Wilmslow Town Council welcomes new Community Grant Scheme Applications

Wilmslow Town Council Chairman Martin Watkins with Oakenclough Community Market Garden founder Andrew Backhouse

Wilmslow Town Council is inviting new applications for their Community Grant Scheme.

Awards are available, to encourage and support the incredible work being done by local groups, societies, clubs, organisations and charities, for projects that benefit the wider community.

Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council said, “Many local groups have been impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic due to being unable to hold meetings and events, which may have had financial implications. Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted the value of community events and activities, and we would like to encourage groups, societies, clubs, organisations and charities in and around Wilmslow, who would benefit from funding, to see if they meet the grant application criteria.”

Bare Necessities Toiletry Bank, who collect and distribute toiletry essentials for local people living in poverty, received a grant of £2,000 from the Town Council. The grant enabled them to purchase racking for their new storage facility and hygiene products to distribute (photo in gallery below). Co-Founder Wendy Hobson said, “Receiving the grant from Wilmslow Town Council was a pivotal point in the development of Bare Necessities Toiletry Bank. It helped us to reach the financial threshold to allow us to be successfully registered with the Charity Commission. The storage facility has also completely transformed our life and allows us to be more efficient and effective. We have started working with various new charities and groups and were able to respond to the Covid pandemic by providing comfort packs for NHS workers and poorer NHS patients affected by the virus and who are admitted to hospital.”

Transition Wilmslow received a grant of £2,000 towards its new Community Market Garden at Oakenclough Children’s Centre in Colshaw. The Community Garden has recently received a Gold Award and National Certificate of Distinction in recognition of the community work and support to locals as part of Wilmslow In Bloom. Andrew Backhouse (pictured above with Wilmslow Town Council Chairman Martin Watkins) explained of the Town Council grant, “It’s been a major aid to us - we took the area on in November 2020 and have been able to engage over 73 volunteers at the site, whether digging, draining, planting, or most recently, picking.  We’ve been able to buy a polytunnel to enable us to grow more food all year as part of our aim to grow more food locally, teach people how to grow their own, and do something positive in the community about climate change. Now we are producing vegetables and fruit and providing food to Hope Central Foodbank.”

Wilmslow CleanTeam (pictured in gallery below) - a team of approximately 50 volunteers who improve and enhance the environment of Wilmslow and the nearby areas by minimising litter - received a grant of £1,955. The grant has been used to purchase new litter picking equipment for volunteers and community groups - such as Guides and Scouts - to use, in addition to covering the cost of Public Liability insurance. Christopher Kerrison Evans, a volunteer committee member of the Wilmslow Clean Team said, “Until recently and over the last four years we have been self-financing, mostly relying on supermarket token schemes for monies but this has now dried up. Grants from Wilmslow Town Council have enabled us to continue our work. On one CleanTeam event, we took the average weight of a bag of litter and back-calculated that since our start we have removed over approximately 10 tonnes of litter off the streets.”

Other recent grants have included:

-          £250 to Cycle Wilmslow, to assist in the costs of reprinting a map of local cycle-friendly routes, that will be available to residents for free,

-          £1,777.48 given to Oakenclough Family Hub Community Café for equipment such as tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery for its opening later this year,

-          £500 awarded to Chapel Lane Love the Lane, to establish a Neighbourhood ‘Bag it & Bin it’ campaign for dog waste,

-          £7,100 to Wilmslow High School (pictured in gallery below) to fund a programme to educate, upskill and remove stigma surrounding emotional / mental health and give students strategies and confidence to self-manage situations and emotions.

-          A Community grant of £2,815, in addition to a Town Event grant of £6,425, to Transition Wilmslow for Wilmslow’s first Festival of Nature (photo in gallery below)

-          £350 to Wilmslow Art Under one Roof 2021 (pictured in gallery below) towards promotion and venue hire

Full details of Wilmslow Town Council’s Grant scheme can be found at  https://www.wilmslowtowncouncil.gov.uk/community-grants. Grants will be awarded up to £2,000 in most instances and for no more than 50% of the overall project costs, applications for larger grants will need to demonstrate a commensurate degree of community benefit. To apply for grant funding, groups will need to consider whether they meet the grant criteria and are able to provide the information required.

Grant applications are usually examined quarterly, by the Finance Committee, and considered for approval the next main Wilmslow Town Council meeting.  The next Committee examination is due to be held 22 November 2021, and the deadline for applications will be 15 November 2021.