Four years ago, the British Science Weekcommunity grants scheme was developed toenable community groups that workdirectly withaudiences who are traditionally under-represented and currently not engaged in science activityto deliverscience related projects during British Science Week. Through this scheme we have reached thousands of participants, and have been able to build up a network of individuals working in hard-to-reach communities across the country.   

We are now very excited to be launching a ‘Community Leaders’ pilot to further this work. The aim of the Community Leaders programme is to harness the passion and ideas of this network of people, enhance their skills and enable them to deliver sustained science activity over longer periods of time, truly embedding science in the work they do everyday.   

We have recruited twelve individuals who have previously received a community grant to become ambassadors in each region of the UK. This group of people are already doing fantastic work across the UKhave strongly established relationships with their communities, and we believe are the ones best placed to deliver high-quality, impactful science engagement.  

We hope to up-skill our group of participants, supporting them to establish long term science engagement, drive collaboration between community groups and the sci-comm sector, and facilitate the linking up of community grant recipients in specific regions. The group will take part in three sessions leading up to British Science Week 2019. Topics of the training sessions will include; leadership skills, an insight into the sci-comm sector, championing their community, accessing fundraising opportunities and event programming. We will be exploring various formats of science engagement, reflecting on how they can be adapted to be relevant and interesting to their own communities.  

Yesterday saw the first workshop of this new programme, with our twelve participants meeting in London to begin their journey as community leaders. One of the participants, Ann Fomukong-Boden, said: “I am looking forward to learning how I can build on British Science week to create a sustainable project. I would like to learn how to make topics relatable to people's everyday life.”

Once the group have completed this scheme, they will automatically be awarded £1,000 to develop their projects for British Science Week 2019 and establish longer term science engagement.   

If you’re a group or individual working with hard-to-reach communities, take a look at our community grants scheme to see how you can become involved in British Science Week.