News / Community Reporter Scheme

Funding enables expansion of Bristol24/7’s community reporter scheme

By ellie pipe, Thursday Aug 13, 2020

A £40,000 funding boost will enable Bristol24/7 to expand a project to cover more stories from underrepresented areas of the city and deliver additional training.

Launched in June this year, the successful community reporters pilot scheme saw the recruitment of five new journalists to cover hyper-local news in their neighbourhoods, spanning Hartcliffe, Knowle West, Barton Hill, Southmead, Kingswood and Sea Mills.

Thanks to the grant from The Social Enterprise Support Fund, Bristol24/7 can now expand the scope of this work and adapt social impact programmes, some of which were stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, to deliver digital vocational training.

Bristol24/7 is one of 180 social enterprises out of 500 applicants to secure a grant from the fund, which has been established by a partnership of The National Lottery Community Fund and five social enterprise support agencies; Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Community Land & Finance CIC (also known as Resonance), the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd. CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka have also supported.

Three of the five community reporters who are covering news in their local areas – photos supplied by community reporters

The second round of the £19m Social Enterprise Support Fund, delivering grants of between £10,000 and £300,000 to help social enterprises respond to Covid-19, is now open for applications.

Daniel Brewer, the CEO of Resonance, which has offices in Bristol and London, said: “The response to the initial launch of the fund was humbling, proving that so many wonderful social enterprises, who are supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities, are in need of emergency financial help due to Covid-19.

“Resonance are excited to be able to carry on this financial support in round two of funding and would actively encourage social enterprises who qualify to apply to the fund by August 20.”

The Social Enterprise Support Fund aims to respond to an urgent need to help social enterprises change the way they work, make their spaces Covid-secure, and manage liquidity during the next six months.

The Young Chefs scheme offered workplace training and qualifications to participants from across Bristol – photo by Bristol24/7

Bristol24/7, through its Better Business social impact initiative, had ambitions to expand on existing projects, such as the Young Chefs programme and Stories From Our City filmmakers course, to help tackle inequalities and lack of representation in certain sectors across the city.

This work is only possible because of the support from Better Bristol members, Better Business members and key partners. But the impact of Covid-19 hit hard, with projects unable to run due to restrictions and a drop in revenue that means Bristol24/7 has had to scale back its workforce, reduce salaries, and temporarily cease printing the monthly magazine – which will return in October.

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Read more: Bristol24/7 needs your support to survive

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Speaking about the difference the £40,000 grant will make, Bristol24/7 Managing Director Ben Wright said: “The funding will allow us to build capacity within the team, expand on the successful community reporter project and adapt our social impact programmes to deliver digital vocational training.”

Further details of the expansion of the community reporters pilot will be announced soon.

Applications for the Social Enterprise Support Fund close at 1pm on Thursday, August 20. In total, there will be three applications rounds, with the final one due in September.

Find out more information and apply via www.socialenterprisesupportfund.org.uk/

Main photo of Barton Hill by Bristol24/7

Read more: Five community reporters join Bristol24/7

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