ALMOST £100,000 from Dorset Community Foundation’s new Living Legacy Fund has been awarded to 22 groups tackling poverty and isolation.
The fund, which is supported by BCP Council and the Talbot Village Trust was set up to improve health and wellbeing in the the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area by funding services and activities that help people support each another, provide healthy social activities, support personal aspirations and skills and promote volunteering opportunities.
The Paul Cornes Fund, which was set up with the community foundation in memory of businessman Paul Cornes, is also supporting the fund.
Among the first recipients of the £97,500 distributed is the Townsend Youth Partnership, which will use a £5,000 grant to run the Innovation Hub, a weekly art project designed to encourage up to 50 young people to share their frustrations and anxieties through art.
Staff member Val Thomas said: “This project will see our youth workers reaching out to young people to offer support and a sense of hope, helping floundering relationships, offering virtual and face-to-face activities, offering advice and encouraging community resilience.
“We will also tackle the impact of family distress and isolation; where online predators are taking advantage of children spending more time online, domestic abuse has increased, mental health deteriorated, family functioning has broken down and children need safeguarding. We will address any barriers to brighter futures and fulfilled lives.”
The Friendly Food Club in Bournemouth will use a £4,860 grant to continue its successful Cookbox project, which encourages healthy cooking and eating among children of low-income families across the county.
The Cookboxes are sent out to families with a recipe, ingredients and a link to a ‘how to do it’ YouTube video to encourage them to cook and eat together. Founder Tony Gibbons said the project, which has already sent out 10,000 boxes, is more important than ever.
It is truly heart-warming to now see the positive benefit the Living Legacy Fund will have for the groups who have been awarded this funding
“The loss of the £20 Universal Credit top-up for instance will undoubtedly make more families seek the foodbanks and the Cookboxes complement the support given by them,” he said.
Access Dorset will be using a £3,700 grant to buy equipment for a range of face-to-face activities at The Bridge in Bournemouth. The group, which is run by and for people with disabilities, runs a community café and activity groups for gardening, cooking, art, walking and exercise.
Chief executive Jonathan Waddington-Jones said: “This grant will be a real boost to our activity programme that supports so many people each year to develop skills, reduce anxiety, build stamina and confidence and improve health.”
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “We are very thankful to BCP Council, Talbot Village Trust and the Paul Cornes Fund for their generosity in funding this new initiative that we believe can play a big part in making life better for people across the BCP area.
“We have been struck by the variety and breadth of the applications we have received. They reflect the range of amazing work that goes on in Dorset to support people of all ages facing an array of challenges.
“We look forward to hearing about how the grants are making an impact and sharing that with our partners in this fund.”
Councillor Jane Kelly, BCP Council’s lead member for engagement said: “It is truly heart-warming to now see the positive benefit the Living Legacy Fund will have for the groups who have been awarded this funding.
“We look forward to seeing how each and every one of these organisations will start to deliver their projects supporting local communities to bounce back from the challenges experienced recently.”
Talbot Village Trust chairman Nicholas Ashley-Cooper said: “We couldn’t be more in support of the work that the Dorset Community Foundation has completed to date and Talbot Village Trust is so proud to be a part of this scheme.
“To offer necessary support to those who are experiencing such difficult circumstances as a result of the pandemic, and focusing on the health and wellbeing of the community, is so crucial at this time. Through our donation, we are able to reach organisations which we have never worked with before and provide critical help to so many more people than we have before in the history of the trust.”