Camden Can Innovation Fund is a one-off grant funding programme that gives local groups and organisations funding to find innovative ways of tackling some of the complex issues behind obesity in Camden.
The thinking behind the Camden Can Innovation Fund is that it should facilitate and support the design, development and evaluation of innovative programmes that work with Camden organisations and residents to help residents lose weight while keeping the Camden community at the heart of everything we do.
For us, ‘innovation’ means creating, developing and implementing practical ideas with a public benefit. Innovative ideas must enable Camden residents to maintain a healthy weight. They must be:
- new, not just improvements
- able to be put into action, not just at the drawing board stage
- useful / practicable
Applications for Innovation Fund projects for the 2018/19 have now closed and successful Innovation Fund projects have been announced. The details of these projects are listed below.
Comoodle is a project that can make a real difference; an online platform that organisations can use to share their resources for local activities so everything gets used more often and by more people. Project manager, Mark White, said: “If a local group needs equipment, or a place to host their club or activity, they can search Comoodle to find what they need. It will help build connections between local people and organisations, making it possible for more activities to take place and saving groups money.
An innovative social enterprise to give residents access to low-cost fruit and veg boxes using surplus food – complete with recipes to help people get easier access to cheap, healthy food as well as reducing waste. Josephine Liang, director of DayOld, said: “We will be starting with a pilot in one area with the hope of rolling the scheme out across Camden. Many people would like to change their eating habits but they find it too expensive, or just don’t know where to start. Our project will help make healthy eating a reality.”
Wac Arts, a charity that runs performing arts and media programmes for young people of all abilities aged five to 26, will be creating a new game to help young people with learning disabilities get more exercise. Chas Mollet, inclusive technology officer, said: “The game will combine physical activity with assistive technology hardware and software. Players will have to exercise to ‘level up’. We will be working with young people to co-create the game. All too often people think of gaming as the opposite of exercise, but our project aims to change their minds.”
Somers Town Community Association
Somers Town Community Association will be working with students from Central Saint Martins College and their local community to create and launch the people’s fruit and veg stall. This will operate as a cooperative to give local people access to affordable fresh food. Sarah Elie, the association’s executive director, said: “Older people, in particular, will benefit. As well as getting a walk they’ll be able to meet and chat to other people, take part in cooking and tasting sessions and be part of the community.”
Onigo is creating a new lifestyle activity – digital active games. These immersive experiences are delivered through smartphones in real city parks around the world. In Camden, teams will take part in missions that will take them throughout the borough – think outdoor adventure games like Pokemon Go! The idea is to get users active, meeting new people and exploring outdoors. Director, Arthur Stril, said: “With these digital adventures, hundreds of residents will be able to get out of doors and discover a social and fun way to get active.”