Thank you for all your votes and support!
Here's our vision for the Gardens of Refuge project: please click here to read
This funding award lets us look forward to a fascinating 2017, developing and delivering the new project and building on our learning and experience from our previous project together.
We want to do some things that we know work well, and also some new things.
Plus we'll invite ideas (and resources) from the many well-wishers who voted for Gardens of Refuge last November.
CARAS Youth Council. This governance group will help provide a voice for project beneficiaries in the youth club.
We'll also be working with other members of the CARAS community.
We all expect to learn and benefit. One of our first reactions, apart from joy at the award and making the project real, is that this award gives profile and visibility to the fact that refugees' lives matter, and that they have much to contribute in our shared communities.
We'll post more information on project plans as they develop.
Yes, we all worked hard to get to this stage, so it's great to have the affirmation from the Aviva Fund judges.
It took us a while to be sure on announcement day: students of communication will be interested that Aviva made the 'Project Winner' info available online and by twitter...and it was 24 hours before CARAS received a direct email saying 'You've won!'. By then we'd taken the public messages at face value and trusted that it was all true.
And there are some extra surprises - such as a reception at Parliament in late January where all the funded projects can meet each other and their constituency MPs.
We've worked since early 2015 with CARAS - that was on the 'Rooting in Tooting' project, supported by the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Greening Grey Britain' campaign and by Sir Walter St John's Educational Charity - more info here. That project brought new volunteers to CARAS & TTT; we're really delighted with that.
Thanks again for all your interest and support -
this is a very motivating start to the New Year!