Our first round of Community Grants was run in the Spring of 2015.
We funded 12 amazing and diverse projects from community gardens to ukulele classes!
You can find information on all the projects we funded in this round below.
Cookery Course for Over 50’s
Age Concern Eastbourne ran a number of 4-week cookery classes for the over 50’s with a focus on cooking healthy affordable dishes particularly for those who may be cooking for themselves for the first time.
It is estimated that over 23% of people over 65 suffer from malnourishment. Existing data reveals that over 180,000 patients are still leaving hospital suffering from malnutrition each year, and that over 239 in the UK die annually of malnourishment during their stay. The problem is not confined to a stay in hospital, as quite often older people are malnourished before they enter hospital, after either living in their own home or as a resident in sheltered, residential or nursing homes.
Age Concerns classes were hugely popular and received a great deal of positive feedback from those taking part, one participant told us “I cannot tell you how much this has meant to me,”.
“Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience,” – Oliver Sacks
Age Concern Eastbourne ran a hugely popular Ukulele club for older people in the Devonshire West area which attracted around 30 participants each week and was facilitated by a Ukulele teacher with over 30 years’ experience who had toured with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Research published in 2011 by new Dynamics of Ageing highlighted the range of positive benefits for people participating in community music activities and recommended the development of inter-generational music groups.
Although the initial funding has come to an end the classes are still going strong and the organisers said that It was incredible to see how quickly the group gelled and improved to the point they were ready to do concerts. Some of the group were even asking if they could do a solo.
The group have made some lasting friendships that will extend beyond the ukulele club.
Albion in the Community
KICKS Football Club
Albion in the Community received funding to run a number of free football sessions for young people aged 11-16 at Seaside Recreational center.
Their aim was to give local young people an opportunity to take part in a fun, free and healthy activity.
The project provided support to young people and included supportive mentoring in a safe environment with strong role models for the young people. They ran regular workshops on social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, keeping healthy, carers and relationships.
Albion in the Community hope that their sessions will have a long term impact on health deprivation, educating young people in the right way to exercise, the benefits of exercise and the importance of physical and mental wellbeing as well as an impact on emotional and social deprivation for young people.
“The project is about helping young people find their place in their neighborhood.”
Repairs to Brodie Hall
Christ Church is a major community hub for the Devonshire Ward, offering space to a number of community groups, who do fantastic work in our area, including The Matthew 25 Mission who support homeless and vulnerable people in Eastbourne, particularly those with addiction or mental health issues.
Christ Church received funding in round 1 to refurbish their main hall and replace the flooring to make it a safe and usable space for community groups and residents to use.
Since the work on the hall was completed a number of new local groups have begun to use the space to offer their services to the community including;
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- The National Citizenship Scheme
- Survivors of Suicide
- The Princes Trust
Community Stuff run a variety of great summer activities all across the summer holidays for children and their families.
Devonshire West Big Local Funding allowed Community Stuff to run 14 free play sessions in the area for local families.
With 27% of children living in poverty and 11% of households having lone parents, it can be difficult to keep children entertained during the long summer holidays, especially as many summer activities can be expensive.
Community Stuffs free activities give children and families the opportunity to try out new things such as circus skills, Rangoli art and singing. For many low income families, these sessions are very important and can help to combat social isolation “Lots of people met their neighbors for the first time and the children played happily together in a fun environment, without the sessions they may not have met up.”
Finding Your Way
Creative Force worked in partnership with The Towner Gallery and Devonshire West Big Local to develop temporary signage, designed by Devonshire West residents, which led from Eastbourne Pier to the Towner Gallery to promote one of their exhibitions.
Creative forced worked with worked with groups of people from Age Concern, Bourne Primary School, Charlie’s Youth Center, Eastbourne Blind Society, and Eastbourne Mencap to design the stickers which stayed in place for several months leading people through the Devonshire West area to the Towner.
Creative Force hoped that their project would encourage local people to feel a kind of ownership of the project and of their neighbourhood, engaging them in their local space and helping people to explore their more creative side.
Devonshire West Big Local awarded funding to Leaf Hall in round 1 disabled access to the community arts centre that can be used by the elderly, young families and the disabled to allow the centre to offer its services to all.
Leaf Hall offer a number of services to the community including their fantastic community cafe and also rent their space out to a number of local organizations and services, creating disabled access will open up the venue to many who before were unable to participate in their activities and events.
Matthew 25 Mission
The Matthew 25 Mission received funding from Devonshire West Big Local towards a wage for a new project worker so that the organisation could expand their vital services in the community supporting some of Eastbourne’s most vulnerable residents.
With the support of the project worker the mission is able to open 4 times a week all year round, offering hot meals, advice on key issues and signposting to relevant local services.
Matthew 25 feeds more than 40 people every week who have nowhere else to go and provide 1-1 support for people who are facing hard times.
Renee White Community Garden
Renee White Community Garden was set up in honour of local resident of Winchcombe Road. Renee White, who championed community issues in the area.
The group turned a space of waste land between Dursley Road and Winchcombe Road was transformed into a garden for local residents to enjoy with raised beds for the elderly and disabled residents. The garden gives residents of Dursley and Winchcombe Road a place to meet as neighbors and friends and feel closer to nature.
Shackleton Close Community Garden
Shackleton Close was built less than 10 years ago on the old coach park off Cavendish Place. It is a beautiful, quiet little close that you would not know is there unless you go there. In 2015 a group of the closes residents came together to plan a small community to garden for residents to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and herbs which could be harvested by local residents, many of whom were unable to afford fresh fruit and veg.
The group hoped that this would bring residents together, create a strong micro community and support those on a lower income to lead healthier lives
Talent Match is a £108 million investment aimed at tackling youth unemployment in 21 areas of England hardest hit by economic downturn. It aims to support young people who are farthest away from being work ready to secure employment or take up enterprising opportunities.
Talent Match’s project was aimed at to extend the original Sussex offer to include focus in Devonshire ward area, allowing Talent Match to work with young people who have not been in employment, education or training (NEET) for 12 months or more and support them to get back into work by engaging, inspiring and supporting those furthest from the labor market and boost their skills and confidence
Working Your Way
Wayfinder Women recived funding from DWBL to run a monthly support group for unemployed women in Devonshire West in order to help build up their confidence levels and skill sets in order to help them get ready for work.
Wayfinder Women’s research showed that many women feel worthless in the labour market with limited aspirations and low self-esteem and that gender specific support is more beneficial.
By allowing women a safe, female only space to work on their confidence together, Wayfinder Women hope to support out work women in the ward back into employment.