7 ways Campaign Bootcamp’s Community Fund supported alumni activists

With funding from the Blagrave Foundation, Attainable and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, we partnered with 94 alumni who received grants of up to £800 through our Community Fund.

Here are some of the ways the community used their grants to help support their campaigns, activism and access needs.

Bootcamp 11 grad Yvonne funded food packages for mothers and expectant people seeking asylum

Yvonne is leaning on a post, smiling, with a field behind her and a bike next to her.
Through providing food packages, Yvonne was able to share other issues within the community affecting mothers and expected people seeking asylum.

Yvonne managed to fund 27 of these packages and distributed them in Glasgow, who said:

“These mothers have been uprooted from their homes and communities by Mears (a company contracted by the Home Office to provide accommodation) and placed in a mother and baby unit which is not suitable for either mothers or the babies.’

The grant enabled Yvonne to engage with the mothers in a meaningful way, both providing desperately needed food, while also building important community relationships and letting the mothers know about her campaigning against Mears.

The opportunity to engage with the community that the food parcels provided was crucial to the campaign and its subsequent success. To date, half of the mothers in the mother and baby unit have been relocated.

Yvonne added that this had a far-reaching impact:

‘‘This victory gave the mother the reassurance and the confidence to continue to challenge Mears.”

We also caught up with Yvonne at COP26 all about her campaigning and top tips for activists.

Bootcamp 16 grad Drukthar launched his podcast, The Intelligence Tibet

Drukthar is smiling, with two fingers pointing at himself.
Drukthar has recorded 17 episodes of his podcast with the grant.

Drukthar, who campaigns for freedom and human rights for Tibetans, was able to use the grant to launch their bi-monthly podcast discussing history, politics, languages and current affairs in Tibet and China.

He said: 

“Since, I got this generous grant, it made me achieve a new level of podcast quality and produced seventeen episodes on different topics including politics, environment, language, democracy and book discussions.”

You can check out the podcast here. Note: it is in the Tibetan language.

Bootcamp 13 grad Katy launched a new craftivism campaign to fight for unpaid carer’s rights and gained confidence to apply for more grants

A selection of different stitched plasters from the WeCare campaign
Katy’s WeCare campaign has reached people all over the UK, igniting conversations around unpaid carers rights.

Katy is a campaigner and carer who founded the #WeCare campaign which campaigns around unpaid carer’s rights. With her grant, she launched  campaigns during the pandemic with WeCare, including the #StickingPlaster campaign which encouraged people to send handcrafted felt plasters to highlight that  ‘unpaid carers are the sticking plasters holding health and social care systems together.’

Getting the grant gave Katy confidence to apply for more funds, too. As our Community Fund Manager Michael told her when she asked if she should apply – “You get one grant and it will be easier to get the next.”

Sure enough, Katy soon got a grant from Oxfam!

She shared with us:

“Our impact is growing and having the foundations from Bootcamp have allowed me to do this and have confidence to speak to these massive NGOs. Without Bootcamp backing us I wouldn’t be in this place and its opening doors for us and more importantly the carers that are part of the campaign.”

Katy also added:

“It’s the first time I’ve paid myself to do anything for the campaign in 3 years (creating the kits took 10 hours) and so to actually be paid for some of my campaigning work was a reminder to me that my time is valuable. As carers we never think it is as no one in power values our contribution on the whole.”

Age Activism 1 graduate Cal bought a laptop and assistive tech

Cal, whose campaigns centre on loneliness and social isolation, especially among disabled and/or elderly people, was part of the first group on our Age Activism training.

With their grant, they were able to buy a laptop and connect more with campaigners around the country.

They said:

“Having a decent laptop has made campaigning easier for me. I am sometimes housebound due to ill-health and having a decent laptop has meant that I can keep in touch with other activists as well as research and produce materials.”

Bootcamp 15 grad Calu organised and delivered a series of community events for QTIPOC folks

Calu’s events explored death, end-of-life care and rituals. Conversations around QTIPOC dying and deathcare services were also started, with the potential to create a collective to support individuals by making resources more accessible.

“I am aware that addressing death and dying isn’t on everyone’s agenda despite being one of the few things we will definitely have to face at some point in our lives”, Calu said. “The grant allowed me to kickstart a project that feels very dear to me and that has slowly been gathering the support of other people also wanting to make dying and deathcare services more accessible and humane for marginalised communities.

Facilitating these conversations felt supportive, uplifting and therapeutic for everyone involved; there is a need of intentional experiences around processing grief and integrating loss as well as thinking about our own mortality and the choices available (or not) to us.”

Bootcamp 11 grad Sohail funded facilitators for the 2021 Migrants Connections Festival

Now in its 4th year, the Migrants Connection Festival is a space to show solidarity for migrants and provide community.

Sohail ran the festival back in October, also using some of the grant money to support the travel costs of 150 low-income migrants, from across London, Hertfordshire and Berkshire to attend.

Check out this throwback vid of Bootcamp trainer Tamara-Jade’s 60-second chat with Sohail.

Bootcamp 14 grad Waleed improved digital literacy in the local asylum-seeking and refugee community

Waleed is taking a selfie with another person, with a crowd of people behind. Waleed and the person next to him are both wearing masks and sunglasses.
Asylum seeker and refugee rights campaigner Waleed was able to kickstart his community group again with his grant.

Waleed worked with ODILS, the English language school, and some community leaders in Plymouth to help distribute low-cost digital tablets to asylum seekers and refugees in the Plymouth area.

His grassroots group, the Give Back Project, had stopped for some time, but the grant allowed them to connect again with the refugee community!

When asked for reflections on the project, Waleed shared:

‘The refugees and asylum seekers community lacks a lot of support other than the provision of food, cloth and shelter. We need to focus more on things that may develop the quality of life for them. I am thinking of cinema tickets, swimming sessions, decent restaurant vouchers, things that make them feel just like other citizens.”

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