As part of its commitment to growing and diversifying the community of people interested and involved in science, the British Science Association runs the British Science Festival Community Grant Programme.

The British Science Festival, coordinated by the British Science Association (BSA), is Europe's longest-standing national event which connects people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists. Tens of thousands of people come together to celebrate the latest developments in science and to engage in open discussion about issues that affect our culture and society.

The British Science Festival 2017 will be jointly hosted by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton between 5-9 September 2017, transforming the city of Brighton & Hove into a vibrant celebration of science, engineering and technology.

The BSA is providing grants of £500 to community groups/organisations in Brighton & Hove that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity. We want to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, enabling new local audiences to engage with science.

The deadline to apply has now passed.

Here are the 2017 community grant recipients:

  • Brighton Table Tennis Club used table tennis to engage local disadvantaged young people with maths. The group showcased PingMaths, an innovative approach to numeracy skills, which they use to support refugees and asylum seekers as well as other disadvantaged young people.
  • Plot 22 is a community allotment space covering two allotments. They ran observation and survey sessions based on the official OPAL survey guide, helping participants understand what lives in and around their ponds and why. Sessions involved local groups, including a dementia gardening group (in which dementia sufferers come to garden with a carer), Nature’s Nippers (a parent and toddler gardening group which includes families referred via a local children’s services centre), Survivors’ Network (which supports survivors of sexual violence and abuse) and local migrant groups.
  • Stay Up Late is a charity promoting the rights of people with learning disabilities. Their user-led advisory group, “The Storm and Thunder Team”, participated in a technology workshop run by a local non-profit arts organisation. The workshop used electronics to explore sound creation.
  • The Whitehawk Inn is a community centre based in a disadvantaged area of Brighton. During the British Science Festival, sessions were held to promote science-based careers as realistic and viable choices. Lead by qualified careers advisers who work at the Whitehawk Inn, activities included talks, workshops and 1:1 advice and guidance sessions.
  • Craggers Brighton and Hove Unemployed Climbers Group provides activities to boost the confidence of those who experience social exclusion. Their volunteers ran a day of natural history activities in Friston Forest. Families and individuals learned to identify animal tracks and signs, to recognise wild food, medicinal and dangerous plants, and to make puddle water potable.
  • Tarner Community Project is a neighbourhood charity supporting those experiencing high levels of deprivation in the Tarner area of Brighton. Their NEET group, comprised of 13-22-year-olds, meets weekly, and during the British Science Festival they held have an evening with hands-on science activities.
  • One Church Brighton works almost exclusively with NEETs. Their barista training project ran an event using sensory science and lab testing protocols to explore how coffee is brewed and how people experience drinking it.
  • Kennedy St & Co. supports those recovering from addiction. Their community connections group invited those who were interested or already engaging in a recovery process to attend a workshop on mindfulness. Participants learned the science behind mindfulness practices and left equipped with tools they may find useful to integrate into their daily recovery program.
  • House of Cultural Curiosity is an arts organisation that brings communities together to express aspects of their culture. They invited participants to make their own shampoo from recycled materials, locally sourcing herbs, flowers and plants in and around the Moulscombe and Bevendean estates, and leftover beer from local community pub The Bevy.

For more information on the grant scheme, please read the 2017 grant guidelines.

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the BSA at [email protected].