History reborn thanks to grant

3 April 2019 - Latest news

A local history group has been brought back from the brink of closure thanks to funding from one of the north east’s largest housing associations.

Crook and District Local History Society has been re-equipped and is looking forward to a brighter future thanks to support from believe housing. The society has been able to purchase new display and computer equipment that will ensure the 29-year old organisation can continue its meetings.

Activities had become difficult and dependent upon borrowed or obsolete equipment, which contributed to a decline in membership. But now the new facilities combined with a recruitment campaign has already seen attendances rise. The society was officially relaunched with a presentation by the general manager and chairman of West Auckland Football Club on the team’s illustrious history.

believe housing, formerly County Durham Housing Group, provided £480 for the revitalisation project from its community grant scheme.

Dennis Scarr, Secretary of Crook and District Local History Society said: “Societies like ours play an important role in communities and funding received from believe housing will put us on a secure footing for the future.”

believe housing Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “The society has been successful for many years and when we heard that a relatively small contribution could ensure its survival, we were very keen to help.

“Local history societies provide a really important link with the past for communities and their events are a great way of tackling isolation and providing a social event.”

More than £50,000 has been allocated to community projects right across County Durham since the community funding programme was launched in July 2017.

Full details of the community grant programme are available at www.believehousing.co.uk 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 longstanding 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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