National Lottery Reaching Communities Fund: Communities Rising project

Posted May, 2021

Envisioned by the community for the community, our new National Lottery Reaching Communities project has secured three-year funding to start in August.

Thumbnail Community Fund logo

We’re delighted to have secured funding which will galvanise social change through mobilising voices, skills, action and community around the issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Over the last four years we’ve been listening to and engaging with people and communities in a huge range of diverse and creative ways. Leading on from the key learnings of the four-year BLCP project, Communities Rising – which is expanding to East Sussex – will create a diverse physical and digital community hub – spaces by and for the community. We want to capitalise on the success of our social change approach to reach out to survivors and community members and offer a hopeful way forward for our highly pressured sector – to initiate and harness innovative and meaningful ways to eradicate domestic abuse.

We’ve been working alongside non-professional community members, including our incredible survivors who’ve very much helped shape the project’s vision. This has included work with marginalised women (older, disabled and multiple disadvantaged women), Black and minoritised communities, as well as enterprising women who have made a difference in other sectors from across Brighton and Hove.

RISE grew out of grass roots community action and, whilst we provide expert support to help manage risk and support recovery, members of the community have been expressing for years their desire to be more involved in activism, services, and awareness raising which this project will give voice to.

Our communities have told us that they wanted more opportunities to:

Speak Up

We know that survivors are more likely to confide in people they know and trust but a lack of understanding and confidence can make people unsure how to respond. Survivors want knowledgeable people from their communities who understand their life experience and culture to open up the conversations about DVA and to be able to signpost them successfully into pathways of safety.

Act Up

Act up will focus on galvanising and consolidating the social activism of the community. Our survivors and community members are passionate, determined and driven to make change happen but they also need support and guidance, and a trauma-informed, nurturing network and community, in order to turn this spark into action.

Skill Up

Communities, particularly black and minoritised women, have repeatedly told RISE that they find it much easier to engage in conversations about domestic abuse when they are offered activities and workshops (creative, practical, not DVA focussed) that build skills to engage more fully in society. Once they have a trusted relationship with the service through activity, then they can start to engage with the issue of DVA in their community.

Connect Up

To move from surviving to thriving, survivors of abuse will act as community connectors, being supported to identify their gifts and strengths to initiate their own projects back into their community. They’ll be given targeted support to build up their skills, confidence and business acumen in order to make their projects and themselves financially viable and sustainable.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter, as we will share the next steps of the project launch, including a RISE Community Conference this September to get ideas and input for building the new project.