Inspiring collection of local causes supported through ACT community grant programme

03 May 2019

Every quarter ACT awards community grants up to the value of £5000, to charities and causes close to the hearts of employees across the Group.

This week the ACT board of trustees gathered to review all applications and due to the quantity and worthiness of each submission, were faced with a difficult task.

Through each application, a story is uncovered that reinforces the need for ongoing support opportunities and shines a light on the remarkable work carried out by dedicated and selfless volunteers across the UK, every day.

The following five charities and causes will receive a share in over £18,500, in an effort enable the continued support of project, communities and individuals in need.

Hermitage FM

Submitted by David Hyde, Towergate Advisory

Hermitage FM is a not-for-profit, volunteer led community radio station operating and broadcasting to the North West Leicestershire district.

Established in 2009 as a registered charity, the station is at the heart of the community, both physically and socially.

As a regular DJ at Hermitage FM, Towergate Advisory employee David Hyde is a proud member of the volunteer team who are committed to giving back to the community by producing entertaining and informative radio programmes as well as delivering various projects and services aimed at supporting and empowering the people of North West Leicestershire.

The organisation is the only community radio station in the UK to operate a social enterprise community coffee lounge on the premises, which serves as an information point and meeting space at the heart of the district.

The station is passionate about combatting issues such as unemployment and social inclusion by providing work experience, volunteering and training opportunities with the aim to raise confidence, develop skills and invest trust in all involved.  

A £5000 grant from ACT will allow Hermitage FM to continue their work servicing the local community, contributing to their growth and inspiring vision to achieve varied and impactful social goals.

Period Power

Submitted by Donna Sturge, Autonet

A confronting decision is made by more and more women every month when they are met with the choice between buying sanitary products or buying food.

ACT has awarded a £2500 grant to Period Power, a registered charity that works tirelessly to eradicate period poverty, a term coined to capture the indignity no woman should have to face.

The charity collects donations of sanitary items by placing ‘dignity boxes’ within local Staffordshire businesses, distributing the items across foodbanks, schools, colleges, universities, women’s refuges, homeless charities, child welfare and other public spaces for women to access without embarrassment.

Since they were established in 2017, Period Power have supplied over 70 foodbanks and 100 schools with more than 14,000 packs of menstrual products and approximately 170,000 pads and tampons.

The money from the grant will assist the charity to purchase products but will also allow them to raise awareness and carry out education projects in schools and colleges.

Friends of Mill Brow, £1300

Submitted by Michael Senior, Swinton

Access, time and location for medical services puts lives at risk and is often a concern for small communities with limited resources.

Swinton employee, Michael Senior, is a member of Friends of Mill Brow; an organisation dedicated to championing local initiatives such as raising funds to install a defibrillator within their community hub to serve local residents.

A small group of volunteers raised £900 through various fundraising efforts, and a further £1300 contributed by ACT will enable them to purchase the life-saving piece of medical equipment.

Each year in Britain around 30,000 people are struck by sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital environments, highlighting the importance and necessity of a defibrillator in order to save lives.    

Willow Foundation

Submitted by Tim Richards, Towergate Caring Professions Division

Tim Richards from Towergate’s Caring Professions Division is a dedicated volunteer for Willow Retail, a division of The Willow Foundation; a national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.

Special Days are designed to provide a unique and unforgettable experience for those living with a life-threatening illness and are funded by the profits generated from numerous charity shops within the Willow Retail division.

A £5000 grant from ACT will support Willow Retail in their quest to open a charity shop with a difference in Letchworth Garden City.

Whilst the shop will still sell high quality pre-loved items, it is Willow’s vision to create a vibrant hub for the community by forging links with local artists and encouraging the creation and sale of items such as knitted crocheted products, home-made vegan toiletries and eco-friendly crafts.

The Lyme Trust

Submitted by Donna Sturge, Autonet

The Lyme Trust is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1974 with the purpose to provide accommodation and support for people with mental health needs, helping them to achieve independent living.

The Lyme Trust team work tirelessly to make a difference to the lives of people in the Stoke-On-Trent area, providing them with a safe and comfortable place to live and develop.

In addition to housing and support services, the Trust runs a charity shop called The Lyme Treasures, where all proceeds are reinvested back in to The Lyme Trust to enable in-house activities and external trips for residents.

The Lyme Treasures has recently opened a drop-in centre for the Trust’s current and previous residents, a local hub that that endeavours to inspire a sense of community.

With a £4987 community grant from ACT, the Trust hopes to transform the space to create a place residents can come to broaden their skills and ultimately assist their move to independent living.

With a vision to introduce a kitchen area, residents will soon have the opportunity to learn much needed cooking skills as well as education on nutrition and healthy eating.