A charity which enables young people with special needs to go out and have a good time is just one of the community groups to benefit this year from a Community Grant from Wealden District Council.
In the latest round of the Council’s Small Grants scheme Stay Up Late receives a grant of £2,700 to help 10 young people attend concerts and go out clubbing by organising volunteer gig buddies.
Project Manage Madeline Denny explains how the scheme works:
Gig Buddies matches participants to a volunteer, who has similar interests in music to them, to attend gigs and other music events together once or twice a month. Wealden’s support will help more people to go out and have a good time like everyone else. Stay Up Late is currently looking for music fans, who would like to get out to more gigs whilst helping another person in their community, to sign up as volunteers.
Wealden’s Small Grant Scheme provides grants of between £500 and £3,000. This round of the Small Grants Scheme has provided £33,000 of support to local organisations including sports clubs and had been three times over-subscribed. Grants have to be match funded, but this can be entirely through volunteer time.
Axess Film, a film charity based in Heathfield, receives a grant of £1,452 to help produce films which capture the appeal of Wealden’s attractions so they can be shared with local residents who may not themselves be able to visit them because of disability or special needs.
Two grants are geared towards helping broadening business involvement in the District – Young Enterprise receives a grant of £2,700 to encourage enterprise skills among year 5 and 6 pupils in local primary schools; and £500 goes to the Wayfinder Women Club to help set up a one day conference to inspire women to achieve more in business and the workplace.
The Forest Row Village Support Network, a new initiative which provides a befriending service and social activities for older or vulnerable people in the community receives a grant of £2,575 to help enable home visits and set up a Wednesday lunch club.
The TN22 Club based in Hadlow Down provides activities and support for people with dementia and memory loss from Uckfield and the surrounding area. It receives a grant for £1,500 to help towards the cost of a dementia support worker.
Given the rural nature of so much of Wealden, four grants from the latest round of Community Grants have been used to help local groups find transport solutions: The Heathfield Partnership receives a £1,500 contribution to help 15 people through the Wheels 2 Work scheme which provides help with personal transport to enable people to find employment in rural areas. The Joan Hughes Court sheltered housing scheme receives £700 to help towards the transport costs for outings for its residents. The Fletchling Forget-Me-Nots – a club for the over 60s – receives £980 to help towards providing transport for its outings, and the Ashdown Evergreens, a senior citizens cubs from Nutley, receives £650 to help with the cost of its outings.
The beneficiaries of a grant for a mud kitchen – an outdoor play area – are the Friends of Hellingly Playgroup, and their £545 will also help towards creating an allotment.
Some of Wealden’s Community Grants are being spent helping to provide activities for young people. The 1st Hartfield Scouts receives £2,000 to provide shelters and tables for outdoor events. Uckfield 2530 Air Training Corps receives £590 for new training equipment. The Little Deers Pre-School Group at Nutley receives £2,000 for outdoor play equipment which can be used indoors if required.
Uckfield Festival Association receives a grant of £650 to pay for room hire and display panels, and to add to the entertainment, The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company receives a grant of £1,000 to provide props, venue hire and rehearsal space to provide eight performances in Wealden this summer.