Responsive Neighbourhood Grants
An initiative led by the Vancouver Foundation in collaboration with community organizations throughout the province, Neighbourhood Small Grants have been a popular and successful way to inspire residents to create local activities which strengthen relationships.
Among the two dozen projects funded by our Neighbourhood Small Grants program this year was a stroke recovery initiative developed by local residents Bev Olds and Laurie McFarlane. The rehabilitation activities included the planting and tending of plots in a local community garden - which is still ongoing, as participants work on winterizing their plots. It also involved increasing mobility and stamina through light walking exeercises. Produce grown in the garden was served at the stroke recovery group, taken home by participants, and served at a salmon BBQ in July held at Peace Arch Park with the three levels of government in attendance!
Lauire reports that some of the stroke survivors really missed bike riding. An acquaintance donated a large three-wheeler, and participants had great fun using that in addition to their walk on the track.
If you have an idea for your neighbourhood you think would benefit from support through our 2020 Neighbourhood Small Grants program, contact Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSGs are a way for folks to create activities which bring neighbours together; block parties, games nights, an art installation, a historical walking tour, a swap meet or promoting community gardening. NSGs help connect and engage neighbours to share skills and knowledge, increase a sense of belonging and responsibility to community and to respect and celebrate diversity.
How it Works
NSGs provide up to $500 to enable local individuals and groups to develop an activity for their neighbourhood with applications vetted by a Neighbourhood Grants Committee. The committee assesses each application according to the goals outlined above, along with other criteria.
The Neighbourhood Grants Committee does more than just review grants, however. Members assist in promoting the program, planning and conducting an orientation/cheque presentation session for project leads with wrap-up celebration, mentoring and encouraging project leaders, providing feedback to the NSG Regional Program Coordinator and the Vancouver Foundation and identifying potential recruits for the Neighbourhood Grants Committee.
Who We’re Looking For
We recruit four to six individuals each year to serve on two local committees. One assesses applications from the Cloverdale area and the other is responsible for the rest of South Surrey, including White Rock.
Ideally, we look for a diverse group of people representing a variety of backgrounds, skills, and life experience. Members are oriented to their role and responsibilities in a training session hosted by the Vancouver Foundation; and are mentored and supported by the NSG Program Coordinator appointed through Alexandra Neighbourhood House.
Interested in Finding Out More?
If you’d like to find out more about the NSG program and the role and responsibilities of the Neighbourhood Grants Committees, please contact Neil Fernyhough, Community Programmer at Alexandra Neighbourhood House at email@example.com, or call 604-535-0015 ext 236.
If you are interested in applying to be a member of one of the two local committees please reply providing your name and contact information, which of the two local committees you’re interested in (Cloverdale or South Surrey/White Rock), and a brief résumé highlighting your background, skills, experience, and relevant professional affiliations