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Meet our People and Place Cohort

It is with excitement and, frankly, awe that today we announce 10 recipients of funding and strategic support from Footwork’s People and Place Fund.

In May we began a journey to find ‘local social innovators turning bold ideas into lasting positive change for people and places' – highly motivated individuals and groups who have identified local problems and the solutions to tackle them. Thanks to our collaborators on the ground we reached into communities far and wide – receiving over 50 applications, each in their own right demonstrating the power of local innovation.

But these 10 stand out, and to us, they define what is meant by social value. Our visits to meet with each one of them on their home patch - from Leeds to Cardiff - revealed people with the local knowledge, connections and determination to have a profound impact. Individually they speak volumes about how resilient places are best created; whilst collectively they provide a powerful body of evidence to demonstrate the importance of community collaboration in bringing about positive change.

We look forward to the next 12 months of knowledge share, innovation and local impact!

Piloting 'The Village' in Acton, The Village Space

“Our long-term aim is to develop a community co-ownership business model that makes climate-change preparedness possible and affordable throughout all London neighbourhoods.”

Armley Town Street Transformation, Armley Action Team

“Armley Action Team is run by local people who understand the needs of our community. Most of us live here and all have a vested interest in the improvement and growth of our own people and place.”

Growing the 'Power With' Community, Power With

“I have seen first-hand the ways in which the system can disempower people and hold them back from living the life they deserve.”

The Home Makers Project, Yodomo

“We heard from local community members that they had been unable to invest in improving their homes due to the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills. Meanwhile, we had lots of materials and ready-made items donated by businesses that we were able to offer up for free.”

Saltaire Retrofit Reimagined, Above Ground

"I have no clue what we are allowed to do in terms of keeping it [our home] warm and stuff, they get so cold in the winter time and you sit with your heating on all day but it doesn’t retain any heat."

Diverse Voices in Planning, Southwark Planning Network

“As a self-managed informal network of active citizens, we are determined to ensure that local knowledge, experience and diverse voices influence local planning decisions.”

Railway Gardens, Green Squirrel

“I believe that the way forward for Splott is to allow the community to choose what is best. If the plans are driven by the people around, they will ensure it is kept at its best.”

Prototyping an Alternative Educational Space, Revoke & Unit 38

“The young people hugely benefit from interacting with other socially minded organisations who provide access to an intergenerational community … The fact that they’re welcomed here, rather than always segregated into spaces designed only for refugees, has huge impacts on their self-worth and confidence.”

Reviving the Good Shepherd Building, Good Shepherd Studio

“Our personal experience as local residents, with a far-reaching network of people living and working in the area, it was clear that there is a need to reach people in a way that they will feel they belong and can help shape the offering too.”

Wolverton's Working Men's Social Club Transformation, Future Wolverton

“Work on the ideas that your community think are worth working on”

Footwork has the benefit of being an independent and relational funder. We are able to act swiftly and are well-placed to identify the potential in people and their ideas, where some other funders may see risk. With the help of key partners, we are also providing our new People and Place innovators with bespoke strategic support, through our Footholds Programme. And we will bring the group together, virtually and physically, to foster mutual support and collaborations.

Footwork’s keen sense of social purpose is driven by the belief that local knowledge and experience play a fundamental role in creating resilient communities. Those we support represent an invaluable resource, to be nurtured and shared; they are collaborators in raising awareness and building a body of knowledge to empower others and to influence how places should be shaped in the future.


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