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Do you have an idea to uplift your community?

We’re looking for East Londoners with early-stage projects or great ideas for uplifting your neighbourhood.

You’ll join a 6-month journey with a collective of local changemakers, to help you grow your idea and make a positive impact in your local area.

Promising projects will also be able to access up to £2,000 of funding to help sustain and grow their initiatives into the future.

Applications are now open.

Partners

Made possible with generous support from:

How It Works

Get access to a 6-month programme packed with workshops, training and peer mentorship to help you build your skillset and grow your project.

You’ll have the backing of 5,000+ Echo members and a generous pot of Echoes to help you access the networks, skills and help you need to get your project off the ground.

Apply to join

Submit your idea or project to uplift your community

Projects selected

Start your journey, receive up to £2,000 funding and join a collective of local changemakers

Design the programme

Together you'll develop your own fit for purpose programme guided by Echo

Test and launch

Test your ideas, spot areas for collaboration and grow together

Who Can Apply

We are keen to hear from a wide range of ideas and initiatives doing all kinds of different things. Even if your project is in its early stages, we’d still love to hear from you

Projects need to demonstrate that they

  • Benefit communities 1-2 miles from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • Are community-led and respond to a genuine community need
  • Can demonstrate clearly why the funding is needed

Support one or more of our three priorities

  • Improving people's knowledge
  • Improving skills and experience
  • Providing innovative solutions to social challenges

FAQs

We are keen to hear from a wide range of ideas and initiatives doing all kinds of different things. Even if your project is in its early stages, we’d still love to hear from you

What is Echo and how does the Echo currency work?

Echo is a community where people help each other by sharing skills and talents. There’s no money involved –  we use a currency called Echoes, where 1 Echo = 1 hour of your time. As part of the programme, you’ll be gifted Echo currency to help you access the networks, skills and help you need to get your project off the ground. 

Find out more about ‘How Echo Works’.

What can I spend my pot of Echoes on?

You can spend your Echoes on hours of skills, services, and expertise you need from the Echo marketplace to help your community project thrive. You may need a photographer, help with graphic design, project management or everything in between. We’ll be on hand to help you connect with the right people.

What can I spend the £2,000 cash grant on?

We’ll support you to access as many high-quality skills and services as you can from the Echo network using your Echoes. The cash grant can contribute to any services, materials or expertise you can’t source with your Echoes. We’ll work with you to co-create a spending plan to help you get the most from the overall grant.

I have already received some funding, can I still apply?

We ideally want to support projects that are in their early stages. If you have received more than £10,000 for the project prior to this application then do get in touch before applying – stuart@economyofhours.com.

Do I need to have a separate bank account?

Yes, ideally you’ll have a bank account separate to your personal one with at least two signatories. If you don’t have this yet, you can still apply and we can help you with the process of getting set up.

Do I need to have a constitution and/or committee?

Not necessarily. We appreciate that smaller, early-stage projects may not yet have full governance structures in place. If you have them already, that’s a bonus. If you don’t, this is something we can support you with.

Are you looking to support new or existing projects?

First and foremost, we are looking for the right projects that will excite and delight the local community and respond to a local need. This could be a standalone project run by an existing organisation or a new project led by an individual, handful of residents or community group.

Are you only supporting organisations/groups working within the Olympic Park?

No, we’re keen to support projects that are located in or benefiting people from the following local authorities Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and/or Hackney. This also includes the following postcodes – E3, E5, E9, E10, E15 and/or E20.

Still got further questions? Please contact, stuart@economyofhours.com

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    Last Year's
    Projects

    East Village Playgroup

    Lisa received coaching and training to help her work up her ideas for the growth of her parent and toddler playgroup. Echo strengthened her local network of supporters and helped her to form a committee, write a constitution and set up a bank account so she was eligible for funding. The playgroup now supports more than 50 local families.

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    Last Year's
    Projects

    Tech Tribe UK

    Kiran received business strategy support to help him refine the Tech Tribe UK model, coaching to support him as a social entrepreneur and access to venues so he could grow his programme of events and workshops encouraging primary school children across East London to get passionate about technology through imaginative learning.

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    Last Year's
    Projects

    Flames Basketball

    Joshua received practical help with photography, design and copywriting, business coaching and training, as well as strategic support to help him define his focus and fundraising approach. Flames now has its own website for the first time to help expand their family-friendly basketball sessions that empower players beyond the court.

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    Last Year's
    Projects

    Trowbridge Silver Surfers

    Gordon received help to set up the Silver Surfers, which supports Over 60s to learn IT skills. Echo members helped him with design and marketing, buying and setting up laptops, designing a 12-week programme, employing a volunteer coordinator and delivering 1:1 IT support taught by local volunteers. The project has now supported 48 over 60s to learn digital skills and it keeps growing.

Previous chapter

4 Projects
81 Echo Members
269 Hours of support delivered
7 Months