British Science Festival Community Grants Partner: Blog post of our reflections

We were delighted to facilitate the British Science Festival Community Grants when this national festival came to Exeter in 2023! In our blog post for the British Science Association, we’ve shared our reflections of this experience, and how it will shape our ongoing work with communities and organisations in the region.

We are so grateful for our core costs funding from the Postcode Local Trust, which enabled us to dedicate our time to this unique project: building new connections with community organisations, and supporting how they engaged their communities with science in meaningful ways. We worked with some really inspiring groups, and we are determined to maintain and build on these connections in future.

Community engagement and empowerment is an important part of what we do: over the past year, as well as being the BSF Community Partner, we’ve collaborated with underserved & underrepresented groups for our Climate Exhibition 2023 and participated in the Mindsets + Missions cohort – we’ve learnt so much through these experiences, and we can’t wait to grow our team and capabilities so we can reach more people, more regularly.

We’re approaching the end of our third year as a charity at the moment, so we’re revisiting our business plan and are working to articulate all the things we want to do and how we intend to do it (this is not an easy task – we have so many ideas!). But our end goal, and our reason for being, has never been clearer – we express this in our final reflections in the blog post, which we’ve copied below:

“A lasting benefit of this experience for us is a deeper understanding of community action in the city where we are establishing ourselves. We aim to create a bold new amalgamation of educational charity, community organisation, cultural hub and tourist attraction, with the aim of reaching people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Our ultimate aim is to empower people to make a difference in the world, and we strongly believe that we need to work together to do this, building a collaborative ecosystem of the public, researchers, industry and organisations working for a better future. By helping to facilitate the community grants scheme, we had a taster of the work and needs of just a small sample of the brilliant organisations operating in our local area. This has reinforced our desire to better connect everyone, as part of the ecosystem that we’re trying to create in the city and region.

Stay tuned for more updates on how our organisation develops over the coming months. In the meantime, find out how you can support our work here!