Throughout the year, all Ardonagh colleagues worldwide have the opportunity to apply for a grant from Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT) for up to £5,000 (or equivalent local currency) towards a community project or cause close to their hearts.
Every quarter, our ACT Trustees consider applications put forward by colleagues, and today we share the ten fantastic causes being supported by the Q3 round of grants.
Read the stories behind each of the projects that have successfully received funding and why our colleagues nominated them.
Perthshire Pride is a leading LGBTQ+ charity in Scotland, which aims to develop an inclusive culture and to promote Perthshire as a safe and welcoming place for all. Formed in 2019, the Perth Parrots are the ‘sporting wing’ of Perthshire Pride, and the world’s only LGBTQ+ floorball club (a popular Scandinavian sport in which all gender play together in mixed teams, including at a professional level).
The Perth Parrots club provides a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ community to access floorball, with training sessions and weekend matches. One element that has been recognised as a need among the LGBTQ+ community in Perthshire is for social and networking opportunities, as Perthshire does not benefit from a range of LGBT venues.
The £2,800 grant from ACT will help the club develop its ‘Parrots Social’ initiative, which focuses on reducing social isolation and encouraging the LGBTQ+ community to re-engage in sport and physical activity. Club social activities include female-focused floorball taster sessions, foot golf, community breakfast and hikes, kayaking, Pride quiz nights. Through the grant the club will host a range of sessions whilst at the same time offering them at an accessible, subsidised rate for club members.
Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity
Nominated by Rachael Stewart, Towergate, Ardonagh Advisory
The Teddy Hospital is based at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, which is Scotland largest and busiest children's hospital.
The Teddy Hospital is a fun and interactive facility which uses various play techniques to help reduce the stress and anxiety of the unfamiliar and sometimes intimidating hospital environment for children. The teddies are used to show children that they don’t need to be scared, so the bears get plaster casts on, they go into the MRI scans, and they get blood drawn to show they’re okay after the procedure and that the kids will be too.
The service supports over 700 children every year, and the £5,000 grant from ACT will buy over 400 bears to help its brilliant work continue. The charity is currently expanding the Teddy Bear Hospital into the wider community, so the funds will be a great help.
The Friends of the Marshfield Dog Park is a registered charity that was created to maintain, improve, and beautify a public community dog park in the town of Marshfield, Massachusetts, where our AccuRisk Massachusetts Office office is based.
Dog Parks are a great community space not only for the dogs to get the exercise and mental stimulation they need, but also for people to get together as well. The dog park will be a great resource for hosting educational events for dog owners with trainers and veterinarians. Additionally, many rescue organizations love to host adoption day events at dog parks.
The Friends of the Marshfield Dog Park privately maintains the public park by looking after the paths and keeping the area clean. The £5,000 grant from ACT will enable improvements to the park to make it more welcoming for pets and owners alike, including new benches, tree plantings, and wood chippings for paths.
CancerCare is an independent local charity supporting people affected by cancer or bereavement. The charity helps people discover their capacity for life when times are tough – with the professional help, emotional support and collective strength to face whatever is next.
The only service of its kind in the area, CancerCare offers free professional therapies designed to help individuals and their families come to terms with and manage the challenges of a serious life limiting health condition and bereavement. Their services include counselling, group therapies, massage, and hypnotherapy – all of which relieve symptoms, encourage self-confidence, promote relaxation, ease the physical and emotional effects of treatment, and provide extended support to carers and families. The £4,930 grant from ACT will provide 145 one to one therapy sessions at CancerCare’s new Morecambe centre, which opened last year.
Nominated by Claire Gardiner, Thames Underwriting, MGA & Binders
FC Vilomah is a football club based in Chelmsford, Essex which was initially set up in 2019 to support bereaved fathers who have lost a child when support for fathers specifically was difficult to fund. The club now has around 40 dads playing for the club.
FC Vilomah is so much more than a football club. Whilst being a way for dads and other bereaved family members to come together through a shared love of sport – they support as many people as possible, not just those who love football. The club also raises awareness of baby loss and fundraises for local charities and hospitals.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will fund the club for an entire season, including hiring the Astro turf pitch, equipment, and a calendar of social events throughout the year for the wider community to get involved with too.
Cheviot Youth provides a safe place for young people and adults from communities across the Scottish Borders to access mental health support, with a range of specialised services including Lego-based therapy, bullying programmes and counselling.
The charity has been expanding its reach, opening new support rooms in local towns. One of these is based in Tweedbank, which will provide clinical services from mental health practitioners. The ACT grant of £5,000 will ensure that the new centre can open both of its two clinical rooms – rather than just the one, which is currently useable. It will cover furniture, décor and technology so that the space is functional and comfortable for clinical volunteers and those using its services alike.
Stockport Garrick Theatre
Nominated by Sam Marriott, Towergate Health and Protection, Ardonagh Advisory
Stockport Garrick Theatre is a community theatre that works with adults and also has a youth theatre group. It is the oldest ‘little theatre’ in the UK, putting on plays and telling amazing stories in Stockport since 1901 and everything the theatre does is achieved entirely by its volunteer membership.
The stage and costume department are in much need of repair to ensure the theatre can continue to provide its adult and youth theatre classes and productions. The classes don’t just teach drama, they create an environment in which students can grow in confidence and range of skills from acting techniques to writing their own plays.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will enable essential repairs to the main stage and auditorium and will also fund costume repairs. Half the grant will go towards the development of new productions and the youth theatre outreach programme.
ELREM Foundation CIC
Nominated by Kris Korosec, Ed Broking, Ardonagh Specialty
ELREM Foundation CIC run micro to medium sized projects that impact the grassroots level of the Deaf & Disabled communities. Last year they completed their first project called Deaf Cycling UK which has so far been a great success.
ELREM Foundation’s next project is INCLUSIVE ROWING : ERGO BUDDY, a pilot project to promote the numerous physical and mental health benefits of indoor rowing. Clive Collier, who was born deaf with Cerebral Palsy, is a member of ELREM and an inclusive rowing coach. He has an accomplished sportsman, having competed in horse riding at national level and whose passion for rowing has grown despite the many obstacles.
The £4,875 grant from ACT will fund the eight-week pilot programme, which will take place at Twickenham Rowing Club, Southwest London, with the hope that it will lead to a love of rowing and show a pathway to the adaptive rowing team and competitions that are held throughout London.
Leeds Baby Bank
Nominated by Amanda Shaw, Schofield Insurance, Ardonagh Advisory
Leeds Baby Bank support families in and around Leeds with baby essentials to ensure that no child goes without. It helps families to access resources and longer-term support via events in the community, by holding regular family drop-in sessions where volunteers welcome families and discuss services with them, give support and advice, and provide a top up of essential items. The charity is much needed, with a recent event attended by 44 families, and supporting 200 individuals in a single day.
The charity are planning four new community projects in local towns, which requires the purchase of essential stock. Whilst the Baby Bank works together with food banks for infant food and formula milk, they still need to purchase more to meet demand.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will help purchase more than 600 packs of nappies and 900 baby food items, to ensure the community projects can support as many families as possible.
Nominated by Matthew Fish, Central Services, Ardonagh Advisory
Kelvedon Institute provides village hall facilities to the village of Kelvedon and the surrounding area, which is run entirely by volunteers. The institute operates two halls that are used by a wide range of sports and social clubs, classes and youth groups – as well as private hires and the occasional gig!
The main hall is 100 years old and in need of repair to keep it going for another hundred years. The most urgent project is the cupola (a kind dove-cot style turret on top of the hall), which has become rotten.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will fund repair of the roof using materials that are better able to withstand the weather, so the building is protected for many years to come.
You can read the stories behind just some of our grants and the colleagues who nominated them on the Our News section on the ACT website.
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