Aviva has recently launched its annual Aviva Community Fund. The competition which is open until 11 October 2016 encourages community groups, charities and the general public to submit ideas and plans for community projects that would truly make a difference to the local area. Entrants can submit plans big and small, requesting up to Up to £1,000, £5,000, £10,000 or £25,000 worth of funding to make the project a reality.

Aviva has given hints as to what makes a good submission. Ideally, projects will fall into one of the six following categories: Health, Disability and well-being; supporting the younger generation; supporting the older generation; supporting sport in the community; environment; or community support. Strong submissions will should make a big positive differences to communities, be associated with community organisations or charities, be able to be completed with the requested funding, and be completed or well underway before 31 December 2017.

Jon Cruddas MP praised the project: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the local area; with so many new and diverse community groups operating across the constituency I am urging them to use this chance to apply for Aviva’s Community Fund. Community groups across Barking and Dagenham play a huge role in so many local lives, with examples such as the Chadwell Heath Community Centre – so I hope many will take this up.”

To submit a project, first identify create a solution to an existing problem or identify something that would have a positive impact in one of the six categories. Add to the project photographs, videos, renderings and anything that will help the public get a feel for the project. Submitted projects will be up for public vote, so share the project with friends, family, colleagues, employees and the general public by word of mouth and social media. The projects with the highest number of votes will progress onwards to the finals in which a panel of judges will decide the winner based on a criterion of impact, longevity and sustainability, likelihood of success, submission, and originality, declining in relative weighting. Barking and Dagenham has a long history of community spirit and creativity and so has huge amounts of potential to produce some top submissions. Results of the competition will be announced on 10 January 2017. For more details, and to enter, follow this link.