Deserving young people across the Fylde coast are set to benefit from a massive £10,000 worth of grants thanks to The Gazette’s Community Giveaway.
We are teaming up with Swallowdale Children’s Trust for the third year running to support young people across the Fylde coast who are in desperate need of help.
The Trust handed out an incredible £25,000 to needy individuals and youth groups in 2013 and another £10,000 was given last year.
The grants are available for groups and individuals under 25 years of age who are in need of a helping hand.
Schools, community groups, sports clubs and societies are eligible to apply.
Last year’s beneficiaries today told how the cash they received made a “massive difference” to the lives of dozens of young people and groups which are often running on a “shoestring”.
Being a charity, we have to fight for everything and it’s a real struggle.Zac Hackett
Zac Hackett, arts team co-ordinator for TramShed Theatre Company, was delighted when the group received £500 to pay for costumes and equipment for its Heads or Tails production which was staged at Blackpool Sixth Form College theatre in July last year.
The theatre group, based in Bispham, works with young people with physical and learning disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Zac said: “Being a charity, we have to fight for everything and it’s a real struggle.
“We have a lot of members from disadvantaged backgrounds so any funding we get, like the money from Swallowdale, is essential.
“Our ethos is everyone should be given a chance. Theatre inspires and gives a positive message.
“It gives young people a safe environment to meet people and to have fun.”
Karen Pennington, youth bowling organiser and secretary of the Friends of Highfield Road Park, applied for funding to buy youth bowls for the park’s Youth Crown Green Bowling group.
The group, which is open for seven to 12-year-olds and will meet up again from May, was awarded £500.
She said: “It made a massive difference. The children were thrilled with the new bowls and we actually signed more children on to bowl.”
And Karen’s husband Gary, chairman of Friends of Highfield Road Park, said: “The younger children couldn’t lift the bowls because they were too heavy.
“We used the money to buy some junior bowls.
“It’s been a massive success and we’ve had really positive feedback.
“The children had proper bowls to play with so there was more enthusiasm.”
Paul Orme, chairman of the Friends of Preesall Park, which received £1,000 towards a new BMX track for the area, said: “We are very grateful for the grant.
“We still need £4,000 for the BMX track, which wouldn’t just be for Preesall and Knott End.
“There would be nothing like it this side of the river.There is a real need and it would be very advantageous for the young people in the area.”
Pastor Andy Barnett, of the Light Church, formerly known as the Cornerstone Church in Kirkham, used around £400 of last year’s cash giveaway to buy some PA equipment and lighting that is used by its Sunday night youth group.
He said: “Getting money like this means, gives us the opportunity to do a bit of the icing on the cake that you can’t do when you are running on a shoestring.”
And Carole Webster successfully applied for £310 for training and match balls for three new youth football teams at AFC Blackpool, which is based off Jepson Way in Marton. She said: “It’s a godsend when you can get some funding like this.
“We created three new teams last year because there was a big demand.
“But to deliver this we needed the basic equipment such as footballs. Getting funding like this for footballs, relieves the pressure on other things like running costs of the club house.
“For young people to have teams like ours to join, it keeps them active and healthy.
“They don’t only learn football skills but also self respect and discipline.”
Gazette editor Jon Rhodes said: “We are delighted to be able to join forces with the Swallowdale Children’s Trust for a third year.
“Through the generosity of Swallowdale and the trust’s members, dozens of community groups and young people who need a helping hand have received financial backing.
“This has enabled young people to follow their dreams whether that is in sport or the arts.
“In the last two years local groups, youth clubs, sports clubs, scout packs, as well as many others, have received a deserved boost which really has made a difference.
“In some cases this has saved much-loved Fylde groups, who find funding hard to come by, from folding.
“So if you help young people, or are a young person who could do with a helping hand, please apply today.”
How to apply for cash in our £10,000 giveaway...
To apply for a grant from Swallowdale Children’s Trust as part of our £10,000 giveaway, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Swallowdale in the subject field, or write to Swallowdale Children’s Trust Community Giveaway, The Gazette, Avroe House, Avroe Crescent,Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool FY4 2DP.
Applicants are asked to explain in no more than 250 words why they deserve a grant from Swallowdale Children’s Trust, how it would be used and what a difference it would make.
Applications should arrive no later than Friday, April 24.