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Movies for the elderly, Christmas food bank and toy recycling project awarded quarterly grants by ACT

29 October, 2019 |Ardonagh Group | Ardonagh Community Trust

Every quarter Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT) awards community grants up to the value of £5,000 to causes and charitable projects close to the hearts of employees across the Group.

Last week, the ACT board of trustees gathered to review applications for the final time in 2019. As always, they faced the difficult choice of selecting the Q4 grant recipients.

The applications were all strong examples of how our colleagues are passionately involved with community and charity projects they care about. The money granted will allow the following charities and causes to continue their great work for communities and individuals in need.

Age UK – Openshaw Resource Centre

Submitted by Sharron Lyons, Swinton

Age UK Openshaw Resource Centre helps assist older people with mental health conditions ranging from low mood to dementia, with a day centre that allows them to remain as independent as possible and provides respite for principle carers.

With friends and family members who have been impacted or suffer from dementia, this is a cause Sharron and the Commercial team at Swinton are passionate about.

Together have supported the centre through volunteering to maintain the centre's grounds, fundraising and providing mindful gifts to aid cognitive responses through crafts and games.

Most recently in July, the team held a charity day to raise funds to buy the centre a license to play films for patrons, however when they visited it became clear the technology was outdated and the small television screen was not ideal for those hard of sight.

A grant of £500 will allow the centre to purchase a projector, large screen and a soundbar so that the visitors can see and hear the films clearly.

The Sick Children's Trust

Submitted by Nadine Croft, URIS

​Eckersley House is part of The Sick Children's Trust and over the past 125 years has supported over 11,000 families with nearby accommodation for children receiving treatment at the Leeds Children's Hospital.

The House has 22 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms and a self-contained flat spread over three floors giving kitchen, dining, and living space as well as laundry facilities and playrooms for families to spend quiet time together away from the stressful sights and sounds of the hospital ward.

Nadine personally saw the great benefit of the House when, in 2017, her nephew was born with a serious heart defect and received lifesaving treatment within hours of being born. Eckersley House meant the family could stay close to him over Christmas instead of the family home 35 miles away.

The House relies on volunteering and donations to maintain and run the space. Thanks to an ACT grant, all 23 of the extensively used beds at Eckersley will now be replaced to ensure future families have a restful comfortable night's sleep during difficult times.

"That Toy Thing" a project by Visit from the Stork CIC

Submitted by Adam Preston, Swinton

Visit from the Storck CIC is a community interest and education company for parents, and "That Toy Thing!" is their new project where preloved toys are collated into toy-hire packages and delivered to parents' doors from as little as £5 a month.

At the end of each month, parents can choose whether to renew the toys they have or swap them for new ones, aiming to not only reduce waste and landfill but to save hard working parents in Greater Manchester money and space in their homes.

In his spare time outside his role at Swinton, Adam supports Visit from the Stork as their Marketing Director and having become an uncle recently, has become more aware about the accumulation of toys as children grow and how "That Toy Thing!" can create a better cycle across the community.

A grant of £4,340 has been awarded to help the project get off the ground, funding storage space, creation of an online 'shop' and promotion of the new enterprise in communities who need it most. Profits from the project will then go towards the organisation's free support services and educational resources for parents and carers across Salford and Greater Manchester.

Manchester North End FC Young Girls Team

Submitted by Nathan Bracewell, Swinton

Manchester North End FC Young Girls Team were recently set up this year, to provide opportunities for young girls to be active, hone their skills and build their confidence and with the Women's world cup taking place this year interest is high.

The team have had a challenging start as after just one game their pitch was vandalised forcing them to move to a more expensive facility, which has left little money for the essentials; clothing, training kit and transport.

Another obstacle is the travel distance for their matches. Although the interest in girls' football has increased, there are still few teams in the Greater Manchester area meaning travel to games can be a significant distance, many of the parents don't drive and affording to transport the team to away matches is often a struggle.

As the father of one of the players, Nathan has been involved since its creation and sees the difference this club makes to his daughter and the other girls who play. He's helped to support in any way possible and most recently starting his coaching badges so he can be their permanent coach.

A grant of £4,500 will help them fund training kit and equipment, clothing, training for more coaches, league fees and travel expenses for the girls to help them give their club a great start.

St Mary's Foodbank

Submitted by John Hulme, Swinton

Christmas is a time of celebration, however for many it is also a difficult time of year. It's also a sad fact that many people have to rely on food banks throughout the year and at Christmas it's no exception.

St Mary's, John and his wife's church, has run a community foodbank via volunteers for 10 years and there is Christmas Appeal to support individuals and families who struggle to afford food and gifts.

In 2018, 254 hampers were given to families who otherwise would have faced a very bleak Christmas, and while the foodbank is open 52 weeks a year, the biggest demand happens usually around Christmas and school holidays.

The appeal supports referred families with a Christmas hamper with enough food for three days and at least one gift or toy for each child under 16 in the family. A grant of £1,000 will ensure that many families can enjoy their Christmas.

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