More than 100 community and voluntary groups in North Yorkshire have benefited from more than £90,000 of grants from the County Council’s Stronger Communities team during the past 12 months.
Now the Stronger Communities team, which supports communities in playing a greater role in the delivery of services, is going on the road to encourage more groups to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Between 7 and 14 September, the team’s Get Inspired! pop-up events will take place across the county.
These will mark the first anniversary of the team’s revised investment prospectus, which saw the start of a new way of supporting and investing in social action by strengthening voluntary and community organisations, developing local services and encouraging communities to help themselves.
In that first year the Inspire fund, part of the prospectus that offers grants of up to £1,000, has helped to fund events and activities, helped with start-up costs for new projects and with the purchase of equipment.
County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: “Our Inspire fund has helped a great many people to do a lot of good during its first year. In total, £90,723 has been invested in 105 groups. This has benefited about 72,000 people and engaged 1,525 volunteers. More than half of the applications received were from new groups that had not worked with our Stronger Communities programme before, and a staggering 32,000 hours of volunteering have resulted from the first year of the Inspire projects.”
The pop-up events will give interested groups and individuals an opportunity to meet their local Stronger Communities delivery manager and a representative from Community First Yorkshire, which provides practical support and rural advocacy to voluntary and community organisations, to learn more about the Inspire grant and other support available.
The Get Inspired! events will be held in community libraries. The dates are:
- Friday, 7 September, 10am to noon, Norton Hive Library
- Saturday, 8 September, 10am to noon, Boroughbridge Community Library
- Monday, 10 September, 10am to 12.30pm, Ingleton Community Library
- Tuesday, 11 September, 10am to 2pm, Richmond Community Library
- Tuesday, 11 September, 10am to 2pm, More Than Books Library, Eastfield
- Thursday, 13 September, 10am to 2pm, Thirsk Community Library
- Friday, 14 September, 10am to 12.45pm, Tadcaster Community Library
Find more information about the Stronger Communities.
The following are just a few of the many groups to benefit from an Inspire grant.
Osmotherley Community Group
Osmotherley Community Group brings together the local British Legion, the village hall, the knitting and crochet group, the community choir, St Peter's Church and flower arrangers. A Stronger Communities grant will support the group in delivering a Poppy Festival, to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918.
The festival will take place over the weekend of 10 and 11 November with a prelude production by the village theatre on the evenings of November 7, 8 and 9.
The festival will involve the whole community and will provide opportunities for everyone to share in this national commemoration. People of all ages will benefit from the experience with a special opportunity for community engagement and partnership An inter-generational group will also be involved in the research and publication of a booklet commemorating those whose names appear on the village war memorial. Given the interest shown in the project, it is anticipated it will lead to the formation of a village historical research group that will continue to meet and devise new projects.
Eileen Bellett, chair of the group, said: “The Inspire grant has enabled us to plan with confidence and the core funding ensures that donations to the British Legion Poppy Appeal will be maximised.”
Scarboccia is a disability, non-profit organisation that plays the inclusive Paralympic sport of Boccia. This is similar to bowls, using a softer ball. Anyone can play Boccia regardless of age or ability. Scarboccia was established in October 2014 and is governed by Boccia England. The team was regional champion in 2017 and runner- up this season in the Yorkshire National League.
The club is based in Scarborough at the Sports Village, which is run by Everyone Active. It works with community groups and special schools delivering Boccia sessions and offering other inclusive sports, such as New Age Kurling and wheelchair/chair volleyball.
An Inspire grant enabled Scarboccia to buy a Boccia ramp, a Boccia ball set and tracksuits for the club/team, which are being embroidered with the club logo, motto and members’ initials. It has enabled Scarboccia to deliver Boccia more effectively and to improve the club’s standard so it can compete at a higher level and raise its profile.
Scarboccia chairman Linda Clarke-Irons said: “Our aims are to inspire and empower disabled children and adults to play and be involved in disability sport to increase awareness, promote health and well-being and learning, reduce inequalities and isolation, while develop social connections and interaction.”
Tadcrafters is a group that makes things for worthy causes, mainly out of donated materials.
Members are currently using their crafting skills to make items such as twiddlemuffs for York Hospital to provide comfort for people with dementia, feminine hygiene kits (so that girls in developing countries can attend school during menstruation), personal effects bags (for St Leonard’s Hospice to return the belongings of a loved-one to grieving relatives) and many more.
Members come mainly from Tadcaster and the surrounding villages. They benefit from the increased social contact, helping to tackle social isolation. Some members have health issues, so particularly benefit from the increased self-esteem of being involved in such worthy projects and the support of others sharing their craft skills.
Hiring a venue in which to operate represents the group’s largest cost, so an Inspire grant has enabled it to have a regular “home”. Find more information about Tadcrafters.