Hull Community Development Project


Hull is a City with a proud and distinctive past and despite a number of significant social and economic challenges, the City has made great strides to reduce inequality and address a number of prevailing issues.

This is a partnership funding model in conjunction with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, where we look to share responsibility for the funding, delivery, management and evaluation of the overall programme.

As part of our ongoing relationship with Hull, we have recently launched small grants scheme targeted specifically at community projects in Hull. These Activity Grants are open to community organisations who are looking for funding to increase community capital. If you have a project that you would like to be considered at our quarterly panel meetings, please do complete the online form.




This place-based funding model builds on four specific themes:

  • Better Communities. Programmes that look to build capacity, to develop new ideas and to encourage stronger and more effective partnerships
  • Diversionary Activities. Needs led, responsive, targeted and highly focused activities working in conjunction with the community safety partnership
  • Encouraging Enterprise. Programmes that look to enable personal development, encourage access to skills training and improve employment prospects
  • Restorative Practice. Programmes that seek to develop restorative practice, across the criminal justice system and the wider community, encouraging innovation whilst embedding existing practice

Restorative Practice

Whilst restorative practice appears as a separate theme, in a sense, we would hope that this aspect will serve to underpin everything that we intend to do and hope to achieve. The very essence of restorative practice is to address conflict, build mutual understanding and strengthen positive relationships. This programme seeks to build on the existing foundations of restorative practice across Kingston upon Hull. The Rank Foundation has a strong base from which to empower, inspire and encourage local people to do more to help themselves. This, we believe, will provide the catalyst to strengthen the community, creating a city that is a safer, happier and a more productive place to live and work.


The aim was to promote collaboration and develop stronger partnerships from within our network, creating the conditions to ensure that the overall outcome was greater than the sum of each part.  A particular achievement was bringing the Oak Road Fishing Pond back into community use through a Community Asset Transfer from the City Council: the pond sits between two large council estates in north Hull. Overgrown with weeds, over-fished with crumbling banks, muddy paths and poorly maintained, the local authority was unable to improve matters. Our funding persuaded the Council to ‘asset transfer’ this to the local angling club, who were already part of our network.  Minerva, an organisation that only employs ex-offenders, helped with the regeneration of the pond, providing the carpentry needed to create new fishing platforms.

Our local coordinator, Dave Rawding (a retired police officer) persuaded the Fire Service to help drain the pond whilst the local community volunteered to help to reinforce the banking with specialist material.  The paths were re-laid, the trees and bushes cut back and the police, along with our jointly funded East European Champion, made sure that its use was extended to newly arrived residents in Hull.  Sufficient funding remained to employ a university student, tasked with developing the biodiversity of the site and to help create a blueprint for a nature trail that will eventually link this pond to the two neighbouring estates.

Dave Rawding’s connections with the police also helped to release fishing equipment, originally seized as proceeds of crime, back into the community, helping to create a number of new fishing groups, working with people of all ages but especially the most vulnerable. This could not have been achieved from a London office and serves to reinforce the validity of employing a local leader, with any of our major place based programmes, whilst also illustrating the magnifying, value added effect that this approach can bring.


Working Together

Another flagship project in Hull, Together Women Project, successfully implemented a female adult offenders’ triage system, winning the national Howard League Community Programme award.  Of the 80 women who engaged with the project only one re-offended: a remarkable achievement unrivalled across the UK. Furthermore, their connection with Hull FC, one of two professional Rugby League clubs working with Rank, has produced an enterprising and successful programme between the two distinctly different organisations but through our support have found a common purpose, providing a valuable source of inspiration to help change damaged lives for the good.

Our focus has been on developing a methodology, an understanding of the principles and process that helps to drive this ‘added value’.  Supported by a robust and independent evaluation, along with the widespread use of Upshot, an online performance monitoring tool, both of the funding foundations are beginning to develop a deep understanding of the benefits of engaged philanthropy in a place based setting.  We will share more of these findings in due course.

Charities and Organisations within the Hull Community Development Programme included

  1. Rainbow Gardens
  2. St Michael’s
  3. Longhill Link Up Trust
  5. Humber All Nations Alliance
  6. Hull Kingston Rovers
  7. Hull City AFC
  8. Hull FC
  9. Oak Road Angling Fishing Programme

10. Mighty Acorns
12. Chapter 3
13. Minerva
14. The Prince’s Trust
15. Humbercare
16. Together Women’s Project
17. Hull Centre for Restorative Practice
18. Age UK