Last week, I was asked by our railway company, GoVia-Thameslink-Railway, to give a talk on funding to a gathering of people involved in station partnerships. It was a very friendly get-together, with lots of great ideas and a real commitment to what we’ve certainly come to feel is the core of a station partnership – the sense of community it generates. That’s what brings small-scale funding and donations, that’s what makes the whole thing meaningful.
I think we’re probably reluctant fund-raisers at London Road; we’d rather be getting our hands dirty in the soil. But looking back on our five years, we’ve been very lucky that people around us (local businesses, neighbours, local organisations) have helped us with small-scale funding, as well as lots and lots of donations in kind.
And just today, a new venture at London Road Station made yet another contribution to what we do. The Gorilla Kitchen is a mobile pizzeria, producing excellent fresh pizzas in front of your eyes at London Road Station on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s a great initiative, though it can’t have been easy setting up first in gales and torrential rain, and now in freezing cold.
We decided to try it tonight, got talking to the lovely people running it about the LRSP and the residents’ association. They mentioned how they really liked our herb planters; we talked about what fun it would be to have musical performances on the station terraces in the summer. When our pizza was finished, we tried to pay; they refused payment. We remonstrated … they refused. We compromised on a donation to the London Road Station Partnership. Not fund-raising on our side or buying advertising on theirs … but a shared sense of making a small contribution to the area.
As I promised my fellow participants at last week’s station partnership event, I’ve written up my talk ( Funding and finance is fun) and here’s a copy of the PowerPoint presentation which goes with it (Funding and finance = fun). All our attempts at applying for grants etc. are found on this site under Documents.
A particularly useful site on generating income for community gardens is https://www.growingtogether.community/resources