Funding available for creative Barking and Dagenham enterprises

Harsharan Howell is a local resident; she runs her own fashion and creativity charity, Maidie Create

Harsharan Howell is a local resident; she runs her own fashion and creativity charity, Maidie Create in B&D; supporting vulnerable women to gain confidence and work through fashion. - Credit: Archant

Anyone looking to launch their own creative enterprise or already involved in the arts could apply for up £3,000 of funding through an innovative borough-wide scheme.

Harsharan Howell is a local resident; she runs her own fashion and creativity charity, Maidie Create

Harsharan Howell is a local resident; she runs her own fashion and creativity charity, Maidie Create in B&D; supporting vulnerable women to gain confidence and work through fashion. - Credit: Archant

Creative Barking and Dagenham (CBD) is offering local residents and groups commissions to support the development of their creative business, project or group.

Already proving successful with a host of organisations furthering their community involvement through the scheme, the deadline for the third round of applications is Monday, February 23.

Charity fashion tutor Harsharan Landa, of Longbridge Road, Barking, will host an edible art show next month, featuring everything from chocolate dresses to cakes made from broccoli.

The pop-up show will take place at the Barking Learning Centre on Sunday, February 28, and Hasharan praised CBD for making it possible.


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“They have been absolutely amazing and give such great support for what we do,” she said.

“It’s opened a lot of doors for other creative groups across the borough as well, which is great for the community.”

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A former London College of Fashion student turned teacher, Harsharan now runs her own charity, Maidie Create, helping vulnerable women gain confidence through fashion.

Working with ex-offenders, domestic violence victims and recovering drug and alcohol addicts, she offers courses in a relaxed and informal environment.

“There are quite a lot of people that seem to have lost their way in this borough so I really wanted to do something to help them get back on track,” she added.

“It’s really good to see how people progress through the course, especially growing in confidence knowing you’ve helped play a small part in somebody’s life.

Dance artist and fitness instructor Sharlene Carter, 30, of Harrow Road, Barking, was given £2,660 from CBD in September to develop her street dance skills and launch a new group for young people.

Also plans to pick up some tips when she visits a Parisian dance studio later this year and insists her job would be much more difficult without the funding.

“It’s really exciting and that Barking and Dagenham are able to support the arts like this,” she said.

“It can be really difficult to secure any sort funding so to have opportunities like this open for local people is great.”

Launched in 2014, (CBD) is a three-year project for people living, working and socialising in the borough and funded by Arts Council England and Barking and Dagenham Council.

For more information or to apply for funding visit creativebd.org.uk.

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