Since its launch in April 2021, the Making Space for Nature Community Fund has been awarding grants from £200 to £2,000 to help applicants bring their nature-inspired ideas to reality in Thamesmead.

There are two kinds of grants available:

Green Guardian Grant: A micro grant of up to £400 for small greening projects and interventions.

Nature Hero Grant: A larger grant of up to £2000 for higher-profile greening projects and nature-based activities.

So far we have awarded grants to a variety of exciting projects that will develop the outdoor and green spaces in Thamesmead, all of which will be underway later this year.

We're now pleased to announce that the deadline for grant applications has been extended to 27 October 2021.


What support is available?

Groundwork London can provide all the support, advice and references you need to ensure that your
grant application and project idea are delivered successfully. Please email [email protected] if you have any queries about a project idea or applying for a grant. In the meantime you can read the FAQs below.

FAQs

1. Q: I would like to do some planting/growing but I don't have much experience so I don’t know how to start.

A: The MSFN Community Fund is open to all, regardless of previous gardening/greening experience. The MSFN programme is all about encouraging people to get outdoors and engage with nature. The Green Guardian grant offers up to £400 so you could start off with something small and simple like putting up hanging baskets on your balcony.

The Groundwork London team is always happy to help along with our gardener-in-residence Georgiana.


2. Q: I would like to do some growing outside my property but I’m worried it may get vandalised.

A: As a team we may be able to advise on how we can keep issues like this to a minimum. For example we can discuss suitable locations and materials which may help prevent damage. We also advise getting neighbours or other members of your community involved with your project.


3. Q: I feel like I've missed the growing season. Is it too late to start a project now?

A: If you were thinking of submitting an application for growing, we still encourage you to apply. We can assess each application on an individual basis and put any on-hold until early next year if that's the best option. The fund can also be used for other activities such as guided walks or nature workshops which can be carried out at any time of the year.

4. Q: I struggle with physical work. Can I use professional expertise and/or help to deliver my project?

A: You can employ paid professionals for their expertise and support to help you deliver your project. Their costs can be accounted for within your budget and finance planning. You simply need to include this in your grant application form.


5. Q: My project idea is not ‘green’ and doesn’t involve planting. My idea involves:
• Creating a skateboard park
• Providing play equipment in Thamesmead
• A new seating area for my local neighbourhood
• Lighting / signage / bins
• Creating a community ‘shed’ to loan garden equipment
*please note that the list above has been provided for suggestions and is no means exhaustive. Please let us know if you have a project idea but you’re not sure if it meets the fund’s requirements.

A: The fund is available to individual community members and Thamesmead-based community groups to deliver projects that will improve Thamesmead with links to nature, the outdoors or the community. The ideas suggested above would all qualify as potential project applications. As long as you can explain how your project idea is linked to improving nature, the outdoors or the community then it will be considered for a grant.


6. Q: Can I use a grant to improve my personal outdoor area (garden/balcony), even if no one else in the area wants it?

A: Grants will be awarded to projects whose ideas improve the spaces in and around the community. Where this could include improvements to gardens, balconies and personal outdoor areas, we encourage potential applicants to find a solution to enable their local community to benefit from the project’s result. Where neighbours may be concerned or
against the development being proposed in the grant application, we would recommend that you have a chat with Rupal Shah from Groundwork London who you can call on 07889 755119 for more tailored support.

Find out more about the Making Space for Nature Community Fund here.

If you want to start working on your application you can download the form here, but please do remember to read the guidelines first.

For all queries regarding the fund, please contact Rupal Shah via emai: [email protected] or call her on 07889 755119.