New £25,000 giveaway can make a difference across Fylde coast

The Gazette and Swallowdale Children's Trust have teamed up again
The Gazette and Swallowdale Children's Trust have teamed up again
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Get set, get bidding!

The starting pistol has been fired and the hunt is once again under way for deserving groups and individuals who could benefit from a share in a massive cash pot

The Gazette is delighted to team up once again with Swallowdale Children’s Trust to give away grants to help young people across the Fylde coast.

This year a stunning £25,000 is up for grabs, meaning more young people than ever could be set to benefit.

The grants are available for deserving groups and individuals under 25 years of age who are in need of a helping hand.

Schools, community groups, sports clubs and societies are eligible to apply for a grant which will make a real difference to your cause.

Last year’s beneficiaries ranged from scout and guide groups to youth clubs to sports teams as well as individuals.

It doesn’t matter what the money is for.

A group may need a new clubhouse, or essential equipment, or financial assistance to improve facilities. Cash might be needed to take members on a special trip or outing.

Individuals may be in need of essential household items, trying to cope with a new addition to the family, or need to attend training or education courses to improve your career prospects.

The Gazette received 70 applications last year for a share in £10,000.

Among the beneficiaries were the youngsters who attend the Marton Friday Nights Youth Club.

The club meets at Marton Methodist Church in Midgeland Road and was handed a fantastic £500 grant in last year’s appeal.

Organiser Pat Vandenburg said the money had been put to good use.

She said: “It went towards equipment for the club but we also took a group of children to the pantomime at the Grand Theatre.

“We took around 25 children and it was a fantastic experience.

“Some of them had never been to the theatre before so it really was amazing.

“We put on so many activities, including football games, hockey games, all sorts.

“In the summer we have a space for children to play outside.

“There are around 30 of them each week and it’s a good place for them to come and to make friends.

“We also have people coming in to do special activities with the children, we try to do our best for them.”

And Pat was delighted the club was chosen as part of last year’s giveaway.

She said: “It’s great and it’s good to know it’s happening again.

“It is definitely worth bidding.”

Youth sports teams also benefited from a share in last year’s cash giveaway.

Among the dozens of applications was a plea from St Annes Under-7s for help buying new waterproof jackets.

The club has now spent the £500 and the children and club leaders couldn’t be happier.

Manager Paul Schofield said: “We got the waterproof jackets and they are perfect and the kids love them. We were playing just on Saturday and it was raining and they were all in the jackets.

“It was definitely worthwhile applying.

“I think it’s a brilliant idea to support local clubs and we’re so grateful to Swallowdale for the money they put through to us.

“Some of the kids might not be able to afford a kit on their own. They just want to play football with their mates and as much as we can support them we do need help from charities like Swallowdale.”

Scouts in Blackpool have seen a boost in their numbers thanks in part to last year’s Swallowdale cash.

The 10th Blackpool Scout group received £250 which went towards new tents.

And Sylvia Johns, one of the groups leaders, believes it’s helped attract more youngsters to join.

She said: “We wanted the money to go towards new tents.

“That’s what it got spent on and we are already using them.

“We are Blackpool’s oldest scout group and some of our equipment was getting very old.

“The young people love using the new equipment we were able to buy and we’ve even see a rise in the number of people attending.

“That is in part down to the investment we were able to make.

“Of course now we’ve got more people coming we need even more new equipment.

“We’ve already sat down and discussed bidding again this year.

“For anyone who didn’t it’s well worth trying.”