Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth Testimonial

HASL, as a part of London Coalition Against Poverty, received a grant of £1500 in October 2018. We recently caught up with them to hear how this grant has helped their organising.

HASL has continued to grow in the past year, with Edge funding that has helped us to have the space and resources for two local meetings a month, with 50 – 100 members there each time.

HASL group meeting.

Our group works on a lot of different housing issues that people face in South London. Having meetings where members can come together regularly to share their problems update on progress is the main way that the whole group supports each other. We mostly organise in Southwark and Lambeth, but sometimes people travel from neighbouring boroughs.

Many of our members have been able to access secure social housing with the support of the group, with several major successes in the past year. These successes have all been the result of many months, sometimes years, of persistent casework with HASL. This depends on regular meetings.

Our group supports each other to understand the complexities of housing lists in different boroughs, to get complaints to local authorities to be acted upon, to stand up for ourselves in homelessness assessments, and to refer our cases to ombudsmen or the courts.

We run various campaigns on the immediate housing issues we face, as well as campaigning for more council housing, especially 3, 4 and 5 bed homes that are desperately needed. In the past year our protests have been:

These protests were picked up in the local press (here and here) and have pressured local authorities is providing a solution to members that had been ignored until then. 

HASL protest demanding homeless families be rehomed close to where their children go to school.

When members have successes and experience about how to stand up for their rights, they help others joining the group or in the wider community. Recently we have started to reach out to other local groups by organising workshops about housing rights in a local primary school, with the English for Action group. We also ran a workshop on organising practical solidarity and collective support at the Anarchist Festival in North London.

Edge fund has helped us with the basic running costs which are increasing with our growing group. We really appreciate the supportive and solidarity based nature of the Edge Fund application process.

Follow HASL on Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to support grassroots groups across the UK & Ireland, you can set up a monthly donation to Edge Fund or a one off donation here!

Round 10 Shortlist Announced!

Edge Fund members have finished the lengthy but satisfying process of scoring and reviewing applications. We are pleased to announce that our shortlist for Round 10 has been finalised.

The following groups will be considered for either £1500 or £3000 at our funding day in Liverpool on Saturday 1st June:

  • Focus E15, Friends of Detainees, Fuel Poverty Action, Montreal Square Residents Association, Kingsley Burrell Campaign, Quiet Riot, Abortion Access Campaign West, DPAC Glasgow, Weald Action Group, Foil Vedanta, Unis Resist Border Controls, Misson Springs and Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts.

    The following groups will automatically receive the grant they asked for based on their position on the shortlist:

  • Positively UK and Highlands Against Nuclear Transport.

    The following groups will receive a small grant between £1000 to £500 based on their position in the short list:

  • DPAC Norfolk, Glasgow Autonomous Space, African Rainbow Family Leeds, Activist Transport Collective, Black Triangle Campaign, Beyond Bars, Pride in Sheffield, Genesis Residents, Leeds Unity Centre, Shoal Collective, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group, Housing Association Residents Action, South Asian Sisters Speak, LGBT Unity, Brighton & Hove Black Women's Group, Joint Enterprise:Not Guilty by Association, Unity Sisters, Ffena - Black Women Living with HIV, Kushti Bok
  • A massive thanks all of our members and previously funded groups for their hard work in scoring applications!
    The next step in our grant giving process is our Funding Day in Liverpool on Saturday 1st June, Quakers 22 School Ln, Liverpool L1 3BT, where the shortlisted groups and our members will come together to vote on which groups will get the larger grants. Check out our report on Round 9’s funding day, to see what’s involved!


Funding Round 10 Timeline

We've received almost 200 applications in this funding round from grassroots groups across the UK and Ireland. Our members and previously funded groups will now be reading applications and collectively working out how to share out the funds.

Some key dates for your diaries:

Friday 3rd May - Shortlisted groups announced

Saturday 1st June - Funding Day in Liverpool with members and shortlisted groups

If you have any questions please contact us on info@edgefund.org.uk

Edge Fund Application Workshop - 14th Feb, 7 to 9pm

Curious about Edge Fund? Want to know whether your project would be eligible for funding? Want to meet other groups working for social change in Glasgow?

We will be running an application writing workshop on Thursday 14th Feb, 7-9pm at Glasgow Autonomous Space, 53 Kilbirnie St, G5 8JD!

All are welcome to attend!

Any queries, please contact info@edgefund.org.uk.

The deadline for applications for funding round 10 is 24th February. You can apply here.

Funding Round 10 Now Open!

We are now open for our first funding round of the year! We will be giving around £40,000 to about 30 grass-roots groups, campaigning for effective social change. We will be accepting applications until Sunday 24th February.

How to apply

To apply for a grant of up to £3,000 you need to fill in a relatively short application form. You can find all the details here and apply here. Make sure you have read our funding criteria and values, to see if you are eligible. If you need any support or assistance please get in touch!

The funding process is democratic and participatory, and involves people directly affected by the issues you are campaigning on. We hope this makes the process fair and accountable to applicants and out members. Please check out this page for a little more information about our funding process works.

The deadline for applications is Midnight on 24th February.

You will find out if you are short-listed toward the end of April, and grants will paid out from the start of June.

We need your support!


We can only open for applications when we have raised enough money for a funding round. We welcome donations large and small, and particularly small monthly donations of £5 or £10 as they help us plan for the future. Please donate if you can, so we can keep supporting those taking action for a just and equal world.


Help us get the word out! Follow us on twitter or sign up for our email list here. Please help us reach people and groups who don’t normally hear about funding opportunities – share this post or via social media and email but don’t forget to also tell people at meetings, events etc, especially if you know they are not often online. We have leaflets and cards we can send to anyone who can help distribute them to people and groups who might be interested in applying. Get in touch if you can help. Thank you!

Open Lavs Funding Day Testimonial

Open Lavs are a group developing an app for nonbinary, queer and non gender conforming people to find public toilets and bathrooms across the UK that can be used by them, as well as to campaign for gendered toilets to be made open for all to use. Below is a testimonial from them on our Round 9 funding day in late October 2018.

One unseasonably cold early winter morning, I got up ridiculously early and got the train from London to Manchester. After getting lost many times despite the full cornucopia of technological tools available to me, I settled nervously in Bridge 5 Mill to the sight of not just one but two familiar faces (a public transport campaigner friend and an old friend's ex). Turns out there's a small pool of people doing the kind of work that Edge Fund is happy to give to, and half of us know each other!

We all had to introduce our projects to the wider group and I read verbatim from the bits of paper I'd tried to memorise on the train (but for the sheep in the fields! and the horses!). I might have lain it on a bit thick, but for me the rampant transphobia we're witnessing in this country is an obvious sign of the creeping fascism across the world, and that's something my project 'open lavs' hopes to dissect and dismantle a bit through its radical simplicity. We're a tool to map out all the unisex loos across the UK (in pubs, shops, museums etc) so that those of us who are likely to be victims of anti-queer harassment in public toilets (the trans people, the genderqueer people, the butch lesbians misread as men, the femme men misread as women, and the whole lot of our amazing family) know where we can spend a penny without all that nonsense.

We all did 'market stalls' where we set out our projects' purposes to each other and got a chance to speak to other groups to get a feel for them and their ethos. My G-d, I'm always uplifted and buoyed by what we're doing faced with the shittiest of circumstances. There were groups fighting against climate breakdown, against an unfair and cruel judiciary, against detention centres; groups fighting for a better world but finding brick walls where they need to find funding to continue their necessary and all-too-often underappreciated work. Thankfully, Edge Fund steps in here with its democratic, egalitarian approach to fund-giving. Everyone decided which project they would dole out their allotted chickpeas to, and open lavs thankfully came out with the most and so was given the full award!

There were so many amazing, worthy and worthwhile projects and whilst I'm so grateful Open Lavs got funding, literally any other group in that room would have been as deserving. I can say that freely now that the hard sell is over and the funds are safely in the Open Lavs account! I made some new friends - I even got food poisoning with one the other day from the dodgy but great veggie Indian buffet on Chapel Market (you know the one). But more than anything, open lavs can now really start doing its own small but important mission: helping people find already-existing loos they can use without fear. Thank you Edge Fund for making this possible, and for making the process transparent, trusting and beautifully collaborative.

SOAS Detainee Support News!

SOAS Detainee Support are a group which attempts to break the isolation of immigration detention, and supports people to take control of their cases and resist their imprisonment and deportation. Edge Fund have provided grants for them in our last two funding rounds. Below is a short update from them on how the grants Edge Fund have provided have helped in their work.

SOAS Detainee Support attempts to break the isolation of immigration detention through visiting and supporting people to take control of their cases and resist their imprisonment and deportation.

We strive to create strong communities of resistance to fight for an end to immigration detention. We are a grassroots, small organisation informed by politics of truth, accountability and change. We work in solidarity, not charity, putting the voices of migrants and people in immigration detention at the forefront of our work, and our membership.

We visit over 100 people a year, as well as our wider campaigning work. We are able to do this amount of work because of our large group of visitors and organising members, but we also rely on a small amount of paid coordinator time. The Edge Fund grant contributed towards the salary costs of our coordinators.

It can be a challenge for small groups like ours to secure funding and Edge Fund supported us at a time when we did not have access to other grant money. This allowed us to continue our work and work on our long term sustainability.

It’s so important that an organisation like the Edge Fund exists to support grassroots groups who do so much on a shoestring, but struggle to get funding. Thank you for your support!

Thank You & Highlights From Our Year!

It's the end of another year and we want to say thank you so much for the support you've given Edge Fund, either as a donor, member or supporter, and to give you a brief update on the work you’ve allowed us to get on with.

Funding Rounds

We’ve run two successful funding rounds this year. We've just come to the end of our ninth funding round which saw us give out grants totalling over £40,000 to thirty three grassroots groups. Their work includes setting up the first migrant led women’s shelter in Glasgow, struggling for land justice and supporting a number of social centres across the UK. You can read more about these groups and others we've funded here.

Funding Round 9, Manchester, October 2018.

Since 2012, we’ve given out nearly £500,000 in grants to grassroots groups fighting for systemic change. In February this year, we gave £40,000 to feminist groups in Ireland, housing groups in Scotland, Manchester and London, and environmental groups in West Midlands during our eighth funding round.

“More than just the money, the Edge Fund gave us an amazing opportunity to meet and make contact with loads of other activist groups, some working on similar issues to us but also others working on totally different things we can take insight and inspiration from. The funding day we went to in February was a real source of solidarity and inspiration - thank you Edge Fund! Please give them your support!” Ross, Greater Manchester Housing Action.

Details of the tenth funding round will be announced in January on our website and across social media.

Influencing Funders

The Influencing Funders group has been lobbying and campaigning for other funders to change their practices to mirror our unique model of participatory grant giving. You can read about their work here:

"Edge Fund’s work inspired a group of activists and funders from across Europe to consider creating a similar initiative. They asked us to present Edge Fund’s approach, and we then supported them to design and launch FundAction, a participatory fund and platform for activism in Europe. Since it’s launch in November 2017, FundAction’s processes, many of which are modelled on Edge Fund’s processes, have funded groups such as Mwasi Afrofeminist Collectif in France, the Magacin social space in Serbia, and a Polish Climate Camp. FundAction was also one of the first supporters of FemFund, Poland’s first feminist fund - Members of Edge Fund, FemFund and FundAction continue to work together to build transnational connections."

None of this would have been possible without you and if you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing and hear from the groups we’ve supported, check out our news and testimonials.

To maintain our work, we rely on our members and donors giving their time and money to help us, so thank you. Please do stay in touch and remember to tell friends, family and people in your network about us and follow our Twitter - @theedgefund.

Andy & Natasha and The Edge Fund team


Greater Manchester Housing Action Testimonial

Greater Manchester Housing Action is a coalition of housing and homelessness activist groups fighting for
housing justice in Greater Manchester. We were formed in response to the fact that the arrival of devolution
to many English regions wasn’t coming with any focus on citizen participation, renewed democracy and certainly no mind to address
the housing and homelessness crisis that has exploded since the introduction of austerity. We were very successful in the 2017 mayoral campaign in Greater Manchester to shift the terms of the debate towards addressing this issue. The money that we received from the Edge Fund was absolutely key to building on this success and running a series of campaigns to raise housing and homelessness on the political agenda and hold politicians to account.

The funding helped support the launch of the Greater Manchester Renters’ Forum, formed by renters for renters, to build a voice for change in the private rented sector in Greater Manchester. We had over 100 renters in attendance who were able to raise concerns with Mayor Andy Burnham and key councillors on issues from the lack of awareness of renter rights to poor conditions and lack of affordability. The money from Edge Fund helped support the transport costs of the facilitators of the session and to reach out to and mobilise groups who would not normally come along to events like this.

The Edge Fund also gave us the ability to work with the academic Jon Silver on a project which focused on the financialisation of property developments in Manchester City Centre. This caused a stir in Manchester City Council and promoted a broader discussion in the region about who really had the rights to the city. The fund also went towards general operation costs like room booking, transport and in October 2018, helped us run a strategy day to set out our plans and priorities for 2019.

There are so few sources of funding for grassroots groups like GMHA and we are absolutely indebted to their support. But more than just the money, the Edge Fund gave us an amazing opportunity to meet and make contact with loads of other activist groups, some working on similar issues to us but also others working on totally different things we can take insight and inspiration from. The funding day we went to in February was a real source of solidarity and inspiration - thank you Edge Fund! Please give them your support!

Ross - GMHA

The Outside Project - Edge Fund Testimonial

The Outside Project are LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends & activists who work in the Homeless sector & have lived experience of homelessness & the unique, complex issues our community face. We volunteered to launch the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Shelter & Community Centre. We launched publicly at London Pride 2017, campaigning alongside the passionate & talented LGBTIQ+ community of activists & artists.

We provide safe, inclusive spaces for marginalised groups at community events, our own community hub & 10 bed crisis shelter.

The Edge Fund supports our client welfare fund, enabling us to offer those ‘extra’ memorable things that mean so much to our clients, for example: we took a group of our clients to trans pride. It was the first time one of our young trans clients had been around other trans people & we were also able to buy her her first swimming costume.

When resettling a client we were able to provide bedding that they actually chose themselves & their first shop from Sainsbury’s. The Edge Fund will also be used to buy each of our shelter guests a small Christmas gift this year.