Could your project grab a share of our £25,000 giveaway?

Upgrades to StreetWise Youth Community Centre courtesy of 10,000 from Swallowdale Childrens Trust. Pictured are Elaine and Gerry Gregoire with Swallowdale trustees Helen Miller and Emma Schofield
Upgrades to StreetWise Youth Community Centre courtesy of 10,000 from Swallowdale Childrens Trust. Pictured are Elaine and Gerry Gregoire with Swallowdale trustees Helen Miller and Emma Schofield
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A massive £25,000 is up for grabs as The Gazette and Swallowdale Children’s Trust team up once again for our annual giveaway.

Now in its seventh year, the bumper prize pot this time around will see the total handed out to help support young people across the Fylde coast since 2013 climb to more than £100,000.

Swallowdale trustees Helen Miller, Emma Schofield and Nigel Law with Elaine and Gerry Gregoire and volunteers Ella-Grace Gregoire and Jake Cato from StreetWise

Swallowdale trustees Helen Miller, Emma Schofield and Nigel Law with Elaine and Gerry Gregoire and volunteers Ella-Grace Gregoire and Jake Cato from StreetWise

And we want schools, community groups, sports clubs, charities and societies to take part and bid for a share of the cash.

The fund will be split between several winners who can show how the money will be spent to help young people.

Last year, £10,000 was won by Streetwise Youth Community Centre in Warton.

Founders Gerry and Elaine Gregoire have explained how the money means more young people are getting access to vital support.

They have run the youth club at the former Ministry of Defence Army Welfare Centre, in Butlers Meadow, since February 2017 after previously using village halls in Lytham and Frecketon.

The couple impressed the judges with their “standout” application and the club’s motto of “creating happy memories”.

Since winning back in August, the youth club has been ploughing the money into its facilities.

Gerry said: “Part of the funding has allowed us to market the club more and to a wider audience.

“We bought a new colour printer which has meant we have been able to promote our youth club events in Kirkham and Freckleton.

“Elsewhere we have been able to make progress on the children’s play areas like the outside kitchen, the vegetable plots and a new stage outdoors.”

One of the main changes since the investment is the new counselling room, which has utilised a former storage space.

Elaine said: “Teenagers and young adults with mental health is very important and we can now do one-to-one sessions with there being any distractions or other people overhearing.

“We can do a lot more counselling and mentoring now with the room and it’s all thanks to the funding from Swallowdale.”

The couple explained how they are continuing to invest in the club and now have 10 volunteers who help out and run classes such as performing arts which their daughter Ella-Grace teaches.

Some of the future plans include creating a observation shelter, which will have binoculars and microscopes, and renovating the club football pitch.

Elaine said their dream would be to have the club open 24/7 so “children would always have somewhere to go at anytime”.

Gerry and Elaine showed Swallowdale trustees Helen Miller, Emma Schofield and chairman Nigel Law around the club to show how it has improved.

Mr Law described it as “brilliant”, adding added: “It’s great to have come back and seen how Streetwise Youth Community have benefited from last year’s giveaway.

“Plenty of progress has been made both internally with the counselling room and externally with the outside kitchen and decking.

“Gerry and Elaine are so focused on realising their dream and what we have seen today at the club is exactly what we wanted. We can see it developing and we know how much all this means to them.”

Swallowdale Children’s Trust has, for more than 100 years, provided assistance to disadvantaged children and adults under the age of 25 living on the Fylde coast.

The trust was set up with money left by Sarah Massey in her will to be used to fund an orphanage in Blackpool.

With the help of a ladies’ committee, fund raising took place and in 1914 an orphanage was opened on Talbot Road, Blackpool. The trust was named after the first matron, Miss Swallow.

Until 1960, the trustees ran the orphanage entirely supported by voluntary contributions and investments. They then purchased land on Hornby Road, where they opened the Swallowdale Children’s Home. The home is now run by Blackpool Council as a respite home for a small number of children.

The trust invites written applications supported by independent or professional third parties, where there is a genuine need for the money.

How to apply

To apply for a grant from Swallowdale Children’s Trust, simply email us at competitions@blackpoolgazette.co.uk with Swallowdale in the subject field, or write to us at Swallowdale Children’s Trust Community Giveaway, The Gazette, Avroe House, Avroe Crescent, Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool FY4 2DP to arrive no later than Friday May 3rd 2019.

Tell us how much grant you are applying for and how you would spend the money if successful. Add your name, address, name of organisation if applicable, and a contact telephone number.

Standard Gazette competition rules apply. For further details, call (01253) 361709

Terms and Conditions:

Applications from individuals must be supported by a letter from an independent person who can verify the veracity of the application. Grants will be awarded either in the form of cash or vouchers at the discretion of Swallowdale Children’s Trust. Awards will be decided jointly by The Gazette and Swallowdale.

How could funding help you?

We want to hear from groups or individuals about how the £25,000 prize this year could be used to help people under the age of 25 on the Fylde coast.

The Gazette is delighted to be teaming up with Swallowdale Children’s Trust once more to give away the money and make a real difference to people’s lives.

Schools, community groups, sports clubs, charities and societies are eligible to apply for a share of the £25,000.

You may need a new clubhouse, or essential equipment, or financial assistance to improve facilities to benefit the whole group. Or perhaps you want to take your members on a special costly trip.

Individuals may be in need of essential items to improve their day to day lives, or need to attend costly training or education courses to help you succeed with your career aspirations.

So if you or your organisation are in need of some financial help, then we want to hear from you – now.

Swallowdale chairman Nigel Law said: “The trustees of the Swallowdale Children’s Trust are delighted that The Gazette has agreed again to join forces with us to give grants to the total value of £25,000. This giveaway will enable groups and individuals to make applications via The Gazette for a share of this substantial pot of money.

“The trustees will be keen to follow up and see what difference the outcome has made for the winners and how successful it has been.”