An investment of over £66,000 from the Resonance South West Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund will support Southmead Development Trust’s (the Trust) capital works programme at their nine-acre Greenway Centre site in Southmead, Bristol.
The Greenway Centre is a well-established community run health and wellbeing and enterprise hub based in Southmead and supports around 1,000 people - across all age groups - every month in the local area, within North Bristol. It incorporates health services, playing fields, a sports centre and community gym and cafe, small business units and over thirty different community classes or groups a week. It is home to specialist support services for people in the local community, including those with substance misuse problems, physical or mental health issues, learning difficulties, and those looking to gain employability skills and training.
With 15% of Bristol’s residents living in the most deprived 10% of areas in England, including 18,900 children and 7,900 older people (Bristol Local Authority: Deprivation in Bristol 2019), community centres like the Greenway Centre in Southmead are a vital community asset.
Southmead is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood in Bristol with a huge amount of community spirit amongst its population of around 12,600. However a large proportion of people who live there, including 32.5% of children, are living in poverty (Bristol City Council’s Southmead Statistical Ward Profile 2020).
It is the eleventh most disadvantaged area in Bristol for employment, education, health, income and crime. And with a higher proportion of adults aged 65+ and people experiencing poor physical health living in Southmead compared to Bristol generally, many people in the area rely on and recieve community based services and support.
People living in deprived areas, like Southmead, experience worse health outcomes than people living in the least deprived areas. And alcohol and drug misuse and poor physical or mental health are major public health challenges with the most deprived being disproportionally affected. By working with the local community and providing people in Southmead and across North Bristol with employment, training and educational courses, the Greenway Centre is actively tackling issues around health inequalities, poverty, education and crime.
The Trust is key to improving opportunities in Southmead. It belongs to, is run by, and works for everyone in the local community with the goal of finding different ways of building long term wellbeing and resilience amongst the people it serves. And in fact, the Trust has reframed ‘problems’ or ‘need’, turning them into potential, by building local leadership, connections and community.
It does this through a wide range of services for local residents, including health and wellbeing support through its gym and other physical activities and classes, training and employment support, one to one support, community events, and more. However, the pandemic has had an impact on the organisation which is mostly grant reliant and usually generates revenue from rental hire, café, gym and other services.
So the investment is timely and means that the Trust can invest in essential works to parts of the site that are ageing and make adaptations to the Greenway Centre so that is it COVID-safe, and able to continue supporting the health and wellbeing of Southmead’s residents.
Amy Kinnear, CEO at Southmead Development Trust, said: ““The Greenway Centre is a much loved and busy community hub. Hundreds of people come through our doors every week to attend over thirty wellbeing community classes or groups, training courses, our community gym and café, or to work with our many partners on site. We are so excited to receive this support from Resonance to invest in some desperately needed improvements to our ageing building, including repairing our leaking roof and extending our dance and fitness studio”.
Katalin Juhasz, Resonance’s Senior Investment Manager for the South West SITR Fund, said: “Southmead Development Trust is such a well-loved and valuable asset to the local community so I am delighted to see it receive this vital investment. I am also incredibly proud that this is the twentieth investment from the Resonance South West SITR Fund. The investment will see crucial improvemnets to SDTs buildings and enable COVID-safe adaptations to be made to the Greenway Centre which, in turn, will enable it to continue to grow its services and impressive impact in an area of Bristol with high deprivation and a real need for locally-focused, community support services.”
Poverty in Bristol:
All stats from Bristol City Council’s report Deprivation in Bristol 2019.
About Social Investment Tax Relief
The Resonance SITR Fund has pioneered the use the of SITR which was introduced in 2015, and which simultaneously lowers the cost of loans for enterprises and enables the potential for competitive returns to investors.
The Resonance South West Midlands Fund provides a vital support scheme for social enterprises and charities that are working hard to improve vulnerable people’s lives in our communities across the region.
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