Each year, Hungerford Town Council makes a number of grants to local organisations and charities in and around the town to help them continue the vital work that they do. For 2017-18 some £18,500 has been allocated and about £13,900 already distributed to more than 20 different groups including the Tuesday Burchett Club, the Town Band, HADCAF, Arts for Hungerford, Citizens Advice, CHAIN, the Youth and Community Centre and the Hungerford branch of the Berkshire Blind Society.
On 1 July, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor hosted an event at the Croft Hall attended by representatives of most of these organisations to present the grant certificates and to allow each to say a few words about their organisation’s aims and activities. For all of these groups, the grants from the Town Council are valuable and welcome: for some, they are essential.
The largest single recipient was the Youth and Community Centre and spokesperson Charlie Barr was quick to praise the role played by the Council in its survival. “When the funding was axed in 2012, its future looked uncertain,” she explained.. “The financial and moral support we have received from the councillors and the clerks over the past five years is really heart-warming. We hope that youth services and other exciting community projects will continue to run at the Community Centre for many years to come.”
Valerie Smith, representing the Tuesday Club, which has about 70 elderly and disabled members in the town, said that the grant they received “makes all the difference to what we can do. We could survive without it but it enables us to organise a number of trips. Without the Council’s support this just wouldn’t be possible.”
Lesley Blackwell from Berkshire Vision echoed these sentiments. “The Council’s supports lets us do that bit more, such as organising outings, for our 35-odd members. Thank you very much!”
Tony Drewer-Trump, one of the co-founders and organisers of Arts for Hungerford, said that the support from the Council “was essential in allowing us to provide so many events aimed at both creating opportunities for young musicians to perform and have concerts targeted at young people. We have an ever-growing number of events including a new Visual Arts Trail with over 30 artists and 16 venues in Hungerford. We’re really grateful for the assistance they’ve given us.”
These and all the other organisations that the Council supports in this way enrich the life of the town and, in many cases, provide a vital lifeline for people who otherwise would risk being socially isolated.
About £4,500-worth of grants is still awaiting allocation to similarly deserving causes. If you would like to find out more, please contact the Town Clerk Claire Barnes at [email protected] or by calling 01488 686 195.
The Town Council encourages future applications to be made via The Good Exchange website which allows matched funding to be obtained, effectively doubling any donation made by the council. Grant applications are reviewed annually and it helps if you have your application live by the end of March for it to be considered in the main batch of allocations. The Town Council can consider grants throughout the year but the availability of funding cannot be guaranteed.
Many thanks to Tony Bartlett for the photograph.