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Case Study Newham Community Project

June 11, 2024

Learn how support from the Compost Newham project enabled Compost London to empower the Newham Community Project to continue to deliver its mission.

The organisation

Compost spoke to Newham Community Project about the support they have received from us.  

Newham Community Project (NCP) were founded in 2008 but extensively increased our work in response to the unprecedented pandemic in March 2020.  

NCP is committed to assisting vulnerable individuals with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). They offer vital services, including a weekly food bank and baby bank that runs three times a week, as well as comprehensive wraparound support, including trauma and mental well-being aid, employability training, life skills development, and confidence-building initiatives, amongst other projects. Their goal is to empower these individuals and families to achieve independence and enhance their quality of life through holistic assistance.

The person

Rozina Iqbal

Operations Director


The ask

“When we first met Compost, we weren’t entirely sure what support was needed. However, we recognised the importance of establishing necessary policies to guide our operations effectively, which were previously missing from our governance. Additionally, due to financial constraints, we identified a pressing need for support in bid writing and grant applications. Compost's assistance proved invaluable in addressing these needs, enabling us to strengthen our organisational framework and secure essential funding to continue our vital work.”

Our response

“Compost primarily provided invaluable assistance in enhancing our governance structures and ensuring compliance with regulations and best practices. Their support in securing funding was crucial in sustaining our operations and expanding our services to serve our community better. Additionally, they offered valuable guidance and advice, contributing to our organisation’s overall development and growth.

They provided the following specific support and more:  

- Policy and Governance: They worked closely with us to develop and refine our organisational policies and governance framework, ensuring compliance and effectiveness in our operations.  

- Guidance and Advice Sessions: They conducted regular sessions where they provided invaluable guidance and advice on various topics essential for development. These sessions were structured with predefined agendas, ensuring we covered pertinent topics and received tailored advice to strengthen our organisation.  

- Funding Application and Bid Writing: They offered expert guidance and support in crafting successful funding applications and bid writing. Their assistance proved instrumental in securing vital funding opportunities to sustain and expand our initiatives.  

During our engagement, Compost provided consistent and varied support. This included:  

- Meetings: We had meetings to discuss progress, address challenges, and plan next steps.  

- Training Sessions: Training sessions to enhance our skills and knowledge in relevant areas.  

- Emails: Regular emails containing updates, resources, and important information.  

- Advice: They offered ongoing advice and guidance to address immediate needs and long-term goals.  

- Virtual Sessions: Utilising platforms like Teams and Zoom, we engaged in collaborative sessions to facilitate communication and problem-solving.  

- Irregular Feedback and Enquiries: They provided ad-hoc feedback and support as needed, to promptly address specific inquiries or concerns.”

Their feedback

“The support provided made a significant difference in several concrete ways:  

- Successful Grant Applications: By helping us develop and implement robust policies and procedures, they enabled us to make successful grant applications. These grants, including funding from NHSBT, Community Assembly, Perinatal, Welcome Newham, and the Henry Smith Foundation, allowed us to execute impactful projects for our community. For instance, funding from the Henry Smith Foundation facilitated our service users’ trip to Colchester Zoo, greatly enhancing their social development and alleviating social anxiety. Additionally, a Julia and Hans Rausing Trust grant bolstered our food bank resources, enabling us to provide culturally appropriate weekly provisions to numerous families.  

- Planning: With their guidance, we developed and adapted annual plans throughout the year, ensuring our initiatives remained relevant and effective in addressing community needs and effectively responding in times of crisis.

- Drafting Policies and Procedures: They assisted us in drafting comprehensive policies and procedures, crucial for both funding applications and volunteer training. This framework facilitated successful grant acquisition and ensured our volunteers and staff were equipped with the necessary guidelines to deliver services effectively and consistently.  

Compost support made a significant difference to us individually in terms of confidence, knowledge, and skills. Their guidance and assistance in running the charity bolstered our confidence and competence in managing its operations effectively. By providing valuable insights and training, they equipped us with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate various aspects of charity management, from governance to fundraising. Overall, their support enhanced our capabilities and freed up valuable time for us to pursue other essential initiatives and projects within the organisation.”

What they think made the most difference? What should Compost find ways to keep doing?

“It is essential for Compost to continue providing support and sustained assistance in policy development, knowledge sharing, training, funding fairs, funding opportunities, and impactful projects like the health research initiative, which all enable us to enhance our capabilities further and make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve.

We have noticed significant differences in the sector as a result of the support from Compost Newham project. The community has had an opportunity to expand its knowledge and understanding of the specific needs of our borough and how best to support residents. Through initiatives facilitated by Compost, we have gained insights into key areas where support is most needed, enabling us to tailor our services accordingly and make a more meaningful impact.  

Support from Compost has facilitated the development of stronger relationships, both professionally and within the community. We have found ourselves better connected with other organisations and stakeholders in the sector, fostering collaboration and synergy in our efforts to address common challenges.  

Furthermore, improved communication and connections have been evident, with more open dialogue and information sharing among organisations and residents. This enhanced connectivity has enabled us to stay better informed about developments in the sector and opportunities for collaboration, ultimately contributing to our collective efforts to support and empower our community.”

What they think the sector needs going forwards

“Going forward, the sector must address several critical needs to continue supporting our community effectively. Firstly, there is a need for more initiatives like the Compost Newham project, which provided invaluable support and guidance to charities and community organisations. The continued growth of organisations through Compost’s support is essential in helping to build a stronger and more resilient borough, especially in the face of challenges such as the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Additionally, there is a need for better support for Voluntary, Community, and Faith Sector (VCFS) organisations, similar to the support provided by Compost.  

For example, Compost’s guidance and assistance greatly benefited NCP’s community partnerships. NCP was able to undertake significant work and build relationships and collaborations that would not have been possible without Compost’s support. This highlights the importance of providing tailored support to VCFS organisations to enable them to fulfil their missions effectively.  

Furthermore, VCFS organisations must be more confident in their actions and communications. Building confidence within the sector will enable organisations to more effectively advocate for their causes, reach out for collaborations, and positively impact their communities. Building trust and providing ongoing support will ultimately empower VCFS organisations to continue their vital work and contribute to making our borough a better place for all.”

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