Throughout the year, Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT) supports colleagues from across the Ardonagh Group worldwide to give back to the people, causes and communities that matter to them.
The ACT Community grant programme enables employees of Ardonagh to apply for funding of 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 final round of grants for 2022.
Read the stories behind each of the projects that have successfully received funding and why our colleagues nominated them.
Nominated by Mark Farren, Towergate, Ardonagh Advisory
Rural Inclusion was established by Mark’s son, Jack, who aged just 20 set up the not-for-profit to harness his own ACII experience to give back to rural communities in Eastern and Southern Africa by empowering local people through financial education. The charity provides digital financial training – with a particular focus on women and small holder farmers – to enable them to create sustainable, economic growth that impacts themselves, their families, and the wider community. The innovative education programme uses an offline mobile app to deliver effective training in the community, including education resources, first piloted in Uganda in 2021.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will enable Rural inclusion to lead a financial education project for up to 1,000 rural community members with an emphasis on female farmers in 202, with the money funding customisation of training g content and implementation in project areas – with the aim that those who benefit will have an increased understanding of the importance of saving and financial planning, increased awareness of the risks of borrowing and how insurance can provide a safety net for agricultural and health risks.
Nominated by Jacqueline Mitchell, Towergate, Ardonagh Advisory
Lisa’s Gift was founded in memory of nineteen-year-old Lisa from Renfrewshire, Scotland, who died in 2014 whilst on exchange from Glasgow University in the USA. Since then, the charity has provided assistance to disadvantaged school children in an array of ways ranging from funding school sports kit, providing footwear, and funding school trips for those who would otherwise go without.
Towergate colleague Jacqueline has known Lisa’s family for a long time and has seen how the good achieved by Lisa’s Gift has not only helped the family’s grief but also had huge positive impact in the local area.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will be used to establish breakfast clubs in every secondary school in Renfrewshire (10 in total), to ensure that school children who may not otherwise have a meal to start the day can access a nutritious breakfast – benefitting their health and their education.
Nominated by Ali Hare, Inver RE, Ardonagh Specialty
Food banks often struggle with effectively communicating their real-time supply and demand needs to their donors. BanktheFood is a digital platform that provides a new way for people to connect to local food banks across the UK – whether to donate food or to use the service. In particular, the app helps food banks let people know which items are most in need of donation so that people who wish to support the service can do so in the most effective way. This helps food banks and their volunteers better manage their stock and ensure they can offer the items people need sustainably.
Ali joined the charity as a volunteer to help with events and project management and has seen first-hand the impact that the technology has had to improve food bank services. The £5,000 grant from ACT will enable the charity to further develop the functionality and user experience of the app, to train food banks as they on-board, and to hold a community event to raise even further awareness.
If you’re interested in the BanktheFood app, you can download it https://www.bankthefood.org/downloadapp/
Nominated by Derek Snowden, Towergate Health & Protection, Ardonagh Advisory
Blackrod in Bolton is the hometown of Derek, where he has been a member – and Chairman – of the Sports & Social club for many years. Earlier in the year, one member had a heart attach on one of the bowling greens. Fortunately, and ambulance arrived in time, but the club wants to ensure that if an emergency arises in the sports club or surrounding community that there is a defibrillator available.
ACT has given a grant of £750 towards the cost of purchasing and fitting a new portable defibrillator, which will be an asset in times of need for all those in the community.
Nominated by Martyn Aldridge, Oyster RS, Towergate, Ardonagh Advisory
Cornwood Primary school is a small rural primary school of less than 100 pupils in Dartmoor National Park, South West England. They are creating a nature and sensory trail for the children to enjoy, as well as develop their motor skills and to support children with special education needs.
Martyn’s daughter is a teacher at the school and has seen first-hand and been closely involved with the fundraising the school has already achieved – raising £20,000 already towards the project. The ACT grant of £5,000 will fulfil the total cost of the nature trail, which means building can begin in 2023.
Nominated by Angela Sheehy, Arachas, Ardonagh Global Partners
St Pauls Youth Club is an entirely volunteer-run organisation for young people aged 7 to 16 in and around Artane. It provides a safe place for children to meet, have fun and get involved in a whole array of activities throughout the year. As well as the youth club, the premises is also used for wider community events such as dance groups, coffee mornings and church groups.
Arachas colleague Angela has been a club night leader for over seven years and knows well the joy it brings to local children in the surrounding area.
Right now, the toilets are in urgent need of repair. With over 50 children attending some club nights, the facility is much needed. The £5,000 grant from ACT will enable these repairs to be made, so that the club can continue to be a fantastic place for the community.
Nominated by Cliff Gillies, Paymentshield, Ardonagh Retail
Sands provides bereavement across the UK nationally as well as through its network of 100 regional support groups to ensure parents and families experiencing pregnancy or baby loss receive the best possible care and help.
One way Sands provides support is through memory boxes. When a baby dies, there may be little visible evidence of their time with its parents, family and loved ones. Memory boxes are an important part of many bereaved parents’ journey, as they provide a special place for families to store meaningful items they have collected through their baby’s pregnancy, birth and in the years that follow and enable a parental bond that can endure after saying goodbye.
Paymentshield colleague Cliff and his family have been directly supported by Sands when it mattered most and since then has advocated the charity. As part of applying for the grant, Cliff spoke to the memory box providers and it was agreed that rather than 250 boxes, they would provide 375. As a result, the £5,000 grant from ACT will fund 375 memory boxes to families helped by Sands.
Relate Bournemouth, Poole & Christchurch
Nominated by Debra Clark, Towergate Health & Protection, Ardonagh Advisory
Relate provides relationship counselling sessions to people of all ages experience hardship and challenge in and around Bournemouth, Pool and Christchurch in Southern England. Sessions are provided at a subsidised rate to ensure they are accessible to as many people as possible – and free for those who need the service most.
The £4,500 grant from ACT will provide 150 counselling sessions to those who could not otherwise afford it. Colleague Debra has been a trustee at Relate for over three years and seen the impact counselling has had to improve relationships between friends, families and couples in the community – particularly children, form whom relationship breakdowns can most affect.
Nominated by Daniel Murrell, Ethos Broking, Ardonagh Advisory
Nifty was established in 2019 to bring together expertise in sustainability research, education and activism with projects and organisations in the community so that they can deliver the best impact possible.
Ethos Broking colleague Daniel came to know the charity through his partner Becki, who is a Research Assistant. Since then, he’s seen the benefit applying research in sustainability can have for local community organisations. For example, by collaborating with a local sports club, Nifty helped them prove the impact of their work on challenging inequality in sport which ultimately enabled the club to apply for further funding successfully. In another example, Nifty worked together with a local council to help them develop a local green space in the best possible way to achieve biodiversity and accessibility.
The £4,750 grant from ACT will be used by Nifty to hold five pop-up community workshops in 2023 which can be attended by local people and organisations to empower positive and sustainable change as well as interactive sessions to provide education around sustainability, active citizenship and more.
No Limits (South)
Nominated by Andy Simpson, Legal, Ardonagh Advisory
No Limits helps children and young people across Southampton and the Hampshire area in their Advice Centre, in hospitals and in schools. No topic if off limits as the charity responds compassionately and holistically to any request for help, which may include substance abuse, body image issues, rights in a relationship or support for young carers.
Advisory colleague Andy is a trustee and has been closely involved in the charity’s mission and services. One of these services is a ‘Work Club’, held at No Limits’ drop-in advice centre on the High Street in Southampton. The Work Club which provides a safe space to help vulnerable, unemployed young people access services to help them search and apply for jobs. The £5,000 grant from ACT would be dedicated to the Work Club, so that it can remain open once a week and help young people write CVs, find jobs and prepare for interviews.
Nominated by Christopher Church, Communications, Ardonagh Advisory
Over 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s disease in the UK and it’s the fastest growing neurological condition in the world – yet there is still no cure. Advisory colleague, Christopher, has volunteered for the charity for many years, alongside more than 3,000 fellow volunteers nationally.
The £5,000 grant from ACT will contribute to the charity’s ‘Cure’ and ‘Improve Life’ projects, which involve research to develop treatments to slow, stop or even reverse the effects of Parkinson’s alongside strategies to improve symptoms and quality of life.
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If you have any questions, please get in touch with the ACT team using email@example.com.