Our Space Award - Promoting Greener Communities

Applications for the Our Space Award closed on Wednesday 15th December 2021. 

What is the Our Space Award?

The Our Space Award (OSA) aims to help Londoners clean and green the city through active community engagement and participation, increasing a sense of community ownership over shared spaces. It will support Londoners of all ages and backgrounds, communities and schools in greening their neighbourhoods, making them inclusive places for all to enjoy.  It does this by enabling more groups to access funding for projects. The activities funded by the OSA will be designed to also make a significant contribution to a number of wider social and environmental objectives, notably:

  • Tree planting (we hope each project can plant at least one tree). For further guidance on best locations to plant trees, please click here.
  • Climate resilience and adaptations to climate change;
  • Improvements to water quality and drainage through planting and reducing hard surfaces;
  • Ecological and biodiversity benefits;
  • Climate education alongside physical improvements;
  • Improving air quality;
  • Reducing health inequalities and social isolation.

 

Ways in which you may be able to achieve the above objectives are:

  • New tree planting
  • Native planting
  • Pollinator planting
  • Drought tolerant planting
  • Rewilding areas
  • Nest boxes, rock piles, bug hotels etc
  • Water habitat creation or improvement
  • Planting aimed at improving water quality
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Creation of composting area, use of organic compost, organic mulching, use of food waste etc
  • Volunteer and community engagement
  • Increasing access to nature
  • Raingardens
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems

OSA supports projects throughout Greater London. In addition, Tideway, the company building London’s ‘super sewer’, is contributing substantial new funding in 2021/22 to support groups and projects in the infrastructure project’s 14 London Boroughs: Hounslow, Ealing, Richmond Upon Thames, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, City of Westminster, City of London, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Greenwich. The ‘super sewer’ will clean up the River Thames for future generations and Tideway is particularly interested in supporting projects which have some link with water or an element of environmental education. Tideway is also keen to engage with grantees to see how it might be able to assist projects, through staff volunteering. and in-kind assistance.  You can find out more about the Tideway project here. 

The OSA will play its part by harnessing existing and new volunteer efforts in improving all types of open space, whilst engendering a true sense of civic pride amongst participants and encouraging a greater sense of ownership felt by communities over their shared spaces. The OSA also offers local people the opportunity to shape the ongoing maintenance and improvement of their areas by working with partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors and stimulates mutual learning at all levels. 


Who do we help?

We help community groups of three or more people who meet regularly. Your group does not have to be formally arranged or constituted, but it does need to put energy and enthusiasm into your project, and your group needs to be based in London. We support projects across all types of open space – in parks, on housing estates, in town centres, in woodlands and in school grounds. We prioritise applications where OSA funding forms a substantial part of the project and will truly enable the project to happen. 

We also aim to reach groups which do not necessarily have a track record of fundraising. If you are applying as an informal, non-constituted group* then we will need reference details from someone who can vouch for your work in the local community. This could be a local councillor, local authority employee, school, a local charity or doctors’ surgery, for example. Please get in touch if you’re unsure who to ask. You may also wish to partner with a constituted organisation that can act as your ‘nurture organisation’ to assist you in your delivery and planning.

* We consider a non-constituted group to be a group that does not have a formal document setting out its activities or structure, but which may work together for campaigns, projects or events.

You’ll see some examples of past projects at the bottom of this page.


What support is available?

We offer three tiers of grants going from £500 all the way up to £20,000:

  • Small grants of £500 up to £2,000;
  • Standard grants of £2,000 up to £5,000; and
  • Flagship grants of £5,000 to £20,000*.

Small and Standard grants are available for any group to apply for. ​​We will prioritise awarding flagship grants to those who have previously successfully delivered an Our Space Award project, though if you feel you have a really transformational project but haven’t delivered an Our Space Award grant previously then get in contact with us. We anticipate funding a maximum of four flagship grants in this funding round.


How to apply

Applications for the Our Space Award closed on Wednesday 15th December 2021. 

Prospectus


Maximise your small project funding opportunities

If you are applying for a Small Grant (£500 – £2,000), you will have the option of applying via ActionFunder. ActionFunder is a simple online system that allows groups to upload multiple projects that require funding – either in writing or through a short video application. Projects submitted via ActionFunder will be seen by multiple funders. For more information on ActionFunder, visit their ‘How it Works’ webpage here.

You can apply for a Small Grant through ActionFunder by using the standard application form found on the ActionFunder website, here.

You can also attend our upcoming interactive workshop on Tuesday 30th November to help answer your questions and provide more information about the fund and how we can support you. The workshop will take place from 10 am – 12 pm via Zoom hosted by Groundwork London and you can register your attendance here or by using the button below.

Registrations for the Our Space Award workshop closed on Tuesday 30th November at 10am. 


When should my project take place?

This round of the Our Space Award will fund projects that must be completed by 13 February 2023.


2018/2019 Projects

In the first round of the Our Space Award 2018, we awarded 28 London projects c.£62,000 to improve community spaces. In the second round 2018 we awarded 17 London projects c.£43,000.

In the first round of the Our Space Award 2019, we awarded 20 projects c.£66,000.


Funders

The 2021 Our Space Award is funded, and supported, by Tideway, as well as some private funder/partners, including Stuart and Stephanie Mills.

Tideway are the new core funders of the Our Space Award


Contact

If you would like to stay up to date with the Our Space Award, then sign up to the Our Space Award Updates mailing list here

If you have any questions about applying or about the grant scheme, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with Hannah Standen, Ma’ayan Cohen, or Louise Seaman: ourspaceaward@groundwork.org.uk | 020 7239 1390

 

 

Case Studies

The Flowering of Shandy Park

The Flowering of Shandy Park

Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and community volunteers brought Shandy Park to flourish with a grant from the Our Space Award programme.

Leyton Boundary Community Garden

Leyton Boundary Community Garden

Leyton Boundary Community Garden, London, received a grant from the Our Space Award to transform their outdoor area into a usable green space.