A FUND set up with Dorset Community Foundation in memory of Dorset resident Vivien Helen Barnard has awarded more than £49,000 to 16 groups across the county.
“Vivien died last year and her sister Susan told us she was passionate about the community in Dorset so she felt setting up this fund in her name was a way of honouring that,” said community foundation director Grant Robson.
“The family wanted grants to go to small grass roots groups where they would make the most impact, which is what we as a foundation can deliver because we know where the need is and which groups are best placed to address it.”
The fund was set up in November and has now awarded £49,500 through the community foundation’s Neighbourhood Grants. Among the recipients is the Bournemouth Spear Trust, which received £5,000 to work with young adults on the margins of employment. The trust runs a six-week programme with up to 15 young people at a time, teaching them cv and interview techniques as well as working on inter-personal skills and developing their confidence.
The trust worked with 67 young people last year and aims to work with 90 in 2022. “The team are in contact with and are supporting nearly every Spear Completer and a remarkable 69 per cent found employment or were in education three months after the course,” said office manager Hooch Muir.
Access Dorset has been given £5,000 to support the relaunch of Bournemouth Older Peoples Forum’s Friday Club at The Horizons Café, which is staffed by young people with disabilities. The grant will cover the costs of lunch and activities including yoga and arts and crafts.
Her sister Susan told us she was passionate about the community in Dorset so she felt setting up this fund in her name was a way of honouring that
Friends of Stour Connect will use its £4,000 grant to cover the mileage costs of volunteers working with Shaftsbury’s Meals on Wheels service, which delivers more than 100 hot meals a week across north Dorset.
Chair Andrew Watson said the grant is vital to cove rising fuel costs. “Meals on Wheels is such a crucial service for our many customers but we badly need some external funding to make this scheme viable,” he said.
Wimborne Community Food Supply, which is run by Wimborne Folk Festival, has been given £4,800 to cover the cost of renting space at the town’s Allendale Centre. The community café and pantry run from there offers free hot food and groceries for rough sleepers and people in poverty.
Read Easy Bridport received £1,500 to complete a film about its work aimed at attracting more people in the area to learn to read. Team leader Alii Baldwin said: “Our core aim is to help adult non-readers in Bridport and this group is disadvantaged precisely because its members cannot read. In addition to being unable to read in their daily lives they cannot access anything advertised using the printed word. When they look for reading help, the conventional routes of posters and leaflets, are not viable to them.”
Mr Robson said: “We are very proud that Vivien’s family chose us to honour what she would have wanted done with her estate and it’s a perfect example of local giving in action. These grants are relatively small on their own but together they will make a world of difference to hundreds and hundreds of older, younger and isolated people facing a whole range of problems.
“I’d love to talk to anyone about a legacy or starting a fund with us, we can tailor it exactly to their needs and wants and really help them make a lasting impact on their community.”
Pictured above: Vivien Helen Barnard, centre, with Wimborne Community Food Supply, left, and Read Easy Bridport