Charities share in £600k of funding
FIVE charities are to share over £600,000 from Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust over the next three years.
They are Citizen’s Advice South Warwickshire, The Shakespeare Hospice, ILEAP, VASA, Young People First and The Myton Hospices.
Citizen’s Advice will get the biggest slice of the pot, with its £182,750 — the first time it has been given a multi-year grant from the trust to fund its core services.
Beth Nicholson, marketing and development manager, said: “Knowing that this funding is for three years makes a big difference in the current difficult climate.
“Just in the Stratford town area we supported more than 1,000 people last year and we are grateful for this grant, which will keep open our main office and our outreach services for the district.”
The Shakespeare Hospice has been awarded £150,000 to support its 24-hour Hospice at Home Service, while The Myton Hospices, which last year supported 1,400 people with life-limiting illness, and their families, has been awarded £60,000.
ILEAP, an 18-year-old Stratford-based charity aiming to making the local community a safer place to be for some of its most vulnerable members, has been given £54,112.50.
It will fund a project co-ordinator to work with local schools and colleges to increase opportunities for young people wishing to volunteer, and for new members to join and take part in its activities.
Chief executive, Pete Bazeley, said: “Our application was all about making our service sustainable in the longer term, and this initial investment from the Stratford Town Trust will act as a catalyst for ILEAP to continue to deliver existing services whilst building new projects for some of the most vulnerable people in Stratford and beyond, in a sustainable way.
“The funding from Stratford Town Trust will take away the year on year stress of running at a shortfall and relying on grants.”
VASA will use its £105,000 of funding to extend the operating hours of its Community Transport Service and to train the volunteers who run it.
Charity manager, Kirsty Holder, said: “By having three years of funding the charity is able to plan for the future, taking into account the growing demand for our Community Transport Service.”
Young People First has been given £60,000 for its Sharp Minds: Stratford project, which supports young people with complex mental health issues by providing a combination of group activities, one-to-one mentoring and counselling.
Youth worker, Alex Walker, said: “We have seen an increase across all our work in the numbers of young people with complex emotional problems, including high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, self-harm and social isolation.
“We’re very thankful to the Town Trust for allowing us to continue what has been such successful work in Stratford.”
Rachel Jones, head of community Engagement for Stratford Town Trust, said: “We are committed to supporting organisations through our multi-year funding programme, with funding for up to three consecutive years for projects which impact on two or more of our funding priorities and seek to respond to the longer-term needs of communities.
“These grants will do just that — supporting some of our most key local charities and the significant impact their work has on local people. We are proud and committed to supporting each and every one of them.”