Your browser is unsupported and may have security vulnerabilities! Upgrade to a newer browser to experience this site in all it's glory.
Skip to main content

On January 15, the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme, in which we will award small pots of up to £1,000 to local groups and individuals, will opened for applications. In this blog series, Emma Smith asks successful grantees from the last round of funding to share their experiences, highlights, and top tips on applying for a grant. Here she chats to Paul Collinson from Friends of Garrowby Orchard.

Hello Paul, please can you tell us a bit about you and your community group?

My name is Paul Collinson and I am the Treasurer for the community group Friends of Garrowby Orchard. The group was created in late 2017 at the invitation of Hull City Council to care for and manage a piece of council owned land in Derringham Ward called the Setting Dyke Community Greenspace. It is accessible to anyone at any time of the day and is a place for nature and human well-being. Friends of Garrowby Orchard maintain the grass walkways and keep the Setting Dyke Community Greenspace a safe and clean place for nature and human visitors. It is a mosaic habitat as it has a woodland of over 2000 mixed deciduous and coniferous trees, an orchard of 100 apple trees, an open water course called Willerby Carr Dyke and meadows. It is used for cultural events during the summer months.

You were successful in the second round of community grants. What did you do for your project?

Friends of Garrowby Orchard (FoGO) recruited an artist from the local area to work with children to create artwork for three information boards for the Community Greenspace. Over a series of themed workshops of water, nature and heritage, those young participants who live around and use the Greenspace made artwork that reflected their interests and experiences of the Greenspace. The artwork was then collated into one artwork that included more detailed information to help visitors to the Greenspace understand the importance of the site for flood risk management, nature and heritage. It importantly helps visitors and residents understand how the Setting Dyke Community Greenspace historically and currently helps manage excess water at the edge of the city and is linked to the tidal flows of the Humber estuary.

That’s great! How important was a Community Grant to the project?

The Community Grant was important because it allowed FoGO to fulfil one of the requests made by participants of a previous survey undertaken within another separate project that FoGO had received funding for. One of the main outcomes of that earlier survey was for more information about the history and use of the Community Greenspace. The Community Grant allowed for more research on the history of the site and for the local young people to engage with that history and the nature they have experienced on site. It importantly confirmed the essential role of the greenspace as an aquagreen within the city’s flood risk management strategy and the impact of rising sea levels and climate change on their greenspace.

What is your favourite thing about the project?

From a personal point of view the involvement of an artist who lives locally was one of the best things that allowed the artist to develop their own delivery that was fully funded using their skills and experience. From the point of view as a FoGO member, seeing the finished artwork that far exceeded our expectations and then installing the work in a professional manner that looked good and will be a lasting legacy FoGO’s involvement in the Hull Maritime Community Grant was a highlight.

It's great that the project will have a lasting legacy. What’s one tip you would give to someone thinking to apply to Round Three?

I would say make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, even if this involves an evolving/experimental approach to any proposed application/activity. If the activity applied for involves artists/makers please make sure they are paid the professional rate for their involvement. What I found was that if they are recognised as professionals and paid accordingly, they will go that little bit more for you and commit to delivering what you wanted, and even to what you did not know you wanted. This means the project is enjoyable for all involved rather than it becoming an onerous task that must be fulfilled.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme with us!

Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme reopens on 15 January and applications will be accepted until Friday 23 January.

To find out more and to apply for the scheme, click here.