THREE organisations from Solihull have finished as runners up in a Dragons’ Den style competition to help local communities ‘build back better’.
Borough-based Unitopia, Online Music Resources, and Nourish Social were among 20 runners up in the competition and will receive awards worth £500 each to support their projects.
Launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) back in February, the Community Recovery Innovation Challenge offered support for anyone with innovative ideas to help local areas recover from the effects of the pandemic support, worth a total of £55,000.
The successful projects were chosen for their potential to address at least one of 12 categories including debt, domestic violence, mental health and support for grassroots culture, art and sport.
Out of more than 130 entries three winners will receive up to £15,000 worth of tailored backing to help them take their project to the next stage of development.
They were a project for pop-up neighbourhood fitness hubs in city parks, Baby Aid Birmingham (BAB) a baby bank, which operates like a food bank by providing emergency support in the form of essentials such as baby food, clothes, toiletries, and equipment, and the Birmingham Playhouse which proposes to run a programme of storytellers in-residence in early years settings in a bid to bridge the attainment gap.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands said: “Whilst we know how critical it is to get our region’s economy motoring again and get people who have fallen out of employment back into work, we must also make sure that communities are at the heart of our post-pandemic recovery.
“That’s why we launched the Community Recovery Innovation Challenge to help support some of the best ideas, and we have been incredibly impressed by some of the plans people have to support their local communities.