Local love fund launches in Clayton Heights

Close your eyes and imagine your community.

What do you love about it? What makes it unique? What is one thing you would add to make it better for everyone?

Men and women work together to nail together wooden planks.

A group of United Way volunteers work together to build a playhouse

At United Way, we love to see the deep and lasting impact local initiatives can have on our communities. Local projects like Avenues of Change, empower residents to take ownership of local challenges and mobilize to create truly local, community-led solutions – fostering social cohesion and tackling vulnerability.

They turn neighbours into communities.

New fund for “local love” projects

In support of this vision, United Way is making $12,000 available to support community-driven projects, up to a value of $1,000 each. Beginning in the Clayton Heights neighourhood, these projects will be driven by, and in support of local residents, and will aim to foster more “local love” in the Cloverdale community.

The project was announced at a community-building event at Clayton Community Hall on October 16. The workshop featured special guest speaker Jim Diers, a lifelong leader in neighbourhood organizing and a renowned expert in community engagement, based out of Seattle.

A man stands at the front of a room and speaks to a crowd of people.

Jim Diers speaking to a crowd of community builders in Clayton Heights

Over 50 people attended, including teens, seniors, people with young families, local community leaders and representatives from the City of Surrey. Organized by the United Way, the presentation and workshop invited residents to discuss what they can do to make Clayton Heights an even better place to live.

New opportunities

“Clayton Heights has the potential to be a place where everyone loves where they live,” said United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Director of Social Impact, Kim Winchell. “These funds are just one way we’re inviting residents to show their local love and take action in whatever ways are meaningful to them.”

“Every individual has gifts to give to the community, and these contributions can make a difference,” added Jim Diers, the special guest who led the October 16 workshop where the fund program was announced.

A teenager sits wearing a purple hoodie with "You don't need a title to be a leader" written on it.

An important shirt on display at a Clayton Heights gathering!

“For United Way to step up and say there’s a role for community [in Clayton] is incredibly refreshing.”

Building a strong foundation

By many measures Clayton Heights is an idyllic neighbourhood, but it has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with infrastructure, amenities and services struggling to keep pace. According to one study, only 43.5 percent of Clayton residents report a strong sense of belonging.

At the same time, Clayton residents have demonstrated notable community leadership and an interest in fostering community connections. For these reasons United Way of the Lower Mainland is working with and alongside Clayton residents to develop locally specific strategies to tackle what they see as the unignorable issues in their neighbourhood.

Clayton Local Love Fund Details:

  • Applications are now open at uwlm.ca/clayton
  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing, monthly basis.
  • Completed applications must be submitted by 5pm on the 15th of each month.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Clayton Heights Residents Council.
  • Following the review of applications, successful applicants will be informed of the funding decision by the 30th of each month.
  • The funds must be used within three (3) months of its award.
  • Successful applicants will have access to the support of United Way Lower Mainland staff and valuable resources on developing their program/project kit.

What are the unignorable issues in your community? Get involved at showyourlocallove.ca today.