Grants available for local groups

Sergeant O’Keeffe of the Moseley and Kings Heath neighbourhood Police team has provided an invaluable list of grants that may be of help to local organisations and groups.

Support for Schools to Set Up Breakfast Clubs

Magic breakfast is a registered charity (number: 1102510) that aims to ensure that no child is too hungry to learn by providing healthy breakfast food and expert support to qualifying schools. The charity supports schools with 35% or more pupils eligible for free school meals, or with 50% of pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known as Ever 6 FSM).

More  information here.

Grants to Support the Development of a Just Society (UK)

The Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation provides grants to registered charities and other groups in the UK for projects that contribute to the development of a just society based on a commitment to nonviolence and environmental sustainability.

More information here.

Charities Leadership Programme (UK)

The Cascading Leadership programme is designed to give support to two groups of people leading voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations focussed on health and wellbeing. The first group is made up of experienced leaders who want to develop their skills by supporting another organisation. The second is people who would benefit from the experience of others who can help them to reflect and learn and to develop their organisation.

More information here.

British Ecological Society Outreach Grants (UK)

The British Ecological Society offers grants to individuals and organisations such as schools, museums, libraries and community groups that are promoting ecological science to a wide audience.

More information here.

Co-op Local Community Fund (UK)

The Co-op Local Community Fund distributes money raised from own brand products and carrier bag sales to local good causes chosen by its members. To apply to be a Co-op cause you must have a project or event in mind that takes place in the UK or Isle of Man, doesn’t have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you’re a religious organisation), meets the Co-op’s values, takes place or will still be running after October 2018 and benefits your local community

More information here.

Local School Nature Grants Scheme (England, Scotland and Wales)

The scheme offers schools the opportunity to apply for up to £500 worth of equipment to help them to undertake environmental improvements. The scheme is open to schools with pupils aged 5 and upwards.

The deadline for the next round of funding is 15 September 2017.

More information here.

Greggs Foundation – Local Communities Projects Fund (England, Scotland & Wales)

The Greggs Local Community Projects Fund makes grants to organisations supporting people in need. Any not for profit organisation can apply. However, larger organisations with a turnover in excess of £300,000 are unlikely to be successful.

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is 18 August 2017.

More information here.

Greggs Environmental Grant (England, Scotland & Wales)

The grants are intended to support projects that improve the physical environment in a way that will improve people’s lives. This can include purchase of equipment, sessional salary costs, purchase of trees/plants, small capital projects and learning activities. The grants are also given for new approaches and innovative ideas as well as sustainable approaches to supporting your local environment.

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is 29 September 2017.

More information here.

Veolia Environmental Trust Grants (UK)

Not-for-profit groups close to a qualifying Veolia site (Kings Heath appears to meet the criteria) can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 towards community buildings, parks and paths, play and recreational facilities, nature reserves and biodiversity projects. To qualify for funding, projects must have a total cost of under £250,000 (including VAT and professional costs).

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is 31 August 2017.

More information here.

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme (UK)

Not for profit organisations such as schools, registered charities, voluntary organisations, churches, and community interest groups can apply for grants of up to £10,000 for projects that help children and young people experiencing illness, distress, abuse or neglect, disability, behavioural or psychological difficulties or deprivation.

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is 1 September 2017.

More information here.

School Grants to Promote Physics (UK)

The Institute of Physics (IOP) provides grants of up to £600 for projects or events linked to the teaching or promotion of physics and engineering in schools and colleges based in the UK, catering for students in the age range five to 19.

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is 1 November 2017.

More information here.

Residents take action on School Road traffic chaos

There has been a long history of traffic problems on School Road, mainly caused by inconsiderate, often dangerous, drivers. It now looks as if some relief may be on the way for local residents.

In November 2016, local people set up a Facebook page to begin gathering evidence to present to Birmingham City Council (BCC). The aim was to get action to protect local residents, particularly pedestrians.

The area of greatest concern is the stretch from the roundabout near Kings Heath Primary School down School Road itself. There are frequent reports of cars mounting the pavement to pass other cars, even forcing pedestrians to get out of the way. In some cases, residents report that drivers ignore the presence of small children, so keen are they to get past as fast as they can.

Comments on the group’s Facebook page detailed incidents in which

  • a car mounted the pavement close to a mother and child walking home from school
  • another child was almost hit by a car on the pavement
  • a four-year-old on a scooter was within a metre of a car that had mounted the pavement
  • a woman was walking her child home and was abused by a driver because she objected to him driving his car at her and her child
  • a woman pushing a baby buggy on the footpath found three cars trying to get past her on the same footpath.

With the support of Councillor Claire Spencer and Councillor Lisa Trickett, the group has been putting pressure on BCC to find a long-term solution to the problems. In January 2017, residents were told that BCC was going to undertake a formal traffic survey on School Road. In addition, money had been set aside to try to come up with a solution to the problems. This was followed in March 2017 with news that a budget of up to £40,000 had been allocated.

Now a set of proposals is being put out for consultation. They will be sent to residents of School Road while anybody else who wishes to comment will be able to do so. It is understood that, at present, the proposal is to make School Road one-way from the roundabout near Kings Heath Primary School to Blenheim Road.

Councillor Spencer will be in the area of School Road on Sunday 25 June 2017 gathering information.

The School Road Traffic Issues Facebook page can be found here

Changes ahead for Kings Heath and Moseley schools?

Seven local schools that are currently operated by Birmingham City Council (BCC) are considering forming a multi-academy trust. The schools in the group are:

  • Kings Heath Primary School
  • Park Hill Primary School
  • Wheelers Lane Primary School
  • Kings Heath Boys School
  • Queensbridge School
  • Swanshurst School
  • Wheelers Lane Technical College

All are reported as being rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Love Brum Schools is an action group that is opposed to the plans. The group is not affiliated with any political party, nor to the Kings Heath Residents’ Forum but education is an extremely important subject for many residents. For that reason, the Residents’ Forum is publicising the group to make residents aware of the plans. The group’s website is lovebrumschools.com. Their site includes a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section that deals with many of the central issues.

This is clearly, and understandably, a very emotive subject and residents will undoubtedly want to know more about the pros and cons. Searching the web with a search term such as ‘academy schools pros and cons’ will produce a list of websites. Two that seem to provide relevant information are published by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) (pdf, 412kb) and specialist education publisher MA Education Ltd.

Action on litter

A recent meeting of the Greener, Cleaner, Safer Environment (GCSE) group discussed a number of problems relating to litter and rubbish in Kings Heath. Several ideas were reviewed that could help to reduce the amount of litter in the area.

The group covers both Moseley and Kings Heath and is supported by Birmingham City Council.

One of the problems with litter is that it comes from several sources. As a result, the group is working with different parts of the community to try to clean up our streets. Part of this effort is a Litter Strategy. The plan is to get residents and local forums involved in developing and introducing a strategy. This will involve the group making sure that residents’ groups are able to comment on the strategy.

The business community is already involved. Several local businesses have signed up to the voluntary litter agreement and more will follow. In one case, the owner of Costcutter in Institute Road, has offered to supply and empty a bin outside his shop. Although he has been told by the City Council that he can’t do this, the GCSE group is working with the city’s Fleet and Waste Management (F&WM) team to get the ban overturned.

The F&WM team is also looking at the positioning of existing City Council owned bins. The plan is to make sure they’re in the right places and, if they’re not, to reposition them.

Schools also have an important role in reducing the amount of litter and they are being approached in two ways. Councillor Straker Welds, who chaired the GCSE meeting, will write to schools in the area and ask them to get involved in the Litter Strategy. He will also ask them to involve their pupils and will offer to go to the schools with the principal operations manager of the F&WM team to talk about the litter problem.

There was also a suggestion that members of staff, such as canteen support staff and cleaners, could clear litter from school surroundings.

In one particular case, the city’s Waste Prevention team is to visit Bishop Challoner College in Institute Road to advise on what the College can do to help tackle the local litter problem. Leaflets will also be distributed to residents in the area.