Co-Ownership is currently welcoming applications for the 2018/19 social fund. This fund is now in its second year and has a budget of £10,000. Gillian Hughes, who oversees the social fund, says that “As part of our commitment to responsible business, we are delighted to be able to continue our social fund in 2018/19. We’ve been helping people into home ownership for 40 years and our customers are right across Northern Ireland. Through the social fund we aim to further increase our impact in the local communities where our customers live.”
One of last year’s successful applications was the ‘Garden in a Box’ project in Derry / Londonderry. This project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older and socially isolated people by providing them with the tools, resources and support to grow, harvest and cook their own vegetables. Tommy Carlin who oversees the project has said, “This project has been a great success and we are delighted that it has brought so much joy to so many older people. The funding from Co-ownership Housing has been crucial to the success of the project. The support that people receive to maintain and grow the vegetables has worked particularly well and has been really appreciated by participants.”
About the Social Fund
Funding is open to constituted organisations which are interested in working with and receiving funding from Co-Ownership Housing to deliver a project in one of the following areas:
- Helping regenerate, rebuild, and revitalise neighbourhoods and communities
- Supporting elderly or disabled people
- Providing advice and educational services to promote either financial capability and inclusion, energy efficiency or biodiversity in the community
The entire fund may be awarded to a single organisation (or partnership) for a single project, or divided across several organisations and projects. The projects may be entirely new or already existing and funding may be held on behalf of an unconstituted group.
Applying to the fund will not be difficult but applicants should be clear on the need for their proposed project and its potential benefits. They must also commit to providing a social impact report once the project is complete.
The social fund builds on Co-Ownership’s commitment to responsible business and working for social good. In 2016, it became the first not-for-profit organisation, and first housing association, to achieve the highest standard of Corporate Social Responsibility in Northern Ireland – CORE, accredited by Business in the Community (BITCNI).