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West Wight Men In Sheds – a social inclusion project based in Totland – has been awarded a £2,000 grant from the B&Q Foundation.

The charity is one of the first in the UK to receive a grant from the Foundation – which has so far raised a total of nearly £500,000.

West Wight Men In Sheds provides people with the tools to support their local community while helping them gain confidence and increasing their social inclusion. The charity recognises the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on a person’s health, with fewer older people having a network of friends – leaving them at higher risk of becoming socially excluded. West Wight Men In Sheds provides a place for Isle of Wight residents to meet others and undertake creative, recreational and community projects to support each other and themselves.

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The charity will use the money to purchase the materials required for a variety of local projects in which they use DIY skills and experience to transform the local area. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the charity has been delivering hot meals 5 days a week on behalf of the Coronavirus Support hub, delivering over 600 meals to date, since April. The fund will help continue this support.

Colleagues from B&Q Newport recently visited the charity in their signature orange aprons (pictured) to find out more about the work that the B&Q Foundation has funded and offer some help and advice on the project. The money was raised from the sale of face masks at B&Q, with all profits going to the B&Q Foundation in order to give grants.

Ian Wright from West Wight Men In Sheds said:

“We’d like to thank the B&Q Foundation for the funding. Being able to purchase materials so the local projects can continue is going to make a real difference to those involved as well as the wider community.

“It was great to welcome the team from B&Q through our doors to tell them all about the work we will do with the money they and their customers have helped to raise.”

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Catherine Burge, Transformation Director, B&Q and Chair, B&Q Foundation said:

“West Wight Men In Sheds does absolutely vital work on the Isle of Wight supporting individuals and their communities through these times. We’re really pleased to be able to support them through a B&Q Foundation grant and help them to create an even more homely space for those who use its service.”

More grants are available, so local charities on the Isle of Wight wishing to find out more about the B&Q Foundation are being urged to register interest at https://www.neighbourly.com/BandQFoundation.

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