Abri, one of the south of England’s largest housing providers, has awarded over £40,000 from its Community Fund since April 2021 to support local organisations and projects, The Community Fund is part of Abri’s commitment to supporting and investing in communities, making them better places to live.
Applications are decided on by its customer panel – Thriving Communities – made up of customers and those living in its communities.
“We had lots of great applications from across all our communities. There are so many inspiring people making a difference in their community, and we are so pleased to be able to support so many through our Community Fund,” the Thriving Communities panel said.
Cita Jagot, Communities & Involvement Manager at Abri, added: “We believe the best ideas often come from the people who know and lie in our communities. And we’re committed to supporting and investing in our communities. We’re proud of the difference our Community Fund makes, driving change, transforming our communities and providing opportunities. It’s what our Community Strategy and five-year £15m investment is all about – empowering communities, improving health and wellbeing, and providing employment opportunities.”
Successful applications so far this year include:
- Driven Forward, received £3,000 to support the ongoing sustainment of the community fridge in Clewer and Dedworth, and to help families and adults who are financially struggling to provide food for their families and the community.
- St Peters Community Centre, in Yeovil, received £3,000 to support their food pantry and set up toddler activity sessions.
- Coach4u received £1,500 to hold summer events for 100 children aged 5-11 in Mansbridge.
- Buzz Action Foundation received £3,000 to provide youth club activities at the Bowman Centre in Amesbury, giving young, socially isolated people alternative opportunities for socialising and discharging physical energy.
- Marvels and Meltdowns in Gosport, received £1,500, to improve health and safety measures in their new centre. They are a long-established group in Gosport supporting families of children on the autistic spectrum.
Dan Martin, Head Coach and Managing Director at Coach4u said: “We applied to Abri’s Community Fund because we identified a lack of activity for children in the Mansbridge area. We wanted to ensure that, during one of the longest and toughest times of the year for parents, that we could support by providing provision for those parents and their children. Without Abri’s funding we simply would not have been able to engage and provide development for those children.”
Tila Stephens, from Driven Forward, said: “The funding has made a big difference to the charity as the numbers of adults and families accessing the food from the community fridge has been steadily increasing. We will be able to help more families and also prevent food waste at the same time. We have increased our volunteers and we are able to support adults in the community and provide volunteering opportunities; we have people accessing the fridge who appreciate the help with providing food for their families and who want to ‘give back’ and volunteer their time to help.”
Jonathan Russell, Lead Facilitator at Buzz Action Foundation CIO, said: “We feel that our project is making a big difference on many levels to young people and their families who live in the Amesbury Area. We like that Abri place families in communities and we think our youth provision reflects the diversity of our young population, who have a broad range of cultures and backgrounds. The funding we received helps give us security in the medium term, which means we can plan, invest in training, and provide a rich range of positive activities for the young people in Amesbury.”
Abri’s Community Fund opens for applications three times a year, and organisations can apply for up to £3,000 to support a project in one of Abri’s communities. The next application window opens on 1 December 2020 and closes on 9 February 2022.
Find out more at www.abri.co.uk.