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Seven projects share £29,000 of funding in the first ACT Community Grants of 2020

20 March, 2020 |Ardonagh Group | Ardonagh Community Trust

Ardonagh Community Trust, the registered charity of The Ardonagh Group, is delighted to announce the first recipients of its quarterly community grant programme for 2020. These seven projects will receive a share of £29,000 to continue the important work they already do in more challenging circumstances than usual.

The mission of ACT is to help communities become better, brighter and stronger and in light of the current pandemic this is more important than ever. In addition to agreeing the Q1 recipients, ACT's board of trustees have agreed to use the community grant programme to address the uncertainty and hardship faced by UK communities now and in the future as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

For the rest of 2020, ACT will be focusing the quarterly grant programme on local charities and community projects impacted by the coronavirus pandemic or who are directly supporting people in their local area through this difficult period. The usual criteria will continue to apply, but priority will be given to applications from Ardonagh colleagues which fall into these categories.

Grants for Q2 will be announced at the end of June and you can read about the projects chosen for quarter one below.


Batley Homeless Project

Submitted by Richard Senior, Towergate Insurance Brokers

Batley Homeless Project promotes social inclusion and support those in financial hardship and prevent homelessness in Batley, Dewsbury and Leeds. They support their communities through outreach programmes, a street kitchen and providing advice on alcohol and drug abuse, benefits and housing. As a volunteer, Richard hands out hot meals and drinks, clothing and bedding to homeless people so sees first-hand the impact that this charity has on individuals in need. The £1,000 will buy new equipment for the kitchen which will ensure they can keep providing this important service to those who really need it.


Pembrokeshire Baby Bank

Submitted by Adam Uka, Towergate Insurance Brokers

Pembrokeshire Baby Bank helps local families in need with essentials like nappies and clothing and mainly rely on donations from the local community of any leftover or second-hand items. The entirely self-funded organisation is run by two women in their own time, around their day-jobs and sadly the need for this service is on the rise.

Thanks to the support that the local community have given to this project, they have now had to rent a storage unit to hold donations before they are packaged and delivered. Adam has been working with key contacts in the local community to support the Baby Bank to arrange drop-off sites for donations, and get a website produced so they can reach more people in need. The grant of £4,654 will pay for storage fess until the end of 2021 and enable them to purchase a year’s supply of essentials to help bolster their stock.


Little Hearts Matter

Submitted by Robert Pollard, Towergate Insurance Brokers

Little Hearts Matter (LHM) is the only UK charity that supports children and young people diagnosed with single ventricle heart conditions and their families through every step of this difficult journey. Robert has a personal connection and understanding of the importance of charities like this as his six-year-old niece has the condition and LHM has been a lifeline to his brother's family since the very start.

Thanks to surgical breakthroughs, more children with single ventricle heart conditions are growing into adolescence however, they are faced with a host of additional needs. These young people battle daily with not only the ‘normal’ teenage issues, but the added burden of living with half a working heart and the impact this can have on their mental health.

A £5,000 grant means the charity will be able to develop their current website to include new features to support young adults with these issues and improve their quality of life, including one-to-one chat, a mood board for them to express thoughts and feelings and a private journal area.


Follifoot Park Disabled Riders Group

Submitted by Alison Heffernan, Geo Underwriting

Follifoot Park Disabled Riders Group enriches the lives of disabled children, adults and their families in the Harrogate area by providing accessible horse riding and carriage rides. Run solely by volunteers, the charity provides 15 rides per week in term time for members with wide ranging disabilities.

The group provides a unique experience for those attending and in turn they see a number of benefits including improved rhythmical movement, balance, posture and core strength, circulation, communication and co-ordination. As well as physical benefits, the activity allows for social support, freedom, independence and lots of fun for riders.

As a volunteer, Alison assists each week with the horse riding lessons. An ACT grant of £3,800 will pay for the 2020 Annual Gymkhana event, a specialist saddle for children who are unable to sit unaided and a replacement hoist so the group can continue to provide this fantastic service.


CF Dream Holidays

Submitted by Emma Dodds, Footman James

CF Dream Holidays provides respite holidays in the UK for families who have a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Having a child with Cystic Fibrosis means a full-on daily routine of medicines, chest physiotherapy and frequent hospital appointments. For many families this means parents can often only work part time and money can be tight so charities like CF Dream Holidays really make a huge difference and allow families to get away together.

Emma’s daughter was born with Cystic Fibrosis and unfortunately became extremely ill, requiring hospital care and meaning their family holiday plans also fell through. A year later, Emma was contacted by CF Dream Holidays as they’d heard of the situation and wanted to help them get away as a family now her daughter was well enough. The charity covered the cost for the whole family to go to the Isle of Wight and organised everything so they could relax and enjoy a trip together after a challenging year.

A grant for £5,000 will ensure that they can organise more trips for families just like Emma’s.


Our final grants…

Finally, as you will have read above, many of the stories behind the applications were deeply personal and our final two grants were no exception.

The final £10,000 was donated to two charities who provide shelter, legal and financial advice, clothes, food and furniture for men, women and children who have experienced and escaped domestic abuse.

Our colleagues who nominated these two organisations have unfortunately experienced this first-hand and wanted to give back to organisations who provide this vital support and help others in a truly desperate time. In line with guidance, we are keeping these organisation and individuals anonymous, but ACT is proud to be helping two colleagues support an important cause. 

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