The Aviva Community Fund competition has opened for the public to vote for funding for local causes. Voting is open to everyone, and organisations can apply for funding ranging from £1,000 to £25,000.
There are three different categories – Skills for Life, Environment, and Health and Wellbeing.
Several worthwhile Shropshire projects have applied, but face competition from 3,500 submissions, so they need your help to win.
Shropshire projects in contention include:
· The Broseley Joggers is a non-competitive running club, open to everyone, whose Couch to 5k programmes encourage a healthy lifestyle and help fight obesity in a friendly and inclusive way. The club is looking to train up two more Run Leaders, to expand their programmes and benefit more people.
· Caring for God’s Acre is the only UK charity that looks after burial sites of all denominations (and none), managing them in a wildlife-friendly way. Shropshire volunteers have undertaken 30,000 hours of conservation work in local sites over the past 11 years, training new volunteers in skills from dry-stone walling and tree care to flower identification and scything. They are looking for funding to make short films to spread their skills to volunteers across the country.
· Stretton Pool Action is working to keep the swimming pool at Church Stretton Leisure Centre open when council funding ends in March 2020. Local residents include parents of children learning to swim, the elderly and those who swim for health benefits, have formed SPA and already raised funds for a pool cover, significantly reducing heating costs. Now they want to replace inefficient lighting with cost-effective LED units, so a £1,000 award would meet half the cost .
· Friends of Castlefield are looking to improve the playgrounds at Castlefields School in Bridgnorth. Parents want to raise money to put in two new vibrant playgrounds with features that will inspire the imaginations of the children, as well as encouraging them to take more exercise in the fresh air. The cost of the two new playgrounds is £9,216.
· The Small Woods Association champions sustainable woodlands nationwide, whilst teaching practical skills. Their Living and Working Woods project in Shropshire and Wrekin wants to involve local communities in managing their woods, providing forest schools for children, and healthy outdoor activity, as well as access for individuals with disabilities or learning difficulties. They are hoping for funding of up to £25,000.
· The Roy Fletcher Centre is home to charities helping the homeless, young families in crisis, those experiencing financial problems and those with varying degrees of disabilities. The Centre wants to provide IT help at its internet café in Shrewsbury town centre, enabling clients over 60 to use technology to stay in touch with family and friends, and help people manage their finances online, and find accommodation. Securing funding would let them buy-in expert tuition and run courses with advisors.
Everyone gets ten votes, so you can spread them across as many projects as you like, or use all ten votes to boost the chances of your favourite. Register to vote at www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk to give Shropshire projects a better chance of winning. Voting closes on 20th November.