Happy news for Northampton’s ‘happy news’ zine
Written by Martin Steers on November 16, 2020
A Northampton community group which produces The Happy `Hood has secured a £10,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. The Happy `Hood, which launched in 2018, is published quarterly and celebrates the incredible community groups, charities, local independent businesses, and individuals who are doing great things to make Northampton a fantastic place.
The zine is a printed publication with the aim of spotlighting and celebrating Northampton. It has seen great support from the community since its launch and has produced 11 issues to date. It is sold online for £2.50 per copy or £10 for an annual subscription and is available via 12 local stockists across Northampton. All the money raised through sales goes straight back into the project. The zine is produced by an army of volunteers, over 150 people have contributed to the project so far with stories and artwork.
Laura Graham, Founder and Editor explains:
“We set up The Happy `Hood originally because we were sick of hearing the negative narrative about Northampton. We knew there was so much to celebrate including the local music and art scene, the locally produced food and drink and the incredible people who were working hard in our community. So, with no money or experience, we launched something that we thought might last for a couple of issues. I still can’t believe we’re working on issue 12!”
The Happy `Hood is a creative project which is entirely written, illustrated, and designed by local people. It gives Northampton people a platform to have their voices heard and to tell their stories in their own way. The group are always looking for contributions and encourage anyone to submit ideas via their website, thehappyhood.com
Laura Graham, “People thought we were mad and that we wouldn’t have enough good news to fill one issue let alone 11. But the misconception that there is nothing to celebrate in Northampton has been banished for good. The Happy `Hood is jam-packed with stories and the publication is growing as more and more people want to get involved.”
Each issue includes a broad range of articles and features, with regular slots for a wellbeing section, a ‘Spotlight On’ feature celebrating local musicians and artists, a ‘What’s HappeniNN’ section to promote upcoming events and an ‘Unsung Hero’ which is an opportunity to thank someone for all they do for the town.
The lottery funding will help the community group over the next 6 months to cover some of their staffing costs, studio space, graphic design, postage and marketing.
Laura Graham, “The aim is that the project is 100% sustained by sales alone but in order to build up the subscriber numbers, we need grant funding to help us continue the project. We are really grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund and everyone who plays the lottery. The grant has given us a huge boost and comes at a crucial time.
It’s been an incredibly difficult year and people need good news now, more than ever. COVID-19 has shown what we can do as a community when we work together. I’m so proud of Northampton people for all they’ve done to support each other, and I’m honoured to be able to celebrate them through the platform we have created.”
To find out more about The Happy `Hood head to thehappyhood.com
The Happy `Hood activities can be followed via @TheHappyHood on Facebook, and Instagram and @TheHappyHoodNN on Twitter.