“(The grant) has been a big boost for me. Receiving art supplies was the catalyst that I needed to push me forward. By awarding me this grant, Creative Opportunities gave me access to the tools I needed, gave me a sense of accountability and gave me the confidence to be creative and paint. This has given me crucial peace of mind for what has been a challenging few months.” -‘J’, one of 26 young people to whom we awarded a Young Catalyst grant.
In Islington, Catalyst was set up in 2009, funded by Cripplegate Foundation and then Cloudesley in 2011. It was expanded in 2016 and 2018 with funding from Islington Giving and Sir John Cass’s Foundation. Together they funded 20 Catalyst partners in the borough to award Catalyst grants to people they work with. Creative Opportunities CIC was chosen to be a delivery partner for Young Catalyst in 2020/21.
We convened a Youth Board with five young people who have worked alongside us previously or taken part in our programmes to design the application process, shortlist applications and select grantees. With additional support from the Isla Foundation and Islington Giving’s Community Chest, we were able to pay the Youth Board for their time.
In total, 85 young people applied to us for funding across two application periods, and the Youth Board awarded 26 grants for a range of things from supplies and training for beauty businesses; exercise and computer equipment; art supplies; dance, music and driving lessons; cameras; a sewing machine; a bike; a script writing course and more.