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An update from two of our grantees…
Back in Spring we awarded two of our small community grants to the Cullompton Life Hub and Samaritans Swindon Branch. We checked in with both organisations to see how they had spent their funding, who it was helping, and how. With our small community grants we look to find local, volunteer led groups working in their community, where often small amounts of money can have a really positive impact. Here is how our funds went to help two such charities…
Cullompton Life Hub:
The hub at Cullompton is a valuable community resource, which like many others, has been impacted hard by Covid restrictions. With many older and vulnerable service users, the indoor spaces typically used for their work have been closed, so they’ve been reliant on their outdoor space and physic garden to bring their group together. A big part of their social activities are games based, so our £250 grant paid for a selection of larger, outdoor versions, such as Jenga, Connect 4, Dominoes, Draughts, Quoits, and many more.
Ann, one of the volunteers told us about one of their group who was referred to them by the health centre, due to concerns over the isolation they had been experiencing. The volunteers arranged for this person to be brought to the garden space, where she was able to connect with others, take part in activities and games, chat, relax, and break the pattern of isolation that had been impacting so badly on her health, she also won the first game of dominoes!
We have been really pleased to see how something as simple as outdoor games has helped the volunteers at Cullompton to get their community interacting again and to continue their fantastic work with those in their local community in need of some help and support.
Samaritans Swindon Branch:
While we often think of the Samaritans as a long-established and well-known national charity brand, local branches are typically volunteer led and staffed and rely on fundraising from their local community to continue their life saving work. We were struck by how the Swindon branch has found itself dealing with an increasing number of older people in recent times, and how their amazing volunteers go to huge lengths, both to help their service users, but also to raise awareness and support the wider work of the charity in the community. Our community grant of £500 helped to pay for running vests, branded t-shirts, tabards, and contact cards. The running vests were given to supporters competing in the Samarathon, who have already raised in excess of £2600 for the branch, while other items have been used for roadshows to raise awareness and on a street collection, which raised over £440.
Both these grants go to show that small amounts given to local causes can have a real impact, and help the local volunteers who work so tirelessly to help others, to get the support they need to keep delivering invaluable community services. We are hugely grateful to them all for their work, and proud to be able to play a small role in making that possible.