• Date :
    09 February 2018

Westfield and Hammerson continue to support local groups through their Youth & Enterprise Grant Fund

The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson which is set to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre, announces the winners of the final round of last year’s Opportunity Grant Fund.

The rolling Opportunity Grant Fund was launched in June 2014 to support local community and charity groups engaging with young people and enterprise. In the last round of funding for 2017 four local charities shared a total £2,750, they include:

• Autus Foundation is a small registered charity run by and for people with autism and other complex needs. The funding has been awarded to enable six high functioning Autistic individuals, aged 18-30, the opportunity to undertake an eight week enterprise skills course (OCN Level 2 “First Steps to Enterprise”) with the aim of helping combat social isolation and building confidence and enterprise skills. The course, due to its small size, is able to offer intensive personalised support.

• Another Night of Sisterhood has been awarded funding that will support the small voluntary community group’s monthly sessions, with a focus on specific issues that affect their community, such as knife crime, gangs, health and well-being. The monthly sessions are well attended and facilitated by volunteers who are extremely passionate about making a positive difference in their community.

• Croydon BME (black & minority ethnic) Forum is the umbrella organisation for the Croydon’s BME voluntary and community network. The funding will facilitate a six week training workshop for 24 young people enabling the creation and production of two music videos in a professional studio environment. The workshop and video will spread positive messages against knife crime and aim to provide the group with new skills and increase confidence.

• Play Place Innov8 is a community interest group that will now be able to deliver a Croydon Auto Bike scheme, which is a five week programme for young people aged 16 to 24 who are identified as NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or at risk of being in trouble with the police. The programme will offer young people a weekly two hour session, delivering motorbike mechanics and developing life skills of working within a garage environment.

Steve Yewman, Development Director, Westfield, said: “We are really proud to have supported seven local initiatives last year through our Opportunity Grant Fund and the part we have played in helping these crucial charities and groups undertake vital work within the community. We will continue to provide support in the local area through our Community programme, over the coming year and throughout the redevelopment process, delivering positive regeneration for Croydon.”

Carolyn Kenney, Development Director, Hammerson, said: “Last year proved to be another rewarding year for our Youth & Enterprise Opportunity Grant Fund and we were able to support some fantastic projects. We are keen to continue our work with the local community through our Community Plan and we will soon be announcing our next phase of activity, focusing on local groups and charities with the aim of supporting as many worthy causes as we can.”

- ENDS -

For further information:

Richard Stocks / Richard Sunderland

FTI Consulting: +44 (0)20 3727 1000

Notes to Editors:

Further background on the Opportunity Grant Fund

The Opportunity Grant Fund forms part of the Croydon Partnership’s Community Plan, which was launched in June 2014. There are three components to the programme, which commits the Partnership to become “Partners in the Town“, “Partners in Business” and “Partners in the Community”, which is where the Opportunity Grant Scheme sits. The criteria for submission focuses on organisations developing employability skills, the provision of training and equipment, activities which develop positive attitudes towards work, and projects which provide practical experience of the workplace.

Applications are invited from: registered charities / CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations / CICs (Community Interest Companies) / companies limited by guarantee or community / voluntary sector groups with a constitution (or set of rules).

Application forms are available:

• Online at

• By email on request to

•By post via the Croydon Partnership Community Team

Further background on the Croydon Partnership’s Community Plan

In June 2014 the Croydon Partnership launched its Community Plan; a rolling programme of community initiatives focusing on youth engagement and local enterprise. The plan encompasses the provision of training and education, a grants and bursaries programme, local sponsorships and additional in-kind support and assistance to the wider Croydon community. The Community Plan demonstrates the Croydon Partnership’s commitment to long term investment in Croydon and the continuing regeneration of the area. The Croydon Partnership will be working closely with local businesses, community groups, Croydon Council and the Mayor of London.

About Croydon Partnership’s plans for Croydon

The Croydon Partnership’s £1.4bn scheme will transform Croydon’s town centre into a 1.5m ft² state-of-the-art retail, leisure and restaurant destination, together with new public realm, creating 7, 000 new jobs, new car parking and new residential units including affordable housing. This will sit at the heart of the wider regeneration of Croydon, attracting new residents and visitors back to the town centre for the benefit of all local businesses, whilst delivering a safe destination for families. The Croydon Partnership can be followed on Twitter at @croydonpartners. You can also visit the website

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