£28,212 in Grants Awarded to Five Projects

Marshes Community Benefit Fund – 5 Projects Awarded Grants of £28,212

The Marshes Community Benefit Fund (MCBF) Panel reveals which projects have been awarded funding from the latest round of awards from the annual £120,000 community payments made by Frodsham Wind Farm Limited.

Five community-based projects have been awarded £28,212 in the latest, the twelfth, round of awards since the Marshes Community Benefit Fund was established in 2016.

The second round of the twice yearly MCBF’s awards saw five community-based projects awarded funding to develop their projects which have been designed to improve the health and wellbeing of their service users, inspire community spirit, and help young people express their feelings though creative writing.

The Panel members analysed each of the applications and performed due diligence to ensure that they were able to agree to award £28,212 to five worthy recipients, from Helsby, Frodsham, Ince and Alvanley. All the successful applications met the award criteria and offered ventures that would benefit the local community.

Are you part of a not-for-profit school, charity, business, community group or club considering a project which will benefit the local community? Have you considered that your project might meet the criteria for funding from the MCBF? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please consider applying, even if you have applied in the past and not been successful. Guidelines for applications and details of the award process are available on the MCBF website.

The MCBF Panel meets again in the Spring next year to consider all applications submitted by the 28th February 2023 deadline.

Joycey Bammeke-Bailey, MCBF Panel Member, PR

The following is a summary of this round’s successful applicants and how the funding they receive will be used: –

Weaver Words – £2,000

Weaver Words has been awarded £2,000 towards a specific community outreach project which will provide a series of inspirational creative writing sessions in local schools with leading local poets.

The theme is “new beginnings” to promote new writing about life after lockdown, looking at hopes and aspirations for the future, which will provide inspiration for children to enter the festival’s Great Weaver Words Writing Prize. The prizes consist of book token prizes for junior and senior categories.

The literature festival will take place in Frodsham in May 2023, across five days and includes headline speakers, performances and workshops and writing competitions for adults and children.

Association of Frodsham Townfield Allotments (AFTA) – £3,050

Association of Frodsham Townfield Allotments (AFTA) – has been awarded £3,050 to purchase a ride on lawn mower. The AFTA is a tenant community group set up to run allotments for the benefits of all tenants. With responsibility to improve the site for the current tenants, they also maintain the physical infrastructure of the site such as the water supply, cutting of hedges and grass tracks and paths.

In the last year, the AFTA recognising the benefits to mental and physical health by providing access to outdoor activities has provided the opportunity for two community groups to facilitate gardening clubs and wellbeing sessions on their site, these are run by ‘OPAL’ (Older People Active Lives) and ‘The Good Shed’.

The ride on lawn mower will reduce the group’s expenditure as there will no longer be a need to contract grass cutters which will help to reduce the need to increase rental costs for tenants and will also reduce the time required for maintenance volunteers in-between seasonal contracted grass cuts, allowing them more time to support current tenants.

The Good Shed – £2,611.92

The Good Shed acts as an umbrella organisation whose aim is to provide local community group services that improve member’s sense of wellbeing, which in turn will improve physical and mental health. This newly formed local group is working in partnership with the Frodsham, Helsby and Elton Care Community and has developed a community wellbeing plot based on Townfield Lane Allotments, Frodsham.

The £2,611.92 allocated will go towards providing resources for the latest project, Main Street Memory Café which will launch this winter in Frodsham. The volunteer led café will provide support, a listening ear and sign posting to relevant services for people living with memory loss or dementia and carers and loved ones.

OPAL – £19,000

OPAL A small charity whose mission is to enrich the lives of older people and their carers has been awarded £19,000 to fund a new service called OPAL Choices, building on existing services in the Marshes area will further develop the welcoming social hubs for older people, aged 60 and over, who are at risk of social isolation and loneliness.

This will be achieved by linking up two other successful services Branching Out and OPAL GoOnLine, signpost and if needed support individuals to engage in a wider range of local activities either provide by OPAL or by others across Helsby, Frodsham and Elton, such as Yoga, walking and birdwatching.

By creating welcoming social hubs, older vulnerable and often disconnected people, who find it difficult to engage in community services, will be able to choose how much they engage in. Peer support will be developed to assist individuals who need support to access the services as well as structured activities such as trips to musical events and theatre to help forge self-supporting common interest friendships.

Dunham Hill Hapsford Parish Council – £1,550

Dunham Hill Hapsford Parish Council

has been awarded £1,550 towards their project, ‘improving the area of Hapsford – working together to improve the area and improve community spirit’.

The financial support will be used to improve the green space within the small rural hamlet of Hapsford making it a more enjoyable area to live, by bringing the community together and enhancing the community spirit. Across a number of small projects the parish council will extend the planting of wildflowers over the next two years between Helsby and Hapsford and the M56 junction. The project will also further extend the wildflower planting with a variety of high nectar plants to attract bees and other pollinators.

In conjunction with local residents the Parish Council hopes to create a living teepee for children to play in. it is intended that this will be achieved by running community-based workshops for the residents to attend and assist in the planting and creating of the living teepee together with other willow weaving activities. Residents have indicated, through a survey, that they would like to create a bring a share area where they could donate books, vegetables and other items that could benefit other member of the community.

A Word from the Chair

The MCBF continues to support community-based projects across the region. What has been especially pleasing in the last 2 rounds of funding is that variety of services that we have been able to support with the grants that have been issued.

The launch of the new Golden Grant award for grants up to £1,000 has generated a significant amount of social media interest and there will be a further press release relating to these grant awards shortly.

As always, I would like to thank all of the panel members who volunteer to give their time generously to support the fund.

Andrew Jones, MCBF Panel Chair