Communities Living Sustainably Big Lottery Fund Bid for Herne Hill

The Big Lottery Fund have recently announced a new funding stream entitled 'Communities Living Sustainably' which will fund partnerships that bring together the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to build up to 10 sustainable and resilient communities to help deal with the potential impact of climate change. The intention is that these communities will provide inspiration and share their learning with other communities across England.

Herne Hill and its neighbouring communities are likely to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change given its susceptibility to flooding. With this in mind, the GLA and a number of partners including the London Wildlife Trust and the Herne Hill Forum met recently to consider the potential for a ‘Communities Living Sustainably’ application focused on Herne Hill and its environs. Following initial discussions, we believe there is scope for an application, but we are still at a very early stage of this process, and need more input to help shape our proposal. Our draft Mission Statement is:

•Empower community hubs along the Hidden River Effra to unite, develop and grow, and to transform their urban environment and communities into being green, low carbon and resilient to climate change.

•Enable well established community groups to create or mentor embryonic groups along the River Effra and provide access to sustainability initiatives, and to help create green jobs in the local area. 

•Provide vulnerable people with access to a thriving and fun community network of help and support that transforms them from vulnerable to ‘well prepared’ for climate change challenges.

•Create value in the urban landscape by developing the historic value of the ‘Hidden Effra’ and enabling people to walk along the route and see how communities have mitigated their flood risk through urban greening.

•To have the highest take up of sustainability initiatives compared to any similar area

At present, we see this initiative acting as an ‘umbrella’ for a range of integrated activities which help different parts of the community to come together to both mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The area’s susceptibility to flood risk would form the basis of our proposal, and by encouraging different sections of the community along the flooding corridor to work together on water themed initiatives, the project should facilitate the development of a more resilient and cohesive local neighborhood. At the same time, the project could also stimulate and support the development of new or existing initiatives focused on a wider range of related sustainability issues including energy, transport, waste, food and biodiversity. Possible packages of work could include:

·Targeted awareness raising about the need to conserve water and energy and reduce waste

·Promoting the ‘hidden’ River Effra, to raise awareness of the both flood risk and the area’s local history

·Training of volunteer ‘Community Champions’ to encourage action on key issues

·Developing a support network to help vulnerable residents when flooding occurs

·Community involvement in the design of technical solutions to deal with flooding

·Support for community projects such as local food growing and selling, community recycling

We are also particularly interested in exploring initiatives which support the area’s most vulnerable residents, facilitate job creation/social enterprise and leverage in additional funding and support for the required technical solutions.

We are very keen to hear from organisations and local residents in order to help us shape the project. If you have an idea for an activity which you think could meet the aims of the program, or any other feedback, please contact the Herne Hill Forum by the 22nd January.

Time is of the essence, as we must submit an Expression of Interest to the Big Lottery Fund by 30th January 2012. On the basis of the Expression of Interest, 30 partnerships will be asked to develop their ideas further and produce a project delivery plan. 10 successful partnerships will be awarded funding of up to £1m to make their ideas a reality.

Thank you.


Add your comments, suggestions, experiences.