Community groups that benefited from giveaway
Last year, The Gazette helped give away £25,000 to deserving community organisations.
It came as part of a partnership with the Swallowdale Children’s Trust, which was set up 120 years ago to help young people.
Here is the second part of our look back at where the cash was used by 11 community groups and 13 individuals.
We revealed yesterday how we are delighted to announce we have hooked up with Swallowdale again this year to give away £10,000.
Before next week’s official launch, here are more inspiring stories of how The Gazette and Swallowdale have helped young people and community groups in 2013.
Cheetahs Wheelchair Service
Cheetahs Wheelchair Services was given a grant of £750 through our giveaway.
The money will be spent on transport and a mobile hoist for the club, which encourages sport in disabled children, allowing them to play with their able bodied friends, brothers and sisters.
Cheetahs director Becky Redman said: “We still have the money in the pot. We haven’t spent it yet as we haven’t found a hoist we can afford.
“We are having to put more money towards it as they cost around £2,000, but to have £750 from The Gazette’s Community Giveaway is a massive contribution and we’re really grateful for it.”
Having a mobile hoist is hugely important to the club, which is based in Poulton, which at the moment relies on parents or carers lifting their children out of their wheelchairs and into the specialist sports chairs.
Becky said: “We’ve been needing a hoist for a couple of years as the children are getting too big to be physically lifted. It would save our parents and carers that massive effort.”
A voluntary group of mums and carers of children with disabilities and complex needs was given £1,000 to form a new youth club.
The club was the brainchild of four teenagers at Breverton Group, St Annes, to provide a “much needed gathering place” for profoundly disabled young people in South Fylde.
The money from The Gazette and Swallowdale Children’s Trust has been used to buy a music system and karaoke machine for the young people, who love to sing.
Krystal Maddox from the group said the remaining money would provide refreshments for the foreseeable future.
She said: “The money has already enabled us to start a youth club for people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have additional needs.
“It has also paid for food and for people to be on hand.”
The club is held on the first Friday of every month at 6pm and usually has between 10 and 15 people attend.
Primary school children in Fleetwood have enjoyed trips out and special projects thanks to funding from our Community Giveaway and Swallowdale Children’s Trust.
Kid Zone, which is based at the Emmanuel Church in Fleetwood, was given £800 towards extra trips outs and resource development.
Kid Zone provides a safe place every other Friday evening for primary school aged children in the community when they would otherwise be on the streets.
Bugs to Butterflies
Bugs to Butterflies, a youth group in Blackpool aimed at keeping children off the streets, was given £500 in The Gazette’s Community Giveaway.
Run by volunteers three nights a week, 80-100 children enjoy different activities thanks to the group’s fund-raising, but it needed an extra cash boost to buy a mini-bus to be able to take members on days out.
Organiser Julie Bascombe said: “We wanted to be able to take these kids out to the park and the beach, instead of being stuck in the basement of a school.
“The money enabled us to take the kids out on trips over the summer.
“We went 10-pin bowling, to a theme park and Blackpool Zoo.
“It made sure that the kids had something to do in the summer holiday so it got them off the street for an extra day because we did the trips on a day that the club wasn’t usually open so it just gave them an extra activity to do.
“It gave the parents time as well without having to worry about child care.
“It also helped everyone to bond and helped build team spirit.”
Girls Friendly Society
An organisation which helps girls and women achieve their goals in areas of high deprivation was awarded £300 through our Community Giveaway.
Girls Friendly Society (GFS) leader Barbara Brook said the money was spent on putting a group of eight young adults through a first aid course, which counts towards their qualifications to become a young leader.
Mrs Brook said: “We actually had two extra girls who came forward for the course who we were able to get on it thanks to the money from The Gazette and Swallowdale Children’s Trust.
“They took the course during the October half term and fortunately they all passed.
“The first aid course is one of the most expensive courses they have to pass so we are really grateful for the money. Without it we would have had to fund-raise within ourselves and hold not just one but several coffee evenings and quiz nights that we already do to build our own funds.
“We are so pleased to have been given the money and that the girls passed the course.”
A total of £500 boosted one community group in its mission to tidy up a tired recreation ground.
Morning Meadow on Mornington Lane, Lytham, now boasts a large play area for younger children and older children to play together as well as a multi-use games area thanks to the Mornington Meadow Group.
The group applied to the Gazette’s Community Giveaway for a funding boost to help encourage more teenagers enjoy sport with a newly-laid football pitch and goals.
It was given £500 which was spent on the project.
Mornington Member Coun Brenda Ackers said: “There is still some money left from The Gazette’s Community Giveaway, but most of it has been spent on a new football pitch at the request of a young resident, Callum Best.
“Callum had asked for us to do something with the football ground, so we asked for money for new nets, grass seed and a roller – all football-related stuff.
“Callum is a smashing lad, and is still playing football on that field. It’s great that we have been able to make this happen for him.
“The Mornington Group also did a lot of planting and created nice areas to suit different age groups to have a look at what’s going on and contemplate things quietly.”
A community group for children with disabilities enjoyed a beach-themed party, paid for using £1,000 from our Community Giveaway.
The Seesaws held the party during the summer holidays after our presentation evening in June, and were able to use leftover funds to pay for a coach to get the group to the party in style.
The money has also been used to pay for a Christmas Party for the group, which meets at Springfield Greenlands Methodist Church on Bispham Road, Bispham, and at Thornton Scout Hut, and will be put towards another party at Easter.
Events co-ordinator Leah McQueenie said: “Without the money from The Gazette and the Swallowdale Children’s Trust we would have had to fund-raise.
“Sometimes finding the time to fund-raise can be as difficult as fund-raising itself.
“Because of this money we haven’t had to do any fund-raising ourselves since April, which has given us time to organise these special events for the children.
“The money has helped us in quite a few ways, but most importantly it has helped us grow in confidence and allowed us to welcome new members.
“It’s so good of The Gazette and Swallowdale.
“Thank you to all involved.”
Blackpool Youth Cycling Club
A cycling club for Blackpool’s young people has been able to buy a number of new bikes thanks to money given by Swallowdale.
Chairman of Blackpool Youth Cycling Club, Chris Smith, said: “We did exactly what we said we were going to do in the plan, and that is to enable us as a club to be more inclusive of children who don’t have the financial ability to cycle.”
Chris said the group, based at Palatine Leisure Centre, used its £2,000 grant to buy six new bikes.
He added: “Racing bikes can be very expensive so that is what we needed the grant for.
“The bikes are for the children who can’t afford to buy one themselves.
“We have a container where we store all our equipment at the back of the leisure centre so we store them there for kids to ride on a Tuesday and Wednesday night.”
Chris said the group had a growing number of teenage volunteers who provided valuable assistance and good role models for the younger members.
The Funpod Foxes
A sports group for people with disabilities has used it’s Community Giveaway money to buy new equipment for its users.
The Funpod Foxes, which meets at St Annes YMCA on St Alban’s Road, was awarded £750 through our giveaway with Swallowdale Children’s Trust, which has already helped buy a trampoline set and a Boccia sports set. There is still money left for the group to buy more specialist kit.
Chairman Dave Marsland said: “The equipment is essential to our group, we need specialised equipment to run Funpod Foxes. We require adapted equipment so that everyone with a disability can join in – we go that extra mile to inclusive sport.
“The monies received has really benefited our club, all our members can be included in the sports we now undertake. The specialist equipment is essential to run our milti-sports group so thank you.”
Phoenix Youth Theatre
Phoenix Youth Theatre is a volunteer-run group for children aged from five to 19.
It was awarded £1,000 for a special trip to the theatre and for an access ramp for children in wheelchairs to be able to get onto the stage.
Roz Dunning at Phoenix said: “We have used the money to book tickets to take 25 children to see Sing-A-Long Grease at Blackpool Grand Theatre in February 2014.
“We are also waiting for a call back about getting a ramp for electric wheelchairs.
“At the moment children in wheelchairs have to be just in front of the stage which immediately segregates them. When they are on stage with everyone it will be properly inclusive.”