New benches installed in Colburn thanks to housing association

Children with the NHS bench in Colburn.

Benches installed in Colburn as a thank you to NHS and key workers are among the community projects funded by a housing association.

Broadacres says it has been inundated with requests for funding from local community groups, many of whom have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Usually, most of the applications to Broadacres’ Community Development Fund come from start-ups or one-off projects/events in North Yorkshire.

But, in 2020, the Northallerton-based housing provider has received more requests for support from existing organisations who have been unable to raise funds due to restrictions caused by Covid-19.

As of December 2020, the association has so far awarded just shy of £10,000 to dozens of community groups and whilst due to the record number of applications it hasn’t always been able to award the maximum amount of £500 to a group, it has made more awards so it could support as many projects as possible.

The Broadacres Community Development Fund Panel, which is made up entirely of its own customers, approved funding for a range of groups, including many who indicated they had been struggling to raise money because of the pandemic, or have had to made changes to the way they operate safely.

Examples include:

Colburn Village Hall – received £500 to put towards the cost of buying two benches for the community. The benches have been decorated to thank NHS and key workers for their service this year.

Romanby Scout Group – received £500 to buy hoodies for young people and adults which in recognition of the support they provided over the Covid-19 period and they will also help to promote the group and recruit new members.

Hambleton Athletics & Running Club Ltd – received £500 to help put volunteers through a coaching programme so they can lead more activities in a safe, socially distanced manner.

Bedale AFC – received £500 to buy training tops for its two adults’ teams and officials, as it had to divert its own funds to buying Covid-19 mitigation equipment.

Bedale & Aiskew Runners – received £500 to send five current members on coaching/leadership course so more members can be recruited. Currently, due to Covid-19, its numbers are restricted and it as been unable to raise funds through normal methods such as car boot sales and fun runs.

Richmond Dales Amateur Swimming Club – received £466 to help buy new equipment for the club, which saw its revenue drop due to closure during the national Covid-19 lockdown.

Upper Dales Community Partnership – received £500 to buy store cupboard items and toiletries for a project which distributed food and essentials for people in need.

Aiskew Under-5s Pre-School – received £500 to help create an outdoor learning and play environment for the younger children, which supports advice that being outdoors is best when it comes to minimising the risk of Covid-19.

Angie Pickersgill, Deputy Clerk of Colburn Town Council, said: “Without grants from organisations like Broadacres we would not have been able to buy the benches and pay tribute to NHS staff and key workers. They are already bringing smiles to people’s faces.”

Rosemary Colebrook is one of the Broadacres’ residents who serve on the Community Development Fund Panel which determine the award.

She said: “We have had a record number of applications so far this year and many of the organisations have either directly or indirectly been impacted by Covid-19.

“This means we have had to stretch our budget as much as possible so we could make more awards, which we felt was important during these difficult and challenging times.

“In an ideal world, we would have made the maximum award to each organisation, but hopefully the money we have allocated will make a difference and help bridge the gap until normal fundraising activities can resume again.”

Applications for the 2020/21 Community Development are still being accepted. For more information on the Fund and how to apply visit www.broadacres.org.uk/customer-area/getting-involved/community-development-fund/