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Ardonagh Community Trust announces its first community grants of 2021

22 March, 2021 |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 2021.

These 12 projects will receive a share of £53,000 across a broad spectrum of deserving causes including; mental health support, providing opportunities for young people and helping families in their time of need.

The colleagues of Ardonagh are passionately involved with their communities and supporting charities they care about. Thanks to their applications, ACT is able to fulfil its mission to help local communities become stronger, better and brighter.

Read more about the projects approved by the Trustees…


Andy's Man Club
Submitted by Phil Moss from Swinton

Andy's Man Club started with one group in Halifax, set up in memory of Andy Roberts who took his own life aged just 23 years old. It was something that shocked his friends and family and they believed that had Andy felt that he could have talked to someone, then his life may not have ended the way it did.

Andy’s loved ones set up the charity to encourage men to speak up about anything they’re struggling with, and sessions take place at the 40 clubs across England, providing a safe space for men to open up and receive support from their peers.

Sadly, demand for their support is growing and with the added impact of the pandemic, Andy’s Man Club have taken their services online to be available for more men who need a safe space to open up. With lockdown easing, the team are keen to open three new sites and with a grant of £4,500 from ACT they can do just that.


Forget Me Not Children's Hospice
Submitted by Emma Scott from Ardonagh Central Functions – Finance

Forget Me Not Children's Hospice is a modern, pioneering children's hospice based in Huddersfield supporting families of babies and children with a life-limiting conditions from across West Yorkshire. The team primarily provides palliative care for babies and children while also supporting the whole family, recognising parents and siblings’ needs as equally important.

Alongside the support they provide, the Hospice also runs enrichment exercises to help families participate in accessible activities, making memories and socialising with others.

The total cost of their annual activities is £6,000 and the Trustees of ACT have approved the full amount to be funded.


Jump Space
Submitted by Fintan Griffin from Broker Network and Compass

Jump Space is a specialist centre offering rebound therapy, trampolining and sensory play. It provides a safe, fun, understanding and non-judgmental environment for disabled children and young people, many of whom are unable to access other forms of sport and activity.

The centre is fully accessible with hoist equipment available for the trampolines, ball pool and a sensory area. Always looking for new ways to innovate and make their services available to more people, the charity were looking to invest in trampolines which are smaller and lighter than the ones used at the centre, making it possible to transport them more easily and put into venues with limited space. ACT approved £4,775 to purchase this equipment, enabling the charity to further diversify and offer services to a wider audience.


Keatesy's Boxing Academy - "Every Mind Matters”
Submitted by Sam Fower from Autonet

"Every Mind Matters" is a project dedicated to helping people deal with the effects of lockdown. Based in Leek, the club was set up by Andy Keates, a former professional boxer. He decided to set up the “Every Mind Matters” project for people of low income, who have lost confidence, or who have been detrimentally affected by the pandemic – specifically focusing on the impact to mental health and the benefit exercise and diet can bring.

The team worked closely with the local council and police to get a special sign off to allow the project to continue for a maximum of 30 people for a 19-week period.

The next sessions will be funded by a £3,000 grant from ACT and will help people through fitness classes, nutrition advice, and talks around mental health; providing a safe space for people to talk.


White Lodge
Submitted by Corinne Booth from Healthy Pets

White Lodge provides services and support that enable those with a range of disabilities, their families and carers to lead fulfilling lives. The charity supports over 2,500 individuals across Surrey and beyond through a diverse range of services for all ages and abilities.

Throughout the pandemic, the team have shifted to support in whatever ways they can and now with lockdown restrictions being lifted, their sights are set on improving their services ready for when they can open fully.

One of their upcoming projects is the refurbishment of six teenage children’s bedrooms and the main corridor in the overnight short breaks centre called Treetops. This centre is dedicated to supporting teenagers which have a broad range of physical, neurological and learning disabilities and gives parent vital respite.

Thanks to the £2,500 grant from ACT the project is now fully funded, and work can commence.


Maddi's Butterflies
Submitted by Nicola MacDonald from Swinton

The aim of Maddi's Butterflies is to create smiles by providing small wishes and holidays for poorly children and their families. The charity was set up in the name of Madison Allen who at just 10 months old was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma. Throughout her treatment, she and her family fundraised for the Manchester Children's Hospital before sadly, Madison passed away in 2011 aged only 7.

Her family decided to use their experience to help families with children who suffer from similar issues. With the impact of the pandemic, fundraising efforts have been hampered, however they’ve continued to support those in need, more recently with 'Smile Bags' which contain goodies for children who are undergoing cancer treatment.

A grant of £5,350 from ACT will ensure that 100 children who are isolating to stay safe during their treatment receive a bag to help let them know they are important and cared for.


Scorchers Basketball Foundation
Submitted by John Lanning from Finch (part of Ethos Broking)

The Scorchers Basketball Foundation is the community arm of the Surrey Scorchers professional British Basketball League team, with the main aim of growing inclusive basketball participation across Surrey, North East Hampshire and East Berkshire. 

The foundation run projects bringing people from all abilities and backgrounds together and improving lives through basketball. Important at all times, this project is particularly relevant this year following the disruption to their education, inability to mix with others and participate in an activity of this kind.

The £5,000 from ACT will allow the foundation to run Basketball4All Roadshows for five schools giving the children some great experiences, helping them increase their physical activity and show them the possibilities they have to achieve through confidence building.


Dinnington Resource Centre’s 3G MUGA Project
Submitted by Karen Rose from URIS

The Resource Centre is a self-funding charitable organisation which provides facilities for Dinnington and the surrounding area. It is also host to Dinnington Town FC which provides grass roots football for girls and boys from under 7’s to over 35’s. The future vision is not only to be a big ambassador for grass roots football but also for other community-based sports.

Both Dinnington Town Community FC and Dinnington Resource Centre have been working together to install a 3G pitch at the rear of the resource centre, providing a state-of-the-art multi-sport facility for both the local community and wider Rotherham community as the first full sized 3G pitch in the area. Over the last 12 months, they have been fundraising the £25,000 needed so that the Football Foundation can facilitate the building of the pitch. After tireless work throughout last year, the Centre needed £5,000 to hit their target. The grant for the remaining amount from ACT will allow work to start in September this year.

​Not only will the all-year-round surface help promote the health and wellbeing of its local community members, following a challenging year this will give the community a much-needed boost and facility they can be proud of.


The Robin Cancer Trust: Online Education Programme
Submitted by Jack Gargrave from Geo Personal Lines

The Robin Cancer Trust is the UK's germ cell cancer community with the mission to stop young adults dying from germ cell cancer by raising awareness, offering support and connecting the community. The Robin Cancer Trust was founded in 2012 by the Freeman family following the untimely death of their son and brother, Robin, aged just 24.

Due to the pandemic, the charity can no longer sustain their Schools Education Programme in which they delivered life-saving cancer awareness talks to over 25,000 students across the East of England, so the team are looking to take this course online. This custom-built online training programme will allow student and teachers to access life-saving cancer awareness resources from anywhere in the UK.

A £4,790 grant will fully fund this programme continuing the amazing work the family have already done in raising awareness so that they may save lives in the future.


Father Hudson's Young at Heart Project
Submitted by Jane Hardy from Autonet

Young at Heart offers a range of services to combat social isolation faced by older people in and around North Staffordshire. The project runs friendship groups to befriend isolated older people and provide social opportunities. There are lunch clubs, social clubs and outings, offering a wide range of activities for people to take part in – all of which improve their health and wellbeing.

Due to the Covid pandemic the charity has had to redesign their services and move to a telephone befriending response to help those who are suffering loneliness and isolation at this time of emergency. With the world centred around digital communication, there are many who still don’t have access which has become apparent throughout the year and the charity are wanting to invest in technology and teach people how to use it. A £5,000 grant to help the charity kick-start their technology project, helping more older people keep connected.


Erith and Belvedere supporting Tommy Crush Foundation - Mental Health Champion Day
Submitted by Mark Di Cesare from Price Forbes

The Tommy Crush Foundation aims to help children and young people between the ages of 11 and 18 vulnerable to suicide, sadly a growing problem, and was set up to support young people with their mental health in memory of Tommy who took his own life in 2018.

Mark and the Erith and Belvedere Football Club support this charity regularly, holding numerous fundraising events for them and throughout the last 12 months, they've adapted their approach and moved online, hosting fitness and mental health related content, classes giving young people an opportunity to get involved from home.

The £3,000 funding from ACT will fund their summer event, supporting the Tommy Crush foundation and used to not just purchase equipment but to invite specialist individuals down to the club to offer educational and physical activities, and to work with the children on their mental health.


CASPA (Children on the Autistic Spectrum Parents Association)
Submitted by Simon Croucher from Bishopsgate

CASPA supports children and young adults on the Autistic spectrum in various ways, such as youth clubs and residential trips. It is a community where all children feel safe, secure and included, enabling them to make friends. Additionally, it is a lifeline for parents with Autistic children, providing support in any form that is required - whether it be a coffee morning, a WhatsApp group, respite or the knowledge that their child has a safe fun environment to play and socialise without judgement.

Based in the London Borough of Bromley, they currently work with around 300 children and young people every week in various venues. Last year, they set up a café and the £5,000 grant from ACT will pay the rent for nine months, allowing them to ensure more of the income is used on the services they provide and will allow them to continue to go above and beyond for the children and their parents.

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