Octavia Better Lives Community Fund

The Octavia Better Lives Community Fund (BLCF) provides grants of up to £10,000 to fund work with children and young people living in Westminster and/or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

We aim to award grants to a wide range of organisations and projects with a mixture of smaller and larger grants.

The fund is administered by the Octavia Foundation, on behalf of Octavia. Funds are awarded against a strict criteria by an awards panel.

Over the past 12 months the BLCF has supported nearly 900 young people and in 2022/23 looks set to reach upwards of 1,500. We are very grateful to our trustees for their continued support in helping us to provide so many life changing opportunities for young people who need them most.

Information about local organisations benefiting from the 2022/23 Better Lives Community Fund

How the 2021-22 BLCF grants made a difference

Safe transport gives access to activites and community sport

The Avenues Youth Project – BLCF allocations helped them to purchase a minibus to provide safe transport for local young people to and from the club and on trips. The bus is used for escorting young people home after evening sessions, including ‘Girls Hub’ on Tuesday evenings and open-access sessions on Friday and Saturday nights. It is also used for The Avenues football team, and for group excursions around London and beyond.

The purchase of a minibus has significantly contributed to the wider aims of our organisation. We wanted young people to feel safe and respected whenever they are in the club or with us as an organisation. The safety this bus provides the young people contributes enormously to us achieving this outcome for the young people of our community.

Support with education and sport

With the support of the BLCF in 2021-22, Kinetic Foundation funded a football and education evening project at Harris Academy St John's Wood School, offering young people aged 14-16 support with studies and workshops to improve employability skills alongside a fully inclusive football programme to increase activity levels in the community.  

These two-hour sessions gave young people the chance to make use of a safe learning environment with a tutor to help with revision, homework, or any other educational needs they had. The second hour gave a structured football session, giving young people the chance to get active in a safe, and fun environment.  

The teacher was really good with me at Kinetic. He helped me through some of my homework pieces and it was like having one-to-one support. I passed my English GCSE, which I never thought I would do, and I kind of think those hours put in there helped me. I now get to study Sport at school and play even more football!

Wellbeing support

Hornimans Youth Hub is available for young people aged 10-16, hosting a range of activities including arts and crafts, cooking and during the lockdown period provided wellbeing phone calls to check-in with people who usually attend the hub.  

BLCF funding went towards Hornimans' youth programme which provides group discussions, reflection/meditation, and teaching self-care. Young people were involved in designing the youth programme, giving them ownership of projects, helping to improve their social development and interaction outcomes and giving members a voice in shaping their own services and a sense of pride.