funding boost for new hall

23 September 2019 - Latest news

The gardens of a recently opened community facility are set to be kept spick and span thanks to support from a leading housing association.

St John’s Hall in Meadowfield on the outskirts of Durham can now boast well-tended gardens thanks to funding from believe housing.

The hall, which only reopened in May after a devastating fire, has been able to purchase a lawnmower and a range of other gardening tools with £500 from our community funding programme. The new equipment will allow volunteers to maintain the gardens surrounding St John’s Hall themselves, instead of having to pay an external contractor to do the work.

With an eye on the environment, the volunteers have also acquired the materials needed to compost grass cuttings and other garden waste. It is hoped that part of the garden space can also be transformed into a dementia friendly space with new planters and sensory plants.

Funding Officer from believe housing, Damian Pearson, said: “We always like to fund grass roots projects, and this one is taking the approach very literally.

“Projects like this, where even a relatively small amount can make a big difference, are exactly why we created out community funding programme. The volunteers at St John’s Hall are really committed to making the most of this fantastic new facility. We were very pleased to be able to help with this funding.”

Lesley Baxter from St John’s Hall said: “The new building cost over £570,000 and equipment  has to be funded from other grants and fundraising. believe housing’s £500 small grant scheme has been a great help for us to buy much needed equipment. This one bought a petrol lawnmower and some gardening equipment which is used by a small group of volunteers. Including believe housing tenants. Once the back garden area is complete next year we hope to have a steady stream of volunteers and the equipment will be well, used including the composter. This is the third small grant we have had over the years and I recommend groups to apply. The application process is simple and a very quick turnaround.”

Full details of the believe housing community grant programme are available here or by calling 0300 1311 999.

The scheme provides funds of up to £500 and is designed to help new groups take their first steps as well as supporting long standing organisations. The application process has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions are made monthly to ensure groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.

Any community organisation, non-profit making group, charity or school is eligible for the scheme.

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