Council matches funding for local community crowdfunded projects to tackle the battle of the bulge with an innovative city-wide campaign
As the health and wellbeing of young people and children in the local area continues to be of paramount importance, Birmingham City Council (BCC) is supporting residents who want to “take action now” – with a £140,000 fund to make their ideas happen.
Issues such as child obesity are a major problem in the region with over a quarter of 10 year-olds now “clinically obese” – among the highest rates in England – and 40 per cent overweight on leaving primary school. Birmingham’s obesity epidemic alone costs £2.6 billion a year – more than the allocated entire spend on the region’s health services.
In an innovative move, the Public Health department at the Council is aiming to give the power back to those directly affected and has set aside £140,000 from its Birmingham Smiles Fund to fund projects that will help to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Birmingham. This money is in addition to £470,000 from its Community Innovation Fund, already available on crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder.co.uk, through Crowdfund Birmingham.
Adrian Phillips, Birmingham’s Director of Public Health said: “There is no single solution to tackling health issues amongst young people, however we believe that some of the best ideas exist at grassroots level, with people who live and work with them – we want to engage community support and help make some of those ideas happen.
“Life expectancy in Birmingham falls below the national average, with males peaking at 77.6 years (79.4 years England average) and females at 82.2 years (83.1 years England average). Physical health, mental health, wellbeing and fitness are not isolated problems to Birmingham – in fact, this is a global crisis. By empowering the community to crowdfund for grassroots projects, and pledging that the council will match their fees raised, we are putting those directly affected back in the driving seat to improve the current situation for Birmingham’s young people.”
Eligible crowdfunding projects include those that could empower local communities to help improve young people’s health and well-being and must set up on Crowdfunder to qualify. Projects that meet the criteria could attract a pledge from the city council of up to £10,000 or 50 per cent of their funding target, whichever is the lower.
Adrian continued: “The health of our residents is a top priority for the Council. The people of Birmingham have the passion, time and dedication to run projects that tackle of the issue and can develop innovative plans to help educate and aid young people to. We have discovered that crowdfunding is a great way to encourage local people to improve health, and to have fun whilst doing so. Our aim is to add gravitas and additional funds to these projects which will make a difference to this issue in the local community.”
Dawn Bebe, Director and Co-Founder of Crowdfunder said: “Crowdfund Birmingham gives residents the opportunity to support the projects that are close to their heart. By showing their support for specific projects, residents can send a signal to Birmingham City Council about which projects they think should receive funding. We are delighted to work closely with Adrian and his team on creating a sustainable programme to help improve Birmingham’s youth health crisis.”
Local projects interested in raising funding with Crowdfund Birmingham, should register their interest at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/birmingham. If your project could be eligible for a pledge from the city council, the city council will get in touch to discuss your idea and support you with coaching and advice so that you can develop the best campaign possible.
Crowdfund Birmingham was developed in a new partnership between Birmingham City Council and Crowdfunder. Any local charity, business, social enterprise or individual can use Crowdfund Birmingham to raise funds from supporters. It is also a new way for groups to access grant funding from the city council.
If your project meets Birmingham City Council’s eligibility criteria, you could secure a pledge from the Council, when your crowdfund is successful.
The pioneering partnership will include offering free coaching and workshops to project owners interested in crowdfunding for their project to develop their skills and improve their chances of success.