As part of our commitment to growing and diversifying the range of people interested and involved in science, the British Science Association (BSA) runs the British Science Festival Community Grants programme.

The intention of the scheme is to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, in turn, enabling new local audiences to engage with science.

To this end, we are providing grants of £500 to community groups and organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire – where this year’s British Science Festival is taking place – that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and not engaged in science activity.

This year, the grants have been awarded to eight community groups. The events will reach a variety of different audiences including people with disabilities, the West Indian community, young people with additional needs and recovering addicts across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Read more about each community group below:

ILEAP is a charity that runs inclusive activities for children, young people and adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities. They will be holding sessions at a garden space in The Kenilworth Centre to promote understanding around the biology of plants and nature.

Ayriss Recovery Coventry is a drug and alcohol outreach/support service that offers support to people experiencing addiction problems. They will be running a session to educate the service users on topics such as the differences that depressants and stimulants have on the body, better vein care and what happens to the body during an overdose.

West Indian Heritage Community Action works to support the needs of members of the African-Caribbean community in Coventry, running a range of cultural, social and community-based activities. For the Festival, the group will be working with a mathematician from the community who will run sessions to engage young people with the exciting world of numbers. 

The Smallpeice Trust supports and inspires young people with STEM. They will be working with the home-education community, running a STEM enrichment day to ensure that children who are home educated can still access science. The day will include a hands-on design and build challenge.

Vanny Radio is a community radio station that is run almost entirely by volunteers and caters to the needs and interests of the local community. They will be running a seminar discussing the importance of science in our everyday lives and some of the issues around how science is presented by the media. 

Coventry Men's Shed provides a place for men to socialise and engage with others in a space where they feel supported. Many of the group experience mental health problems, social isolation and are in recovery from substance abuse. The group will be running four cooking sessions, exploring different elements and learning more about healthy eating and cooking.

BLAST Fest is a festival that will be running ‘Caribbean Climate Change’, a series of talks by researchers and local Caribbean people about the impact of climate change. The event is being designed with the local Caribbean community.

Food Union uses food to bring communities together, to find healthier ways of producing and eating food, but also to think about and enact, community and civic identity. They will be running an event called ‘How does your garden grow’ at an allotment where participants will learn more about getting involved with the space.

For more information about the work the BSA does to support and engage with community groups, please visit our Community Engagement page or follow BSA Communities on Twitter

The British Science Festival is taking place between 10-13 September in Coventry and Warwickshire. Check out the programme of 100+ events here.