13 Dales groups to get grants

Yorebridge Sports Development Association at Askrigg. Photo: Pip Pointon.

Thirteen Dales organisations will receive grants from Richmondshire District Council’s Upper Wensleydale Area Partnership ranging from £778 for a community defibrillator at Burtersett Village Institute to £935 towards the cost of holding a Festival of Remembrance at Aysgarth church in November.

At the area partnership meeting in Thornton Rust village hall last week the chairman, Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock, explained that the total for all the applications received was £1,693 more than the £10,000 on offer.

One application was refused as it was for a project outside the Upper Dales area. Those at the meeting then unanimously voted for an equal percentage reduction for all the other applications.

This story continues after the adverts:


The cultural life of the Dales was supported via the following grants: to the Dales Community Choir (£631) to purchase more music; the Swaledale Festival (£561) in support of its Wandering Minstrels Project, free performances at schools, the children’s art exhibition at The Station and a choral workshop;   the Wensleydale Chorus (£935) for its July 2019 programme; and to the National School Hawes  (£794) for its theatre and film programme in 2019.

A grant of £935 will help Thoralby and District Village Hall increase social inclusion by developing a film club, increasing educational events for children and adults and to offer a better opportunity for children’s services and play clubs, especially to support working families.

Sporting activities also benefitted: Hawes United Football Club (£935) for a new grass cutter; the Upper Wensleydale Sport and Recreation Association (£935) towards the cost of a sports pavilion on the Hawes Community  Fields; and Yorebridge Sports Development Association (£726) for replacing worn out and unsafe floor mats.

Melbecks Parish Council will receive £935 towards the cost of repairing the roof of Low Row Institute and the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Luncheon Club will get £748  to help sustain four lunch clubs for the over 55s.

West Burton Parish Council will receive £149 towards cost of replacing the battery and pads of the community defibrillator.

The application for the inclusive community Remembrance event at Aysgarth church was made by Aysgarth and District Parish Council.

During the meeting Cllr Peacock said she would like to see all 14 of the toilets for which the district council is responsible  renovated using the funds raised by charging 20p for entrance to those facilities.

Burton cum Walden Parish councillor Jane Ritchie reported that the key issue for the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), on which she is a local representative, was the future of the Friarage Hospital. She said there was likely to be a consultation  on possible options. Another key problem was the shortage of radiologists and anaesthetists .

She reported that if the CCG broke even this year its £3million debt would be written off. To do this it had to work closely with the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust she said.

She emphasised that elderly people should make powers of attorney and keep a red folder in which there should be information for their family, friends and neighbours should they be admitted to hospital.

And she especially emphasised the need to support local doctors’ surgeries by obtaining medicines from them rather than via the internet.

Cllr Peacock and district councillor John Amsden highlighted the availability of disability grants. They pointed out that the district council does not carry out means tests on items which cost under £1,000 but might make a considerable difference to the safe mobility of elderly people.  Grants for disabled children are not means tested.

Dr Mike Brookes reported that the Reeth Surgery had once more been rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. He said that the CCG had introduced a triage service as some rural doctors’ practices were referring patients to hospital who could be treated at home.

There was a presentation about the Community First Yorkshire programme by Carol Lewis.  She explained how it aimed to provide practical support and rural advocacy to voluntary and community organisations, parish councils and social enterprises.

It has supported community-led housing developments such as that at Hudswell  and offers free and practical  help for past members of the armed forces who are over 65.

Dr Brookes pointed out that veterans of the armed services often found it difficult to get the help they needed from doctors.  Some had registered with his surgery as both he and his wife had served in the armed forces.

“They can have physical and mental problems due to military service,” he said. This was why there was now a national project to help them which included providing GPs with extra training, he added.

Those at the meeting expressed concern that soon the mental health units for Richmondshire will be at Middlesbrough and at Bishop Auckland both of which being a long way away.