Local community groups given financial boost from support scheme

Newbury Building Society has provided financial aid to various community organisations in its branch network. 

Through the Community Support Scheme, the donations will help organisations fund essential activities designed to improve the lives of those in the local community.

Four charities, Time to Talk West Berks, Newbury Soup Kitchen, Abingdon Carousel Family Service and West Berkshire Foodbank, received double the highest award to support their work helping the most vulnerable during Covid-19. 

Below, you can find the charities awarded in the autumn/winter intake of the 2020 Community Support Scheme.  

  • Time to Talk West Berkshire: awarded £1000 to train counsellors in online counselling skills to support young people struggling with anxiety
  • Earth Trust, Abingdon: award £500 to support environmental education workshops for schools and special needs groups
  • Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV), Wessex: awarded £500 to help volunteers access more reliable vehicles and charity running costs
  • Dingley’s Promise, Newbury: awarded £500 to purchase outdoor gardening equipment and splash suits for children
  • Hurst Bowling Club, Hurst: awarded £500 to purchase equipment for the clubhouse kitchen area
  • Great Shefford under-fives, Great Shefford: awarded £300 to provide weekly music lessons to under-fives
  • West Berkshire Foodbank: awarded £1000 To purchase items for emergency food parcels
  • Caring Listening and Support Partnership (CLASP), Wokingham: awarded £280 to fund the printing of new member welcome packs and other marketing materials
  • Newbury Soup Kitchen: awarded £1000 to help fund a purchase a fit-for-purpose food vehicle
  • Abingdon Carousel Family Service: awarded £1000 to support the training of volunteers at £250 per head to cover gaps in services ceased due to Covid-19
  • Inkpen Memorial Playing Field Trust’s wasteland to woodland project: awarded £500 to transform wasteland to a woodland play area. The play area will be used by community groups to educate children about the environment through play
  • Maggie's Oxford: awarded £500 to help continue ongoing training of volunteers to support patients and their families
  • Ichnield School, Andover: awarded £442 to purchase suitable kit for the newly built teaching area
  • Alton Climate Change and Network: awarded £360 to help fund the hire of a community space in which meetings can take place
  • Abingdon Baby Café: awarded £500 to fund a specialist cleaning service prior to each session to allow the centre to reopen in January 2021
  • Sport in Mind, Wokingham: awarded £500 to launch Home to Community, a project in partnership with Berkshire Healthcare NHS
  • Copenhagen Walk Residents’ Association, Wokingham: awarded £300 to support the start-up of its own association so the residents can be recognised as an independent body by landlords and service providers
  • Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire: awarded £500 to help fund expenses accrued (PPE, for example) while volunteers support a family in-person and remotely
  • Hungerford Primary School: awarded £500 to help create a mindful garden to help alleviate anxiety and promote good mental health
  • Citizens Advice Abingdon: awarded £500 to fund the cost of recruiting, supporting and supervising volunteers

A reminder of the beneficiaries of the summer’s intake can be found here

Thoughts from some of the charities:

Sandy Kruger, Chair of the Abingdon Baby Café said: “NBS Community Support will be pivotal to the safe reopening of The Abingdon Baby Café, which supports new mothers and their infants in the early days of breastfeeding. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the whole of the NBS team.”  

Debbie Morrison, Manager at CLASP said: “CLASP is elated to receive a grant from a business on our doorstep who want to support our efforts and help us enhance our charity by giving us money to provide a more professional ‘welcome’ to our new and existing members. We are very lucky. Thank you.”  

Denise Herrington, Supervisor, Early Years Professional at Great Shefford under-fives said: “Newbury Building Society is at the heart of the local community and consistently supports small organisations such as ours. The Society has a great presence in our local towns and is very much a part of the fabric of the area. his grant will enable us to pay for a music teacher to deliver a group lesson each week to the pre-school children, free of charge, throughout the autumn term.” 

What’s new for 2020/21?

Traditionally bi-annually, the funding panel will now meet four times a year to meet the increase in demand for urgent, more timely financial support. 

The deadlines for 2021 are as follows: 

Round 1: Sunday 28 February 2021 

Round 2: Sunday 30 May 2021 

Round 3: Sunday 29 August 2021 

Round 4: Sunday 10 October 2021 

The Community Support Scheme offers funding of between £100 - £500 for local projects and charities in the Society’s operating area. 

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