ACT-AS-1, a Collective coordinated by Fight for Peace, recently awarded its latest round of funding to grassroots organisations focused on nurturing communities and young people in Newham.

The funding, known as the Neighbourhood Wallet, is aimed at bringing to life initiatives that provide services and opportunities to young people in Newham, and the community more broadly. Individuals and organisations are invited to apply for up to £5,000, with additional allocations of investment reserved for concepts developed by young people.

“The Neighbourhood Wallet is a chance for grassroots organisations, and especially new ones coming up, to really develop their ideas and offers to the community and its young people in particular,” explained Josh Thomas, ACT-AS-1 Community Development Manager.

“Through the funding, we are interested in helping develop and grow a range of services and opportunities that young people can benefit from. It’s a wonderful means of elevating and empowering the voices and ideas of our vibrant community, while providing much needed support for young people.”


In order to receive funding, organisations and individuals are invited to submit ideas of initiatives to ACT-AS-1. They are then supported to develop these concepts before presenting to a formal panel of young people and representatives from ACT-AS-1 partner organisations.

Successful pitches are subsequently granted funding and begin a partnership with ACT-AS-1 where they are given ongoing support to bring their initiatives to life. 

“We had some really amazing ideas in our last round of applications,” said Josh. “These included a range of initiatives such as bespoke trauma-informed first aid training, mentoring sessions, football and personal development offers, and initiatives using mediation and music.”

The focus for the Wallet coordinators going forward is to ensure that these impactful  initiatives are bolstered further by projects created and developed by young people themselves. 


A shining example of a successful recipient of Neighbourhood Wallet funding is the Community Shop Newham, which recently set up its permanent base in Canning Town. 

Some of the quality products available at the Community Shop

The Community Shop is a social enterprise which showcases handcrafted local goods to the community and provides a physical and virtual platform for makers to sell their products to the public, as well as take part in workshops and skills building activities.

The shop gives particular attention to young people aged 18 -25 and is an environment where they can test their ideas in the store, and build a host of skills through volunteering, learning, mentoring and employment opportunities.

“We are super pleased that the Community Shop is doing so well and we are very pleased to be associated with it via ACT-AS-1,” reflected Josh. “We are looking forward to seeing the latest funded concepts blossom in the same way and growing the network of grassroots initiatives that provide much needed and valued services and opportunities to young people and the community in Newham.”

Josh joins Community Shop owner, Bianca at the recent shop launch in Canning Town

ACT-AS-1 stands for All Communities Together Are Strong. This programme draws on a Collective Impact approach, bringing together the voluntary sector, statutory services, schools, local parents, young people and grassroots organisations, to build a network that has a shared understanding of, commitment to, and vision for reducing violence. This programme is one of the MyEnds consortium funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The ACT-AS-1 core team is made up of a consortium of four partners: Ambition Aspire Achieve, Rights and Equalities in Newham, Exit Foundation, and Fight for Peace, the latter fulfilling a lead partner role. The hyper-local area of focus of the project is Canning Town North, Plaistow South and Custom House, all located in the Borough of Newham.

Programme activities include: community-based sports activities to build resilience, fitness, and positive relationships; work with schools to identify and support young people at risk of exclusion; detached youth work to engage young people on the streets; Pan-African Saturday School; intensive one-to-one mentoring; funding and capacity building for local grassroots organisations; and work with schools and the police to address issues such as school exclusion and disproportionate use of stop and search.

If you are interested in finding out more about ACT-AS-1 please contact josh@fightforpeace.net

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