Bellingham’s Labour Councillors today reveal the fourteen community projects that have been awarded a share of the £15,000 Bellingham Assembly Fund. The Fund, an initiative of Lewisham Council, exists to support projects that engage the local community in Assembly priority areas. Bellingham’s priorities are to engage young people; focus on issues affecting older people; deliver community events and festivals and promote and develop Bellingham as a stronger community.

“We had an extremely successful application process, attracting bids totalling more than twice the amount of funding available”, said Cllr Jacq Paschoud, who hosted the event on Thursday 13th October at Watergate School where the winners were announced. She continued “In Bellingham we strive to be as inclusive as possible and give our residents a real voice in community decision-making. This year we ran a marketplace style event where all the bidders ‘set out their stalls’, informally chatting about their proposed projects with the residents who then had the chance to vote for their preferred projects. To minimise any tactical voting each voter had a minimum of six bids that they could support”.

14 of the 15 bids were successful and will deliver a broad mix of activity for Bellingham. Bellingham Community Project can provide two free monthly play sessions for local children with Special Educational Needs; Bellingham Football Club is coming home to engage local youths in wellbeing and mindfulness through the beautiful game; the whole community can get involved in the annual Bellingham Festival which will take place on Bellingham Green next Summer; all of the local churches will join forces to support a befriending scheme for elderly citizens; and the PYE Project (Positive Youth Education) will begin a knife crime prevention and awareness scheme for young teenagers.

Emmanuel Imuere, Founder and Director of the PYE Project, said “I set up PYE over 10 years ago as a project inspired by the need for BAME-led, grass roots youth organisations in South East London. I am determined to see a reduction in young people becoming involved with criminality, gangs and violence. This funding will allow us to deliver an intervention course to 13 and 14 year olds at risk of becoming involved in knife crime”.

Cllr Alan Hall said “The Bellingham Assembly has decided to support community sports and community spirit. Fostering a sense of pride in our community by supporting Carols on the Green and the Bellingham summer festival in these times of austerity is more important than ever.”

Notes to editors

Bellingham is an area in South East London, in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Bellingham is served by three Labour Councillors: Alan Hall, Sue Hordijenko and Jacq Paschoud pictured.

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