The British Science Association has announced that it will be funding 12 community projects in Hull as part of its new Ideas Fund programme.
With an initial investment of £417K, the projects will involve a knowledge exchange between the community groups and University of Hull researchers.
The Ideas Fund is a new, innovative grants scheme, run by the British Science Association (BSA) and funded by the Wellcome Trust, that enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing through collaborating with professional researchers.
The initial application round received a total of 146 applications from selected pilot areas with 42 projects having now been selected to receive funding. The projects feature a broad range of topics from sport, arts, nature and nutrition to issues faced by varied age groups, disabled, refugee and LGBTQ+ communities.
Hull was announced as one of four pilot areas in January this year – and the latest announcement reveals how funds have been allocated across the city.
Dr Gill Hughes, a lecturer in Youth Work and Community Development and Education Studies at the University of Hull and one of three Ideas Fund Development Coordinators for Hull, said: “This investment in community projects in Hull is really good news for the city. As a University, we are committed to promoting social justice and fairness for all and to making a difference to our community, and this innovative approach to allocating funding by the British Science Association and the Wellcome Trust gives us the opportunity to work closely with a diverse range of community groups.
“There is no doubt that as one of only four pilot schemes in The Ideas Fund programme, Hull was fortunate to be selected to be part of The Ideas Fund programme – and is now set to benefit as a city as the projects get underway.
“At the University of Hull, we have been really excited to be involved in an innovative opportunity to do things differently in terms of funding, which starts by working with community groups, who developed ideas for needs-led projects to create mental wellbeing. This is even more crucial as we come through the global pandemic.
“What has made it extra special is that the Fund is about building relationships by matching communities with researchers to exchange their lived and learnt knowledge and experience.
“We think this will make the projects richer and offer further opportunities to create impact and change now, but also develop beyond the life of the programme.
“We were very grateful for the great response from academic staff at the University – around 60 researchers were initially matched with projects, with 42 going forward to application."
The University is looking forward to working with the partnerships to support the achievement of their ideas. The Ideas Fund approach is already becoming a catalyst within the University of Hull to influence other initiatives with its ethos and approach.
One of the projects that has been funded in Hull includes Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group. The project aims to help those with dementia (and their family and support network) by focusing on changes in behaviour, finding ways to avoid flashpoints, providing coping strategies, and learning new skills to explore how this impacts wellbeing of all concerned. Dr Emma Wolverson (Senior Lecturer Ageing and Dementia) will be the research partner on this project.
Another Hull-based project is The Hull Roundheads RUFC – a gay and inclusive rugby club – which plans to work with researchers, led by Dr Sarah Jane Dickenson (Head of Department English, Creative Writing & American Studies) to better understand barriers to participation and to share these stories more widely.