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In 2018, community groups, charities and sports clubs were among dozens of organisations to benefit from more than £45,000 of grants gifted under the banner of the Pride Social Impact Fund (SIF).

In what has been a record-breaking year, the independent panel were overwhelmed with the number of bids received which ranged from projects to support the vulnerable to residents wanting to brighten up their streets.

After much consideration 40 bids were deemed successful – with funding awarded to improve parks and open spaces, run community festivals and get togethers, support days out for low-income families and provide equipment for sports teams.

Tim Ridgway, chairman of the Social Impact Fund, said: “This has once again been a record-breaking year for the Social Impact Fund with more people than ever benefitting from money raised at what has become an incredibly successful community event.

“With the fund oversubscribed, making decisions on individual bids was not an easy process. But those groups who have been awarded money will ensure that the legacy of Pride is far-reaching, extending to all corners of the city.

“The panel also wants to thank the organisers of Pride for topping up the funds so that a record amount of funding was available.

“This investment back into our community will make a huge difference to thousands of individuals across Brighton and Hove ensuring that the positive impact of Pride extends beyond one weekend a year.”

Launched in 2016, the Pride Social Impact Fund has now distributed more than £80,000 to groups across the city.

Projects put forward do not have to be LGBT related; they don’t even have to directly-linked to Pride. The only criteria is that it will brighten up people’s lives by the time Pride comes round again next year.

Funding comes from contributions made by businesses within the Pride Village Party in the St James’s Street area, as well as ticket sales from Pride and the LoveBN1 festival.

The panel was made up of representatives from media organisations across the city including The Argus, BBC Sussex, Latest TV, Brighton and Hove Independent, Sussex Life, Brighton and Hove News, Capital Brighton and GScene.

This year, the panel considered bids of more than £1,000 but only granted funds if they overwhelmingly met the panel’s criteria.

Among the largest grants to be awarded this year include £5,000 for three bids from the Friends of Preston Park. A bid of £1,600 was also granted to Light Up St James’s Street, with the aim of improving and installing new illuminations in the area; while £3,000 gifted to the St James’s Street Community Action Group will pay for new planters in the area.

Among others to benefit from the fund include Hangleton Food Bank (£500 for top up vouchers), Tarner Community Project (£1,000 to run summer holiday events for young people and the Why Not Club (£520 to fund a weekly breakfast club for the street community in Brighthelm Park).

Community events were also backed with £500 awarded towards reviving the Patcham Duck Fayre festival, £1,000 allocated to Bevfest in Bevendean and £500 gifted to CASE to fund a science festival for families on low income in Hollingdean.

Among the charities to benefit include Dolphin House, who were awarded £400 towards redecorating its therapy room; Stay Up Late, who have been given £1,000 to run a gig buddies scheme; and Carousel, who will receive £888 to buy an iPad and iPencil to allow learning disabled adults and children to engage in the arts.

Sports clubs will also benefit as £1,000 was awarded to buy kit for Crew Club United, a youth football club in east Brighton; £400 granted to Preston Bowls Club to boost participation among younger members; and Preston Park Youth Cycle Club receiving £1,000 towards the construction of a concrete ramp and tarmac path at Preston Park velodrome.

Read more about the Pride Social Impact Fund HERE.