More than £135,000 spent on local community groups during Covid-19

Garden expert John Stirland presents a certificate to Rebecca Shopland, winner of the Best Garden Created by Kids category in the Ropsley online garden competition
Garden expert John Stirland presents a certificate to Rebecca Shopland, winner of the Best Garden Created by Kids category in the Ropsley online garden competition.

The Council's community fund was set up on 9 April to support local community groups during Covid 19. To date, more than £135,000 has been awarded in grants to voluntary groups helping

Council Leader Martin Hill said, "This crisis has been challenging for everyone, but I've been so impressed by communities throughout the county who have come together to help others.

"From shopping, picking up prescriptions, and providing essential supplies, as well phoning those who were feeling lonely while self-isolating, there are so many ways people have shown their community spirit.

"The funds we've made available have been essential to cover costs for items such as PPE, providing food parcels and IT support to help keep people connected.

"Although the situation is currently improving, many individuals continue to need support, and community groups have also been hard hit without their usual fundraising activities."

Each county councillor has £3,000 to donate to local good causes in their division.

Among several grants, Cllr Hill awarded £410 to Ropsley and District Parish Council, covering the villages of Ropsley, Great Humby, Little Humby, Braceby and Sapperton. The funding supported several projects including a printed newsletter keeping residents up to date with news and sources of support, plus a popular online Best Kept Garden scheme, which attracted over 100 entries. Prizes were presented by gardening expert John Stirland.

Nikki Gascoigne, clerk to the parish council said, "It has been a really lovely way for the community to share their love of gardening and to bring people together during lockdown.  We had lots of comments and thanks from parishioners and even a message of support from Frances Tophill, from Love Your Garden and Gardener’s World."

Cllr Hill awarded a further £300 to Sleaford New Life Community Larder covering North and South Kesteven. So far this year, the community larder team has dealt with 650 referral applications, requesting help with food. Over 50 volunteer drivers have made themselves available to deliver food packages to 270 unique households in Sleaford and 42 villages.

These include 27,030 meals (three meals a day for up to five days). As people have been self-isolating this has been an essential service, and the charity expects to see raised levels of need for the foreseeable future.

The charity Foxdale Equine Assisted Learning CIO has also benefited to the tune of £500. They normally provide therapeutic support to vulnerable clients who may be experiencing trauma, anxiety or bereavement, through direct contact with horses, and have continued to provide virtual support during Covid 19. 

Grants have also been made to ensure community groups can continue once the pandemic is over. £300 went to Oasby Cricket Club to enable the club to bring its playing surface up to a suitable standard, while a further £500 has been granted to Dowsby Village Hall for much-needed repairs to a cracked ceiling. 

Any groups in need of financial support during the Covid 19 crisis, should see

Published: 23rd July 2020