centres and other service partners to deliver their programmes all across Islington. They will use the grant to purchase an electric cargo bike – which are especially made to carry more than just their rider – for use by their charity staff and volunteers.
As a leader in the arts and orchestral sector, the LSO has the potential to set a leading example in the field of music and environmental action. The fund will be used to support the environmental training of key LSO staff members, including a group of c.15 staff whose work takes place within LSO St Luke’s, and staff from the LSO’s Environmental Action Group. These staff members will be able to take part in The Carbon Literacy Project’s accredited environmental training programme.
Scary Little Girls (SLG) is a vibrant production hub which involves the creation of theatre productions, cabaret’s, storytelling and living literature events, as well as the delivery of workshops. Their activities advocate for equality and social justice for their beneficiaries, namely women, girls and children. SLG will use the fund for a new job role, Environmental Engagement Liaison, who will focus on action and encouraging behaviour change to tackle the climate crisis amongst both SLG’s team and the local community in Islington. This role will give a small-scale, local theatre company the opportunity to lead in the development and piloting of sustainable practices in theatre – a growing (yet underfunded) concern within theatre.
Pleasance Islington has been one of the most exciting Off-West-End theatres in London since it opened its doors in 1995, providing a launch pad for memorable productions and renowned practitioners. They will use the fund to overcome logistical difficulties to embed the seemingly quite simple principles to reduce what you buy, recycle/upcycle, and to share in a circular economy with other theatre venues and producers. They will pilot these sustainability principles on one show, a gig theatre version of the TEMPEST which itself carries a strong environmental message, with an Island rising up against those washed ashore in a freak storm. They will work holistically across their building and organisation, as well as with a team of freelancers engaged specifically across the design and build and installation process.
Arco provides high quality, accessible violin tuition to young people in Islington. Their aim is to widen participation in the arts, opening-up joy and creativity through music. Acro wants to raise awareness of how musical instruments can be recycled, fixed and given a second life. They will set up an instrument collection point over one month coinciding with World Earth Day, as well as promote the service widely and reach out through their already established networks and families who have unused or broken string instruments at home. At the collection point, they will use parts of donated broken instruments, to repair others. Any left over parts that cannot be used will be donated to Islington-based art charity or recycled.