Shropshire Voluntary Groups make a difference with £58K

Voluntary groups from across Shropshire have attended a special event at Theatre Severn to showcase how funding has enabled them to make a difference across the county.

Community Foundation’s Jo Cooper, Jim Creed, Arts Development Officer for Qube, Oswestry who received £3856.61 via the #iwill fund and the Foundation’s Leanne McPherson
Community Foundation’s Jo Cooper, Jim Creed, Arts Development Officer for Qube, Oswestry who received £3856.61 via the #iwill fund and the Foundation’s Leanne McPherson

Ten groups received £58,110 in 2018 after applying for grants managed by the Community Foundation for Staffordshire and Shropshire via funding from the Tampon Tax and the #IWILL initiatives. 

While everyone was together at this special event, it was announced by the Community Foundation that further funding will be available for 2019/2020 for Shropshire via the same two initiatives.

The groups presented how the money they had received has been spent and the positive impact it has made to a specially invited audience including trustees and staff at the Community Foundation plus Gwilym Butler (Portfolio Holder for Communities and Place Planning at Shropshire Council), Fran Bache (Community Officer for Telford and Wrekin Council) and Helen Davies (on behalf of Mark Pritchard MP for The Wrekin). 

Qube, an Oswestry-based charity received £3856 from #iWill for funding workshops to teach young people about environmental conservation.  Jim Creed from Qube said: “The funding allowed us to educate a specific audience – young people about a key topic which will hopefully have an effect upon future generations.”

Ashia Miah from Shropshire and Telford United Women’s Association said: “The Tampon Tax money has enabled us to continue to offer specific groups and activities to women who are marginalised by religion.”

Steve Adams, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Shropshire and Staffordshire said: “This is the first group of funding from ourselves in Shropshire and it’s the first time we have got all beneficiaries together after a funding scheme.  We felt that if we could get everybody together and share their experiences, we could all learn – we as the fund managers but most importantly the groups sharing ideas, knowledge and best practice.“

The #IWILL scheme, led by HRH The Prince of Wales with funding from organisations including The Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief, creates opportunities for skills development for young people aged 10-20 year (25 for disabled people) including ‘social-action’; campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which will make a positive difference to their communities. Currently, only 4 in 10 of young people regularly engage in social action. The #IWILL campaign wants to increase this to at least 6 in 10 by 2020.  The projects could be online, extra-curricular, informal or in already created groups.  For example, helping people improve their maths and English standards, cooking lessons, online, media and communications skills.

Funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products are distributed to women’s groups across the UK, the so called ‘Tampon Tax’. The money is invested in a wide variety of projects that make a tangible and long-term difference to health, well-being, confidence and social/economic activity of women, as well as addressing equality gaps. This programme aims to fund small-scale interventions, which will make a considerable difference to the lives and happiness of women and girls, by raising their aspirations and combating the influences that affect their confidence.”

The Community Foundation is a team of professional local community fund and grant managers covering Staffordshire and Shropshire.  Non-profit making, they create and administer benevolent funds and grant giving schemes for philanthropists, business, central Government and local authorities who want to create a lasting local legacy.  They give away over £1m every year to voluntary organisations and charities.

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