Community groups and charities across the Island are being reminded of the chance to secure a share of £80,000 from the Isle of Wight Foundation, a charitable trust established by Island Roads and its partners to help fund projects tackling social exclusion across the Island.
The second year of grant funding was launched in February this year and is set to benefit a host of projects with grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 per project that aim to either:
• Provide people with better chances to access training and development to improve their life skills and opportunity for employment
• Help to build stronger communities with more active citizens working together to minimise social exclusion.
In 2014, several projects were successfully awarded funding of between £4,500-£14,000 each by the Isle of Wight Foundation including: Storeroom2010, UKSA (United Kingdom Sailing Academy), The Law Centre, The Way Forward Programme, YMCA, Niton Community Project and GROW (Giving Residents Opportunities and Wellbeing).
In addition to the financial help available the Foundation also matches Island Roads employees to each of the projects as part of Island Roads volunteering scheme. The scheme gives employees a number of paid working days per year to volunteer for community projects and a chance to lend practical support, skills and expertise to assist the projects as they develop.
Phil Jackson, Chair of the Isle of Wight Foundation board said:
“We were delighted last year that so many organisations came forward for grant funding and that these are now underway and making an active difference to the lives of residents on the Island. There is still time to apply for grant’s under this year’s scheme and we would urge groups to put in an application as soon as possible so we can consider it before the deadline on 1st May 2015.”
Nick Miller, Manager of Storeroom 2010 one of last year’s successful applicants said:
“The funding has been hugely important to us, enabling us to run free Skills gap training that is not offered by other agencies and educational establishments, to unemployed people on the Island.
“Many of our clients are long-term unemployed and may also have mental health or learning difficulties. Through our training we have been able to give learners more confidence, a chance to develop new skills eg Carpentry and Joinery, as well as the basic skills that will help them to become more employable and able to cope with work.
“48 students have attended our carpentry courses, the sixth one finishes in May, and some of our students were able to apply their skills in a community project run by Aspire in Ryde making a hugely positive impression on the project leader. To date, over 70 students have also attended our accredited Health & Safety in Construction training which is designed to help learners prepare for the CITB test required by employers in the construction industries. We have also found dedicated premises for our training and plan to move the training there shortly.”
Applicants from the charity, voluntary and not-for-profit sector on the Island are invited to submit applications with details of their projects before the deadline of 12 noon on 1st May 2015. These will then be shortlisted and visits undertaken to discuss the projects in more detail before the final grant awards are approved with the award being made in December 2015. The financial support approved must be able to be used within 12 months of the award – by December 2016.
Whilst the Foundation prefers to provide financial support for ‘capital’ projects, all forms of support will be considered whether for new projects or opportunities to extend existing projects.
For more details on the Isle of Wight Foundation, current projects underway and details on how to apply for the 2015 grant scheme visit http://www.islandroads.com/137-iw-foundation.html or contact Island Roads on 01983 822440.