The Blue Thread Big Ideas Fund
Can you change the world? Have you got a great idea? We want to hear from you!
The Blue Thread Big Ideas Fund supports young people to develop socially positive, mission-driven
tikkun olam projects inspired by Jewish values and aimed at creating change in the world.
We are excited to find the next generation of social change leaders who will create positive impact in the Jewish community and/or beyond.
We welcome applicants who are at the beginning of their journey, who have big plans and visionary ambition. We know that there are changemaking ideas out there and we want to support them.
About the funding
The Blue Thread Big Ideas Fund will award grant funding up to £3,000 to successful projects. We will also provide expertise, guidance, support, and advice tailored to each project’s needs. Funding can be awarded to a young person or group of young people. Project leaders should be aged 16-25, but members of a project group might be older or younger. We would expect projects to be at an early stage, and that this funding will be catalytic, enabling new ideas to get off the ground.
You might want to tackle poverty, violence, discrimination, wellbeing, education, or another issue that is important to you and is having a significant impact on other people today. You might have an idea for a product, a programme, a campaign, partnership or experiment. Ideas should draw on values and Jewish teachings on charity, social action and community service. If you think you have a good idea, we want to hear about it!
We are excited to have funded five ideas this year:
Screen Share collects, wipes and refurbishes laptops for young asylum seekers and refugees. The laptops support young people’s progression in education, enabling them to access greater opportunities and know their entitlements. Receiving a laptop keeps them connected to their friends and family across the world and tells them loudly, ‘you are valuable, good, and deserving in the UK’.
FEAST With Us brings together surplus food and a host of committed volunteers to provide healthy and nutritious meals for the people and communities who need it the most. FEAST works with partners and volunteers to make nutrition accessible, promote independence among those experiencing homelessness, and empower and nourish young people experiencing homelessness with confidence in the kitchen.
Challah Magazine is a publication produced by young Jews, for young Jews. Challah fuses cultural heritage, spirituality, and contemporary Jewish experiences to bridge the gap between denominations and disciplines. Challah aims to empower synergistic relationships among peers by featuring expressions of Jewish thought through the musings and makings of young Jews today.
Young Social Enterprise (YSE) is a competition for Jewish students, aged 15-18, who will form groups of 2-5 and be tasked to brainstorm and develop their own sustainable project in response to a scenario that represents challenges in the developing world. The founders of YSE aim to engage students in subjects within sustainable international development, encouraging participants to realise that it is our Jewish and human obligation to pursue tzedek (justice) and to play our part in the international response against poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Education Station is a response to the increasing educational inequality throughout the UK; we want to provide essential school resources to underprivileged young people in order to ease the overall educational experience and enable academic achievement. Education Station will be raising donations of physical educational materials such as stationary, calculators, folders and notepads at resource donation days based at the University of Birmingham. The project will also raise funds to buy laptops for St Basils for their young people to complete CVs and gain new skills and employment.
We are excited to support five brilliant ideas this year and to work with their founders to develop their projects and programmes.
Supporting Great Ideas
You can support this year’s ideas by:
Following the ideas’ social media and sharing their content
Signing up to newsletters on their websites
Reaching out and offering to help – do any of the ideas resonate for you? Perhaps you have a skill, passion, or laptop you can contribute.
Getting in touch with Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any suggestions, partnership ideas or questions
The Big Ideas Fund is currently closed for applications. We will announce future funding rounds in Autumn 2021 on our website here and announce via the Blue Thread’s twitter @The_Blue_Thread. If you want to ask any questions please reach out to Hannah: email@example.com.
How our application process worked this year:
We welcomed applications in any format: written (word, powerpoint or pdf), images, video or any other way you think best to tell your story.
We asked for applications to tell us:
What the problem is, how big the problem is, who it affects and how
How the project will help to solve the issue identified
What you plan to do, why you need funding to do it, and how you’ll spend funding received
A bit about you: your age and where you live, why you want to do this and your journey to get here
Our team evaluated applications and looked for:
· A well-defined problem which clearly affects people in a meaningful way
· A clear and convincing solution which could make a meaningful difference to the problem and to people’s lives
· A good plan for action which is clear about how the project will be developed and what impact you aim to achieve
· Bold, exciting, creative, innovative, new, unusual, ambitious, quirky, entertaining ideas which would bring something new to the Jewish community and/or beyond
We want to make sure that the Blue Thread Big Ideas Fund learns by doing and continues to evolve. We therefore expect to learn from this round of applications and enhance the programme over time. We plan to run further funding rounds, so if you don’t have an idea now, do come back!
Keeping in touch and building the Ideas Network
We will want to stay in touch with people we fund, to find out about their progress, learn about their work, and offer support beyond funding. We do not want to create burdensome reporting requirements but we do want to know what impact the Fund and its grantees are making and how we can continue to offer support.
We will therefore ask grantees to join a sharing session around 3-4 months after their grant is received to share their work with us and other grantees in the group.
In these sessions we hope that everyone will learn from and draw on each other, building networks and further opportunities as well as creating a supportive environment for everyone to develop and grow.
Previously supported ideas
The Advocacy Academy
Founded by Amelia Viney
The Advocacy Academy is a charitable organisation based in London. The Advocacy Academy's stated mission is to "train young people to engage in collective action to improve their communities and tackle social issues that directly affect them".
You can find more information about The Blue Thread at www.thebluethread.org.uk, and you can keep update with news and announcements on Twitter @The_Blue_Thread.