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Seven UK communities share in £25,000 in latest round of ACT grants

31 July, 2018 |Ardonagh Group | Ardonagh Community Trust

The Ardonagh Community Trust is thrilled to announce the Q3 recipients of its community grant programme with seven diverse organisations across the UK sharing in £25,000 worth of donations.

The grant programme is awarded quarterly to projects, initiatives and organisations within communities closely linked to employees of The Ardonagh Group of companies.

Through grants of up to £5000, ACT aims to fund and support activities that are making all different types of UK communities better, brighter and stronger.

From a mental health choir to an all-girls football club, you’ll find the full list of recipients for Q3 below.



Submitted by Deborah Pickwell of Direct Group

Blyth Players is an amateur dramatics group based in the small village of Blyth, Nottinghamshire and this year they are creating a special event for all members of the community to help celebrate 100 years since the end of WW1.

To create this event and make the production as authentic as possible, the group needs to upgrade some equipment including additional lighting, sound and pyrotechnics as well as costume hire which will be displayed to educate the local community.

Deborah has been a member of the group since 2006 and said her hobby of acting and directing has been invaluable to her mental wellbeing over the last 12 years. ACT has awarded £2,500 towards the Blyth Players production.



Submitted by Mike Rush of Towergate Advisory

TripleC is a not for profit organisation which runs various community and social projects around the North West. This year they started a choir, BeeVocal, for those who have lived with or are currently experiencing mental health problems with the aim of creating a safe environment to encourage confidence through collective voices.

Bee Vocal received small initial funding from Manchester City Council and has been using Bridgewater Hall’s facilities, however to continue they require greater financial support. Mike was inspired to apply for the grant after meeting the choir’s founder and Coronation Street’s Cherylee Houston thanks to one of his long-standing clients’ Disabled Living. Her passion to support those with mental health and disability was palpable, with some attendees of BeeVocal now confident enough to leave their homes after years of not being able to do so.

With such great links to the local Towergate business in Manchester and our collective commitment to changing attitudes toward mental health, ACT is proud to award BeeVocal and Triple C £5000 to keep the choir running well into the future.



Submitted by Michael Hunter of Geo Underwriting

Michael’s grandson Jack was born at 27 weeks and weighing 2lbs 3oz. The local hospital was unable to support Jack and his mother so they were sent to Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge where he could be cared for properly. The Sick Children’s Trust came to Jack’s parents’ side and ensured they wouldn’t have to pay out of their own pocket for accommodation to stay close to the hospital during his critical first weeks.

Michael applied for the grant to give something back so they next set of parents who need similar help will be able to lean on the Sick Children’s Trust in a similar way. ACT has awarded £3000 towards the Trust on behalf of Michael and his family.



Submitted by Amy Saunders of Price Forbes

Amy volunteers two nights a week at Hope4Havering, a collection of local churches, businesses and individuals working to remove homelessness in Havering in East London. The collective runs a night shelter at a different location every night of the year which means bedding, food and all other equipment needs to be transported and loaded onto a van every evening.

The current vehicle is very old and unreliable so any spare funds have been spent this year hiring vans and breakdowns have been frequent. Amy is committed to continuing her volunteering and has recently signed up to complete evening college courses in mental health support and counselling so she can further support guests of the night shelter.

In recognition of Amy and Hope4Havering’s commitment to the cause, ACT has awarded £2500 towards a new van and the smooth continuation of their work.



Submitted by Sarah Campbell of Towergate Advisory

Stevenage Starlets FC are the first all-girls club in Stevenage and have been running for just over a year now. The benefits of football for physical, mental and social wellbeing are well documented and Sarah has seen these first hand, with her daughter’s confidence growing significantly and anxiety management improving as a result of playing in a team with the Starlets.

The annual fee paid by families to Starlets FC only covers basic costs, so Sarah wanted to use an ACT grant to help the club with training and equipment going forward. A grant of £2000 will be on its way to Sarah’s daughter and her team mates to fund exactly that.



Submitted by Philip Bird of Direct Group

Headway Essex, which Philip has volunteered for since the start of this year, provide fitness and rehabilitation activities for adults with acquired brain injuries from the Headway Centre in Colchester.

The fitness activities provide a vital element of the services offered to help rehabilitate brain injury survivors, support their independence and maintain good health. A grant of £5000 will provide fitness activities for a period of six months including gym sessions and seated exercises to improve mobility, physical strength, motor skills and cognitive skills.

When making his application, Philip said he has seen first-hand both the difference this charity makes to people's lives but also how much the rely on local community fundraising to provide their services.



Submitted by Nick Ramsay of Group Change and Transformation

Richard House Children’s Hospice is based on the ethnically diverse London borough of Newham and supports children and their families to lead as positive and happy a life as possible when facing a life-limiting health condition, such as heart failure, muscular dystrophy and cancer.

Nick, who volunteers at the hospice, requested the community grant to help fund the purchase of a new Astral 100 ventilator, which costs £5,844. This will enable the hospice to train families on a one-to-one basis so they can feel more confident when using their ventilator at home and ultimately bring their children home sooner as part of a “step down” process rather than just providing theory based advice to parents and carers.

ACT has granted the hospice £5000 towards this new equipment.



Submissions for the fourth and final round of ACT’s community grant programme will be open until Friday 14 September. Any employee of The Ardonagh Group of companies can apply.

To apply for a project or initiative close to your heart, visit the ACT page on #Connect or email for a form.

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