Over £35,000 granted to nine projects from Ardonagh Community Trust in Q3

29 September 2021


Each quarter, the Trustees of Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT), the registered charity of The Ardonagh Group, meet to review the applications for the quarterly grant programme submitted by our colleagues for causes they care about.

This quarter, nine projects will share £35,000 of funding, allowing them to support their communities to become better, brighter and stronger.

The projects supported in Q3 include; life changing driving experiences for people with visual impairments and other disabilities across the UK, support for local hospital radio in Harrogate, equipment to help save lives for first responders in Northants and resources for cancer charities across the UK and Ireland.

Read more details on all the grant recipients below:

Speed of Sight
Submitted by Allan Farrimond from Atlanta

Speed of Sight is a charity that gives life changing driving experiences for the blind and disabled. More than a driving experience, it gives people a chance to say yes, to wonder what else is possible and have the opportunity to be like everyone else. And it’s that last phrase, that Speed of Sight say is the most important thing that they bring to people because sometimes the greatest gift you can give a person is to simply include them. Their experiences take place nationwide at racing circuits, off road tracks or any venue with a large enough car park or area where a circuit can be created. Allan volunteers monthly and has seen first-hand the maintenance the vehicles need, and the potential impact on beneficiaries should this affect the operation of an event. With a £5,000 grant from ACT, the charity will be able to buy a fully kitted out mobile workshop to handle mechanical technical issues on the day and continue reaping the benefits to self-esteem, social interaction, and mental and physical wellbeing.

The Sick Children’s Trust
Submitted by Nadine Croft from MGA, Binders and Facilities

The Sick Children's Trust provide home-from-home accommodation a stone’s throw away from Children's hospitals meaning that parents and families with a seriously ill child in hospital do not need to worry about leaving their child, they can be at their side within minutes and do not have to worry about any financial strain. Due to frequent use over the years, one of their homes, Eckersley House in Leeds, is now in urgent need of redecorating. A grant of £3,365 means the Trust reach their redecorating cost target and will now be able to start the project. The trust says our contribution “will help us future proof the House for years to come and ensure that families staying at Eckersley House receive the rest, support and facilities needed to enable them to cope and stay close by their child’s side in hospital during a most critical time.” The Sick Children's Trust are also a key partner for URIS Group's 'Chariday' scheme and pre covid they provided volunteering opportunities for colleagues to give back.

Overstone Playing Field Association
Submitted by Phillip Moore from Towergate Insurance Brokers, London

This charity protects the only green space in Overstone village and looks after the upkeep of the playing field to ensure continued enjoyment for years to come by children from across the village and in particular those at the local school and residents. Phillip has recently taken up a trustee position and become aware that currently not all playground equipment passes safety measures and unfortunately has had to be closed or needs maintenance. The £3,000 grant will be put towards replacing equipment, regenerating the space to ensure it can be used by all. They also have future plans to further develop the space and build sensory and musical equipment for the local children to enjoy.

Harrogate Hospital Radio Society
Submitted by Ross Lee from Broker Network, Harrogate

After 44 years of non-stop broadcasting, Harrogate Hospital Radio is Harrogate's longest running radio station. Run solely by volunteers, the whole operation is funded by donations, fundraising and charitable grants. The current Covid pandemic has highlighted the positive impact the station has on people’s stays but unfortunately has also seen a reduction in donations. Ross is one of the radio’s volunteers and says “We have received so many notes of thanks for the service we provide, and the difference it makes to peoples' lives. I've seen everything from the technical aspects of building a studio, to spending time on the wards with terminally ill patients playing their favourite tunes in what may be their last days - in a service which nobody else would be able to provide - it will literally mean the world to everyone involved, and many future hospital patients - to have some support from ACT - to help us keep going”. The station relies very heavily on Information Technology and, with a £3,000 grant from ACT, can purchase two new computers for their studios to allow them to provide the best service they can, improve existing systems and keep going long into their 44th year and beyond!

Cork ARC Cancer Support House
Submitted by Rachel Murphy from Arachas

Established to provide a holistic centre in which people with cancer and their families can find free emotional support, practical help and trust. Their aim is to provide therapies that complement the medical model and adhere to best practice, to make a difference to the lives of those affected by cancer. Although Covid-19 restrictions meant that ARC had to temporarily close their doors, they remained committed to providing on-line and phone support to tackle the isolation that this caused cancer patients and their families. A £5,000 grant from ACT, will be used to help them continue making a difference to cancer patients and their families, in particular to the cost of running their Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) group which provides people with coping skills as well as a much-valued network of fellow warriors and survivors to support one another on their journeys.

The Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF)
Submitted by Brona Wright from Arachas

As the national charity for Oesophageal Cancer in Ireland, the OCF funds research and support for a disease that is difficult to diagnose, treat and live with. Thanks to research done to date, treatments have improved meaning timeframe for hospitalisation and recovery have improved greatly but more research is still needed. The OCF is solely funded through fundraising and with the impact of the pandemic still affecting donation streams it is harder than ever to reach this target. The charity, nominated by Brona was there for her during her diagnosis and since she’s been an active ambassador for the charity, sharing her inspiring story to provide support and hope to others. She also helps the charity with fundraising wherever possible and her commitment to helping the charity that helped her is astonishing. This £5,000 grant from ACT will help to take the project closer to its end of year target – with more fundraising to come - to support the project in continuing to deliver transformational outcomes.

South Northants Community Responders
Submitted by Nigel Hicks from Towergate Insurance Brokers, Northampton

The South Northants Community Responders team is a group of highly trained volunteers, governed by the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, who support ambulance crews by getting to patients before an ambulance can and providing emergency first aid. The team attend events and respond to calls on an app. Nigel is a member of the team and has seen firsthand the number of lives that can be saved by responding to emergencies quickly. An ACT grant for £1,835 will fund new radio equipment to help them cover larger events and continue providing their expert care to the community. The Trustees all commented on the importance of this service and praise for those volunteers who give their time to be first at the scene and save lives. We are exploring ways in which we can give additional funding to this cause up to the maximum grant amount of £5,000.

Submitted by Sarah Cullingworth from Safeguard

Candlelighters provide financial and emotional support to children with cancer, and their families, through grants, events and support for all the family. Sadly, this is something that Sarah has experienced first-hand with her son receiving a diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma in May this year. The support they have received from Candlelighters as a family has been invaluable. Sarah says “It's been so good to be able to meet people who understand first-hand what we are going through as a family. Friends and family have been great but knowing you're not the only ones going through this and that what you're feeling is absolutely normal reassures you”. The £5,000 grant will support Candlelighters to host talking therapy sessions for all children for 5 months, providing vital mental health support and a space for children to work through their feelings, worries and anxieties.

Tamworth & District Table Tennis Association
Submitted by Nicholas Matthews from Towergate Insurance Brokers, Warwick

Tamworth & District Table Tennis Association provides a venue for people to play, learn & experience table tennis. Offering training, coaching and introduction sessions, the centre welcomes everyone of all ages, regardless of race, gender, background and ability. Nicholas is the chairman of the association, dedicating his time on a voluntary basis to provide opportunities in a deprived area where resources for young people are diminishing. Table tennis gives an active alternative to screen time, encouraging young people to develop their confidence and physical and social interaction skills. The benefits of Table Tennis have also been scientifically proven to aid in mental wellbeing. Their ‘bat & chat’ sessions are aimed at the elderly to help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as the positive mental wellbeing that comes from being part of a social group. With an ACT grant of £4,620, the association will be able to purchase three new table tennis tables, balls and paddles, and cover the cost of a year’s mentoring and professional fees, giving more people the opportunity to get into the sport.