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wightaidlogoThe Wight AID Foundation has granted a staggering £50,000 to local charities in their first round of grant applications.

WightAID raises funds from businesses operating on the Island, and distributes it to a range of charities and good causes on the Isle of Wight. The foundation launched back in September and is spearheaded by Geoff Underwood, owner of local technology firm IFPL and President of the Chamber of Commerce. WightAID’s trustees are all local business leaders.

Thanks to donations to Wight AID from IFPL, Westridge Limited, Rouse Limited and public donations, Wight AID has been able to distribute a total of £50,000 across 9 local charities.

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The successful applicants of the first round of funding include:

• Ability for Dogs have been granted £10,000 towards purchasing and training a new assistance dog. The charity trains assistance dogs to help young people and children with physical or mental disabilities. This is the only charity on the Island that provides this vital service.

• Yellow Door have been granted £10,000 to offer therapeutic support for residents who have experienced sexual violence, abuse or rape. The charity also raises awareness by visiting schools and youth centres.

• West Wight Sports and Community Centre have been granted £10,000 to fund a project to support vulnerable adults to learn new skills in a catering environment. The centre already provides a range of activities and service that help support the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing of the community.

• Independent Arts have been granted £8,450 to fund a project to offer creative writing workshops for young people and residents of Care Homes.  The charity uses arts as a tool to improve health, wellbeing and quality of life for older people and others in the community facing disadvantages or deprivation.

• Storeroom 2010 have been granted £5,000 towards the running of education courses for the unemployed to help them attain employment.  The charity already supplies donated furniture at a minimal cost to people in need; the Storeroom is about second chances for people.

• IOW Pony Driving for the Disabled have been granted £3,300 towards 2 electric bicycles to accompany the disabled carriages. The charity enables disabled people the chance of being able to drive a pony and carriage, in the beautiful grounds of Osborne House.

• Bodster Equine have been granted £1,958 towards there project to take Ponies to Care homes to interact with Dementia patients. The charity enables vulnerable at risk and disadvantaged people to interact with ponies on the ground to help them feel less isolated and develop self-belief and self-confidence.

• Ryde Rotary has been granted £500 towards the 2016 Youth Speaks Competition. The Rotary support a large variety of good local causes.

• IOW Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club have been granted £500 to help towards hiring Ice Rinks on the mainland after the closure of the Ice Rink in Ryde.

The trustees expect to make the next distribution of funds in January, with a deadline for applications by the 31st December. More information about how to support WightAID, and how to apply for a grant can be found on their website

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