Stowmarket Town Council Award Over £10,000 in Grants & Update from the Mayor

We are pleased to announce that Stowmarket Town Council have awarded £11,746.52 worth of grants to local community organisations, clubs, societies and third sector organisations that operate on a not-for-profit basis.

The Stowmarket Communities Grant Scheme encourages local groups to apply for up to £500 of funding for projects, initiatives and equipment that will benefit those in Stowmarket, especially the vulnerable people in our
society.

Grants were awarded to a variety of community groups and organisations including services for children, families, the elderly, and those with disabilities and special educational needs. Sports, music, volunteering and befriending groups, as well as medical, mental health and arts organisations also received grants.

Councillors approved the Town Council Grants Panel’s decision to allocate funding to 27 of these groups at the end of 2020.

Achieving Aspirations who run [email protected] Junction, a support service for adults with learning disabilities received £500. Their grant will be used to work towards a paperless system to lessen their impact on the environment and provide safer systems of work during the pandemic.

Theresa Walters, WeCan Service Manager said: “WeCan is delighted to receive Stowmarket Town Council’s Communities Grant. During the current Covid pandemic it will help towards the cost of IT equipment to enable
us to communicate with our service users and their families digitally and begin to transfer our care planning to a digital platform, which is far better in terms of infection control as well as the environmental benefit. The equipment will also support service users learning and aid communication.”

Stowmarket Chorale were awarded a grant to allow them to continue to stay in contact with their members during the Covid-19 pandemic. Coronavirus restrictions dramatically impacted their ability to fundraise and rehearse. Instead of meeting in person they have been posting out music sheets to members and rehearsing online using Zoom. This has enabled their members to keep in touch and continue to take part in something they really enjoy during a lonely and isolating period for many people.

Trisha Cole, a former member who has rejoined the choir during the Covid-19 crisis, said: “I was delighted to rejoin Stowmarket Chorale in the autumn and found that it was possible to enjoy singing on Zoom. The musical director and his team found music that was enjoyable to sing alone at home and the bonus was a chance to see the other choir members and occasionally have a chat with them when we broke into smaller ‘rooms’. I’m looking forward to rehearsals resuming. We all need something regular to look forward to each week and singing is such a release. Singing should be on prescription!”

SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire regularly deliver blood products to our local hospitals, West Suffolk and Ipswich, as well as collecting donated breast milk from Stowmarket parents for Addenbrooks NICU. They received a £500 grant, allowing their volunteers to continue to assist the NHS with product transportation as demand continues to soar.

Cindy Dickerson, the Chair of SERV told us: “We are delighted that Stowmarket Town Council granted us £500 towards the costs of running our liveried fleet, especially in these challenging times. Since the pandemic started, we have had to increase our hours to 24/7 which has meant our costs have doubled without having the usual fundraising events we have relied on in the past. It costs approximately £1,500 each month to run our fleet of five liveried motorcycles, delivery car and two vans. Our volunteers cover approximately 11,000 miles per month using our liveried vehicles and their own. Last year we were called out over 2,000 times and delivered more than 10,000 items. We can’t see that demand changing in the foreseeable future so this donation will go towards making a real difference to our operations. Thank you so much.”

The full list of grants awarded can be found on the Stowmarket Town Council website. As well as the annual Communities Grant Scheme, the town council also runs StowFund, a rolling open grant of up to £1,000 for projects and initiatives that benefit and meet an identified need in Stowmarket.

For information about either of our grants, please contact Karl Daniels, our Communities & Partnerships Manager: 01449 612060 / [email protected].

A WORD FROM YOUR MAYOR

Since entering the new national lockdown at the beginning of the year, it has been a quiet time indeed! It is always difficult to write an article in advance, particularly with these challenging conditions. I have seen some residents when out for my exercise or shopping trips and it has been nice to have a conversation, however briefly.

By the time you read this, the vaccination process will have been underway for a few weeks in Stowmarket. Gradually this process will help get on top of the dreaded Covid-19. Hopefully, the new restrictions will eventually ease the number of infections. It is hard to look forward with any certainty as to how 2021 will develop but I remain hopeful that we will get back to some kind of new normal!

In the hope that this is the case, Sarah and I have begun tentative plans on our fundraising plans for the year along with Gail Woodhams and Karl Daniels at the town council. Subject to the prevailing conditions, we aim to have a sponsored static cycle event at the leisure centre in June. In July we aim to have the Civic Service and, if possible, a Pie & Pudding evening in October.

More on this and the other town council events for 2021 later. In the meantime, keep yourself safe & well.

Mayor Keith Scarff (pictured at the town council’s tree planting day in December)

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