Civic Pride Community Fund

The Civic Pride Community Fund supports local projects, activities and events.

The fund is part of the Harlow is 70 legacy and aims to build on the local pride which grew out of the town’s birthday celebrations.

The fund is open to all Harlow-based agencies, organisations and voluntary groups.

There is a total of £10,000 available each financial year (from 1 April to 31 March) and applicants can bid for funding from £50 up to £500.

These events and projects could include a community litter pick, a school event, an art project or anything which involves local people and makes a difference.

This year (1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023) as well as continuing to support community recovery from the pandemic, we are particularly interested in supporting events and projects as part of Harlow’s 75th birthday celebrations and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee to help residents reconnect with each other and celebrate together again.

If you are organising a street party, there is a separate application process

To make an application, you will need a policy or statement on equal opportunities and a policy or statement on safeguarding children and adults with care and support needs - where this is relevant to your application.

Funded events

Group of people from Ghana Union with litter bagsGhana Union Harlow used funding from the Civic Pride Community fund to host a community litter pick as part of their celebrations of Ghana's 65th independence anniversary on 5 March 2022.

They started at Staple Tye shopping centre with about 20 community members and were later joined by another 45 people. They split into 4 groups which went north, south, east and west of the shopping centre.

They completed their clean up with 24 big bags of rubbish. The participants were surprised how much litter they were able to collect and all felt they had made a positive contribution to the community.

People planting seeds in raised bedPlant Pots and Wellies have provided stability for many of our more vulnerable members of the community and their carers, throughout the pandemic, when so many activities and routines had changed.

They used money from the Civic Pride Community Fund towards buying seeds and plants for growing on site, illustrating the whole process from seed to plate.

They also bought timber to build on site, such as raised beds and other structures, and then paint to protect them from the weather.

Their different projects help to learn new skills, build confidence and as a result, be part of a meaningful process.

A man cutting wood with Plant Pots and WelliesPlant Pots and Wellies provides safe opportunities for people with all kinds of additional needs, including those who have physical, learning, developmental and mental health challenges, to take part in horticultural therapy.

Like so many, they had to close down during the first national lockdown, but were able to open again, with thanks to funding from the Harlow Civic Pride Community Fund.

As a result, they were able to install separate storage for coats and bags outside and wall mounted hand sanitisers. They also purchased pop up gazebos, for use in rainy weather, and bought necessary equipment such as cleaning equipment, hand sanitisers and wipes.

Harlow Steel Band used the Civic Pride grant to organise a performance at Harlow Town Park as the public arrived for fireworks night.

For more information on Harlow Steel Band, visit their website

The Harlow branch of the Royal British Legion organised the construction of a poppy art installation at the Civic Centre and Water Gardens to support the Poppy Appeal. 

There was a drape made from poppies knitted by Harlow residents and local knitting groups which was hung from the Civic Centre and plastic poppies were floated and planted throughout the Water Gardens.

Plant pot menPlant Pots and Wellies (PPW) is an innovative community allotment in Harlow that was set up to provide opportunities for horticultural and outdoor therapy for children and adults with additional needs.

The Civic Pride grant was used to purchase plants and equipment for use on the site along with catering equipment and refreshments for all the volunteers.  The group were also able to have a stand at the PACT for Autism information event.

Plant Pots and Wellies used Civic Pride funding to purchase a heater to be able to stay open throughout winter. The funding also enabled them to purchase plants and equipment for use on the site and make arts and crafts with our gardeners. The Plant pot men were made by visiting children.

For more details please check out the PPW website

Harlow Black History Multicultural Festival dancersThe Black History Month event was held in Market Square, Harlow and included a number of activities. The event brought together different cultures through entertainment, music, dance, various food stands and stalls selling artefacts, clothing, shoes, and jewellery. Over 1,000 people participated throughout the day either as volunteers, audiences, stallholders, performers and organisers. The event gave residents and visitors an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural diversity we have in Harlow.

New Edition Singers choirThe community of Harlow gathered on 8 September 2019 in Harlow Museum Gardens to be entertained by dynamic local talent.  Groups covering art forms as diverse as choirs, poetry, and dance performed to an excited audience, whilst other guests attended an inclusive performing arts workshop before emerging to showcase their work, dressed as brightly coloured hedgehogs.  Performing groups were: Harlow Rock School, The Inn Scribers, Karen Chapman School of Dancing, New Edition Singers and Razed Roof.  The ever-popular Community Green – ably assisted by Rainbow Services and Volunteer Centre Harlow gave opportunities for guests to engage with other community groups, meet their neighbours and help combat loneliness and isolation.

Community Embrace UK Around the World FestivalOn the 24 August 2019, Community Embrace UK delivered the ‘Around the World Festival’ which brought local residents of diverse backgrounds, stakeholders, community leaders and organisations who play a vital role in the growth of the town together. The event included a number of activities including traditional costume and cultural dance performances, magical man acrobatic and fire displays, craft workshops, exhibitions, around the world food sampling, BBQs, garden games and a funfair with lots of entertainment. A fantastic day was had by all those visiting the festival.

With the support of the Civic Pride Community Fund, Leah Manning Centre users had the opportunity to take a leisurely trip along the River Stort during the warm summer months.  Five separate trips were organised and each trip gave people with a range of disabilities and additional needs an opportunity to fully participate in the boating experience, having a go at steering and changing the locks. Leah Manning staff supplied a buffet style lunch to enjoy as they took in the sights and sounds of the river and its surroundings - creating new memories, new experiences and an opportunity for social interaction.  

Re Telling the New Town Story audienceThe (Re)Telling Project featured a series of talks and audience-led discussions, hosted in venues ranging from Harlow Museum and Walled Gardens to Harlow Playhouse. Members of the public, including community groups like Harlow Civic Society, came together at these events to share their memories of Harlow at the time of the town’s 40th and 70th Anniversaries.

Wednesday Art Group exhibitionThe Wednesday Art Group Society (WAGS) painted and mounted an exhibition of original acrylic paintings on canvas on the theme of 'Harlow is a great place for business and to call your home’.

The exhibition ran from 20 June to 4 July 2019 in the Gibberd Gallery (downstairs window) at the Civic Centre.

The exhibition raised awareness of what a beautiful and varied town we have with each of our artists finding something different to celebrate in Harlow, for both work and home life.

On 10 May 2019 a free drop-in information and awareness raising event was held at Harlow Playhouse to give people the opportunity to meet representatives from health, education, social care and a wide range of service providers to get up to date information from organisations across Essex, East Hertfordshire and beyond. The event was a great success with around 152 people attending.

Woosh Explore Canoe Club litter pickWhoosh Explore Canoe Club used a Civic Pride grant to purchase buoyancy aids, first aid kits and litter picking equipment to help with planned monthly litter picks along the River Stort.

The Young Concern Trust (YCT) used funding from the Civic Pride Community Fund to help provide promotional equipment at Velo Birmingham – a 100 mile charity bike ride.

The promotion was aimed at raising awareness around mental and emotional health and wellbeing, specifically the services offered to children and young people in Harlow by YCT.

Fundraising took place in the build up to and alongside this event with all of the proceeds going directly to the provision of community counselling services for children and young people in Harlow.

The money raised will help them provide counselling to over 25 young people in Harlow this year, helping to give them the best possible opportunity to thrive and reach their potential.  

Herts and Essex Community Farm school visitSupport from the Civic Pride Community Fund enabled Herts and Essex Community Farm to purchase essential equipment to support hands-on school visits from Harlow school pupils.

At the visit, the pupils learnt about the ‘seed to plate’ project which promotes healthy eating and lifestyles.

The visits bring pupils together to get involved in different activities including digging, weeding, sorting out seeds into folders and watering pots and plants inside the various greenhouses.

Forty people came to celebrate the life and work of Sir Frederick Gibbered at The Gibberd Garden. 

Visitors included volunteers and Friends of The Gibberd Garden, as well as members of the public.

The event showcased the scope of the achievements of Harlow’s master planner and there were opportunities for speakers to enjoy sharing anecdotes and reminiscences of Sir Frederick Gibberd. 

The event also included a fascinating exhibition, with items chosen from the Gibberd archives.

Harlow Youth Council Easter event craftingYouth councillors delivered an Easter event to bring together community groups and provide some fun activities in the Town Park.

Community groups including Integrated Support Services, Upwards with Downs, Sparkles, Church Langley CG and Sam’s Place were invited to take part in a range of activities run by Harlow Youth councillors.  

Children and young people took part in an Easter egg hunt, enjoyed story time at the reading chair, made bird feeders and got to meet some of the animals in Pets' Corner.