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A five churches trail, a community play, a shed for woodwork classes, two new cornets and the refurbishment of a tuba are among the many local projects supported by this year’s Wealden Community Small Grants scheme.—Wealden Council, 11 July 2017

Grants make a real difference

“These grants make a real difference to the success of many community projects across Wealden,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Safety. “They can plug gaps, provide the equipment and ensure local volunteer groups have the wherewithal to keep going and expand.

“It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication and creativity of the thousands of volunteers up and down the District who make something happen for the rest of us.”

The Wealden Small Grants Scheme provides grants of up to £3,000 towards equipment and programmes to help new and existing projects. This year a total of £20,000 has been awarded to 16 local organisations.

This year’s money has been used to provide way markers and signposts for an 11 mile new walking route linking five churches around Berwick, help towards venue costs and materials to allow the Barebones Theatre company to create a community play in Forest Row, and provide funding for a venue, known as a “man shed” for Furniture Now’s free woodworking lessons. Although open to men and women, the woodworking activities are particularly aimed at encouraging men to socialise through new activities.

Wadhurst Brass, which provides voluntary music tuition for people aged 9-90 years through its L-Plate Brass band, receives £1,500 to help towards new music stands, two new cornets and the refurbishment of a tuba!

Helping young people learn about cooking also features in this year’s Community Grants awards, with both the 1st Polegate Scout and 1st Heathfield Scouts receiving money to buy cooking equipment.

Help with travel in a rural district like Wealden is also important. Crowborough Festival Association is receiving £1,500 towards shuttle bus service costs and venue hire to support its arts and walking festival; Culture Shift, £1,500 for venue hire and travel expenses to help provide cultural activities for people with learning disabilities, and the Mayfield and Five Ashes Community Services is receiving £1,000 to help overhaul its existing community car scheme.

Ripe Village Stores receives a Community Grant of £2,500 to increase the opening hours of this community shop on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The aim is to help the community shop become self-financing.

Other community organisations to benefit from this year’s grants are Artytime which provides arts and crafts classes for people of all ages and abilities, The JPK Project which helps people with learning disabilities, Pevensey Bay & District Caring and Information Centre, Uckfield Bonfire and Carnival Society and Willingdon Athletic Football Club. A full list of the grant recipients can be found on the Wealden website.

Wealden Community Grants offer small grants of up to £3,000 for equipment and activity programmes and capital grants of up to £10,000 for improvements to community buildings and sports grounds. Wealden’s 2018 community grants scheme opens during September. Please email community.grants@wealden.gov.uk to be notified of the start date or for general funding advice for your organisation.

Wealden’s Partnerships and Funding Support Officer Michelle Gray also gives support to third sector organisations on:
• Sourcing relevant funding
• Assistance with applications
• Sustainable income advice
• Signposting Advice.

IMAGE CREDIT: Pevensey Bay Information Centre