Councillors’ grants of £36,000 help 82 community projects in Ashfield

Volunteers at the outreach and food bank project at St Johns Church and Community Hall in Kirkby Woodhouse.
Volunteers at the outreach and food bank project at St Johns Church and Community Hall in Kirkby Woodhouse.

A total of 82 financial grants have been handed out by councillors to community and voluntary organisations across Ashfield over the past year.

District councillors are allocated a pot of money (£686 each last year) that they can dip into and reward worthy causes in their area. And during 2016/17, more than £36,000 was given to local projects, helping to benefit children and young people, family fun days and events, food banks and elderly people, among others.

The breakdown for each area of Ashfield was: Sutton £13,945, Kirkby £9,052, Hucknall £8,203 and the rural areas £4,856.

One example of a project to earn support was St John’s Church and Community Hall at Kirkby Woodhouse, which has received several Ashfield District Council grants amounting to more than £3,500 since it was established in the summer of 2013.

The church runs an outreach service and a food bank in response to the growing number of local people going hungry and being short of everyday essentials in the current economic climate. Help from the council has become increasingly vital, with more than 40 food parcels now distributed every week.

There are plans to redevelop the church and community hall to offer a wider range of services, so the council donated £2,000 to help with planning and fundraising costs.

Elaine Moulton, chair of the outreach and food bank project, said: “We are so grateful for all the help we receive from the council, not just in monetary terms but also with help and support from councillors and officers.

“Once the hall is refurbished and because of its great potential with large rooms and a stage, we hope many people and groups will find a place for their individual projects and for any private hire.”

The Royal Green Jackets Association has also benefited from a councillor grant. It was given £856 to stage last November’s annual Remembrance Day parade and service in Sutton, which has taken place in the town for more than 40 years.

More than 1,500 people attended an event that maintains and increases pride in the community and country and, in particular, recognises those who have given their lives in two World Wars and other conflicts around the globe.

A third example of how councillor grants have provided valuable help is Underwood Villa Football Club, who received £986 to buy a defibrillator for their ground at Bracken Park.

The equipment, which gives potentially life-saving treatment for anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest, should give reassurance to players, officials, parents and supporters at the club, who have been trained on how to use it.