We started out in 2019 as a small group of people involved in community and political projects in Bristol who saw the need for money and resources to be redistributed more fairly. We wanted to find a way for local people to come together and pool their surplus wealth and for this to be used to support local groups facing inequality and injustice and working to create a just, equal and sustainable world. Giving away money gives people a lot of power, so we also wanted to put the decision-making into the hands of the groups that apply rather than have people with money decide. We were inspired to start Bristol Redistro by the UK-wide project Edge Fund.
For many reasons a minority of people have more money than they need to live on. If we’re in this position, we’re encouraged to hold onto that money for ourselves and our families, rather than use it for the benefit of others. This helps maintain our unequal and unjust society. We want to challenge this individual focus and to help build a culture where it’s normal to redistribute money and resources.
We launched our first round as a pilot in February 2020. Covid-19 meant it didn’t go as we’d originally planned. The plan was to bring all the shortlisted applicant groups together on 5 April to collectively decide how the funds are shared out. Instead, on 7 June, we invited the groups to an online event where we shared out £6,350 amongst seven groups. We had raised all the money that the groups had requested, so there was no decision-making process. Instead, we used the time to discuss the future of Redistro with the groups.
Our aim has always been to redistribute power as well as money. During the meeting with the groups, we asked them if they would consider getting involved with Redistro and making the shortlisting decisions in the next round. This was a crunch point for us as the project couldn’t continue if the decisions were left with the founding group as this would be contrary to our aims. Thankfully, enough of the groups agreed to take part to make it possible for us to continue and we’re now fundraising for a second round.
Those of us from more privileged middle class backgrounds now focus on the administration and fundraising. We work with people of similar backgrounds and encourage them to reflect on their privilege and to use it to support those experiencing and challenging inequality and injustice.
- that the current government will do nothing to challenge society’s unequal distribution of wealth and resources.
- that a just and equitable society is beneficial to us all.
- in the importance of working with people with surplus wealth to explore and encourage ways to share and redistribute their money and resources in a way that challenges inequality of wealth and power.
- that money and resources should be put in the hands of those at the receiving end of inequality and injustice, to support them in transforming their own situations.