Great to see the story about the expansion of the village hall in today’s edition of the Shropshire Star – read the story here. The expansion is possible thanks to Telford & Wrekin Council’s Community Pride Fund which awarded £95,000 towards the work.
Awarded £27,719 to open up a low cost grocery shop
Heavenly Quest is a non-profit making Community Interest Company that opened in Dawley in 2010. It runs along similar lines to a charity shop and sells pre-loved clothes and household goods at prices people can afford. Proceeds from the shop are used to provide training opportunities to local people interested in the beauty and holistic therapy industries.
What they wanted to do
As part of the organisation’s work in promoting health and wellbeing, managing director Pauline Jackson wanted to do something that would encourage healthy eating and benefit local people on low incomes. The idea was to set up a greengrocer selling low cost fresh fruit and vegetables. The produce would be supplied by local supermarkets, allotment holders and market stalls – their excess produce would be passed to the shop for selling on rather than going to landfill. Customers, including elderly customers who live alone, would be able to buy only what they needed at affordable prices.
In addition recipe cards will be created to give people ideas for creating simple nutritious meals, as well as ideas for stews, soups, jams, chutneys and smoothies.
A team of volunteers have been working with Pauline to get the project up and running. An empty shop two doors away from Heavenly Quest was chosen as the ideal location – fittingly it was once a fruit and veg shop. As well as selling fruit and veg to the public, the project will supply fresh produce to the local food bank and Salvation Army’s KIP project. It is hoped the new grocery shop, called Taste Not Waste, will also provide a great opportunity for new volunteers who are looking for a job to get retail experience that could help them get paid employment.
How the Pride funding has helped
Taste Not Waste, located at 50a High Street in Dawley, is due to open on Friday 27 November 2015. This would not have been possible without the money from Community Pride Fund, says Pauline Jackson who has been overseeing the project.
She said: “This will be a grand opening and we are so excited. We have worked tirelessly to see the end result. It would not be happening without the help of the Community Pride Fund, Telford & Wrekin Council, our volunteers and the kind donations from all those who supported our cause.”
Awarded £45,000 to buy a minibus
The group was set up in 2012 to provide a support and recovery programme for people who are drug and/or alcohol dependent. As well as providing help and advice about benefits, training and work, the group also offers a range of support options to help clients with their recovery so that they can live productive and fulfilling lives in the community. The majority of the group’s work is recovery based. Many of the volunteers who work there have had their own experiences of addiction and come through them.
What was needed
A number of service users struggled to access the services on offer because of the semi-rural nature of the borough – it can take up to an hour to reach the service by public transport. Those who used the service were also limited to the activities on offer at the centre itself.
Having transport to take clients to outside locations would widen the social, health and wellbeing opportunities on offer to them and benefit their mental and physical health. It would also help the service to reach out to clients who struggle to attend.
What the Pride funding has meant to them
Telford After Care Team (TACT) now has its own minibus. Since buying the minibus, the service has taken clients on regular outings, including weekly health walks in the surrounding countryside, day trips to Ironbridge, Barmouth, RAF Cosford and local points of interest as well as the National Recovery Walk in Durham and out fishing.
The team that runs the centre, including the volunteers, have been able to visit other service groups in the region to learn new ideas and skills that are enhancing the way they work in Telford. They now offer drop in sessions in local health and community facilities so that they reach even more people and have been able to do more with schools around their prevention programme. In addition the minibus has been loaned out to other community groups, including local churches and carers’ groups, so that others in the community are benefitting.
Director Robert Eyers said: “Having the minibus has meant that TACT now offers easier access to recovery for its clients and also benefits the local community. It has increased footfall through our doors as more people are becoming increasingly aware of what we do and what opportunities and services we provide. Our clients put a lot of hard work into their ongoing recovery and the minibus has provided the means to show them what the rewards can be and also what there is to do right on their own doorstep.”
Telford Mind and the House of Prayer Church in Wellington are two of the local organisations that have benefitted from the use of the minibus – the minibus was used to collect a carpet for Telford Mind and transport 15 people from the church to and from the airport at Heathrow.
Anthony Herber Davies, Pastor of the House of Prayer Church, said: “It is a great credit to all at TACT in that they are prepared to share and give mutual support to the local community. We are aware that many are turning their lives around and are able to take hold of life again and give back to others. Well done to all the volunteers and thank you.”
The new look car park offers a much warmer and safer welcome to people visiting the club – see the earlier blog post to see what a difference the Pride work has made.
Work to refurbish and extend the Dawley Brook Scout Group’s meeting place starts in the New Year, thanks to the Community Pride Fund. Acting Chair of the group Keith Wale and building project leader Roger Oakley talk about the plans in this short video:
Awarded £55,000 from the Pride fund to level and resurface the car park
Telford Hornets is a major sports club in Telford and Wrekin. Founded in 1951, the popular club has around 500 members with four senior and 10 junior teams. In July 2015, the club hosted a huge international rugby tournament for people with learning disabilities, which attracted dozens of teams and hundreds of youngsters from all over the UK.
What was needed
The club is raising funds to improve the social area of the clubhouse, but the issue they had was the state of the car park which gave a very poor first impression of the club before people even stepped through the door. Despite a continuous programme of repairs over the years, the car park was in a bad state and strewn with potholes that looked awful.
What has been achieved
The Pride funding has meant the club has been able to completely level and resurface the car park, making for a more fitting, warmer and safer welcome to people visiting the club. Properly marked parking bays have also increased capacity and created allocated parking for visitors with disabilities and young children.
Club Director Rob McGuire said “As a major sports club we wanted to create the best impression for our members, visiting teams and any important visiting dignitaries. As well as players and visitors, other clubs and groups use the facility, including Telford and District Rounders, Wrekin Runners and various schools. As the club isn’t on a transport route, everyone has to come by car or bike.
“The car park is now significantly safer for everyone and much easier for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. The improved parking has also made it easier for us to encourage more sporting and community groups to use the facilities on offer.”
Awarded £50,000 to refurbish and extend its meeting place
The Scout group is one of the oldest groups in the country and currently provides Scouting to over 100 young people, with activities running four nights a week. Over the last eight years, the group has grown in numbers significantly and its popularity continues thanks to the support of the community.
What was needed
The group recently moved to a chalet style building which is too small to accommodate them.
Unless the existing accommodation is made fit for purpose, the group would have to close.
What the Pride funding has meant to them
Work on the existing building starts in early 2016. The plan is to extend the main room size so that it is suitable for games and activities. The kitchen area is to be refurbished so that the young people can cook as part of their weekly sessions and badge work. In addition the main room will be connected to the old school house, providing extra rooms with wheelchair access.
Work will also be done on the outside space to create an outdoor camping area, nature trail, wildlife area and allotment plot.
The new facility is expected to be completed by summer 2016.
Roger Oakley, Assistant District Commissioner for Development at Shropshire Severn & Teme Scout District and retired builder charged with overseeing the project, said: “It will end up being a very prestigious headquarters within our district and such an asset to the community. I struggle to find the right words to express what a difference this is going to make. The local Scouts and wider community are going to love it.”