Community Grants - Case Studies

Below are case studies from various projects that have been funded by Wychavon District Council over the last five years and some that have only just been awarded. For details about each project please click on the links below. For a full list of the grants awarded this year please go to the Community Grants 2017 page.

 

Garage Art Group (awarded £5,000 towards a £8,000 project) - awarded in 2011

"The Wychavon Community Grant will enable the Garage Art Group to celebrate 20 years of our work within the local community. Our CONNECTS DVD project will promote and share the creative work of our members and staff, stimulate participation and contribute to the cultural life of the local community."

 

Early Musica (awarded £2940 towards a £3925 project) - awarded in 2011


Worcestershire Early Music, a new organization devoted to promote early music, dance and education, is pleased to have had the support of both Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council to run a project with middle school students entitled ’A Tudor Betrothal’. Students learnt about Queen Mary’s Betrothal to Philip of Spain. The project was set up to pair two Wychavon Schools (and two Bromsgrove Schools], with one school playing the part of the English and the other the Spanish. Early music specialists visited the schools in Autumn 2011 over 10 weeks, including taster workshops and after school sessions. Nobody needed prior experience but they could use instrumental skills if they are studying a musical instrument. Groups met, learned songs and dances, created new ones of their own, and joined in with their ‘sister school’ to work towards a show, which was presented to friends, family and the local community on [29 November in Bromsgrove and 1st December in Wychavon. They then took the students on a ‘tour day’ where they could share the show with other area schools.

 

Cropthorne with Charlton Village Hall (awarded £10,000 towards a £386,289 project) - completed 2011


The project was to retain and refurbish the Main Hall, stage and meeting room and demolish the kitchen and toilets and re-site them. Provide full access and facilities for the disabled and create three activity spaces that can be used independently. A room to be created for a community shop, with a prescription pick up point. Fully insulate the building and fit double glazing throughout resulting in energy saving.

Project outcome

  • Provide full access for all 900+ Wychavon residents that currently used the hall, with scope for more
  • Help reduce pollution and CO2 emissions by using less fuel to travel to shops
  • Provides a venue for young people to meet rather than hanging around the village in groups
  • Improved venue for healthy activities
  • Shop will provide a service for residents within walking distance for most residents

Community contribution to the project

Estimated 750 voluntary hours to the project.

The refurbishment project was first mentioned back in 2003, so it has taken some considerable time and effort to get to this point. We were finally fully funded in March 2010 and building work started in April. Despite being due to be completed in October, the work was running behind schedule and when the builders went into liquidation in November, we were left with a half finished building. Our current builders, who started to complete the project in March, have done a splendid job and the results have exceeded our expectations.

We have a smart multi-purpose building with three activity spaces that can be accessed independently by all. There is even a room to house a small community shop, but whether this ever happens depends very much on whether the local residents still want one and if there are enough volunteers to help set up and run it. (we are holding an open meeting at the hall on 27th Sept at 7.30 to gather views).

The new hall gives us so much opportunity to increase the number and variety of our user groups. Just a few suggestions that have come from the surveys we carried out: drama/music groups, computer self help group, gardening club, youth drop in centre. It also allows us to offer a choice of excellent facilities to other organisations, such as Evesham College or our local Children’s Centres. They can then run courses that local people can enjoy, without having to travel far. Our local junior football – the Sheppey Junior Swifts (now has 5 teams of differing ages) will be able to make use of the separate room leading on to the field to serve refreshments at matches and training sessions. In addition to all this, the hall will make a wonderful venue for wedding receptions and parties.

Although mainly funded by the Big Lottery, I know we would not have been successful in securing their money without firstly obtaining the financial support of local organisations such as our Parish Councils, Wychavon District Council and the loyal support of residents who supported our fundraising events

Defford Village Hall (awarded £14,000 towards a £188,000 project) completed 2011

 

Rotary House, Droitwich Spa ( awarded £1,500 towards a £6,250 project) - 2008

The Councils £1500 grant enabled the Management Committee of Droitwich Spa's Rotary House and Garden to undertake a £6,250 restoration of its patio which over 50 years had become unsafe for use by the 600 people who attend the premises from over 20 local community organisations. Apart from excavating and repaving the patio, the project included new fencing and the provision of disabled access to Corbett Avenue and to the House's recently refurbished garden. The additional space will provide greater scope for fellowship and will give organisers the opportunity to arrange outdoor functions particularly during the summer months.

 

March Hare Archers (awarded £1000 towards a £1300 project) -2007

In 2007 March Hare Archery Club at Throckmorton, Pershore was very fortunate to obtain a grant from Wychavon District Council of £1000 to enable the club to improve its toilet facilities. The club has recently taken the delivery of a new toilet block that represents a vast improvement over the old facilities. The old loo is a rather unpleasant portaloo that has seen better days and is used by male and female alike. The flush seldom functions and the lack of running water on site meant that a basic portaloo was the only facility available until now.

 

It took several months to locate an appropriate toilet block at an affordable price. It transpired that such items are not easy to come by but we eventually sourced a suitable unit from a local firm. We then found a digger and driver to do the job plus it took a couple of hundred hours of members time to help prepare the site for the arrival of the new loos.

The benefit to the club from the new loos can not be overstated. This will help our members, and visitors to have a more comfortable experience when nature calls. It is an important step towards our aim of expanding the clubs facilities to enable more people to enjoy the sport of archery.
The management Committee and members of the March Hare Archers would like to express our grateful thanks to Wychavon District Council for the generous grant without which this purchase would not have been possible.

 

Beckford Nature Reserve (awarded £10,000 towards a £65,000 project) - 2007

We were delighted to learn in July 2007 that Wychavon had awarded us a grant of £10000. This sum, together with monies raised by the local community, and other grant providers, enabled us to buy a former quarry site owned by Huntsmans, with the view to formalizing an existing conservation area. The purchase was completed in March 2008. Now named ‘Beckford Nature Reserve’, it covers just less than eight acres including a lake of about four acres, all located within the northern edge of the village, and on the southern slopes of Bredon Hill.

 

Huntsmans, who had finished working the quarry in the 1980s had already landscaped the area for the benefit of the village, and installed a hide for birdwatchers. Areas were planted with varieties of native hardwoods, including oak, ash, cherry, sycamore, field maple and white poplar. These are now developing into very attractive woodland areas, with the more open spaces of the site becoming a haven for varieties of wildflowers including primroses, bee orchids, green- veined orchids, violets, and a whole army of insects and invertebrates. We initially sought advice from various conservation bodies on the management of the Reserve, which resulted in a three-year rolling plan being implemented. Our first year’s target has now been completed, partly as a result of labours by a very enthusiastic team of volunteers, and partly by use of contractors for the more specialized work.

 

The Reserve has now become a magnet for people from Beckford, and the surrounding area looking for a place of peace and tranquillity in which to spend some time. It has been estimated that in the region of 3000 people have visited it in the past year, many of whom have made use of the hide overlooking the lake, and have helped keep records of ornithological sightings. The Trustees have to interpret guidelines set down by the conservationists “To facilitate use of the site by local people in a way which allows enjoyment of it without disturbance to wildlife.”

 

There is a geological SSSI which shows graphically how the sand and gravel beds were laid down during the end of the last ice age. This lies on the north-east corner of the Reserve and is currently under the care of Natural England. During the summer months this quarry face is home to several families of sand martins, and they can be seen hawking up and down above the surface of the lake, particularly on a summer’s evening.

 

We have a very enthusiastic group of fundraisers who organize functions such as quiz nights and a 200 Club. Money is also raised from the sale of cards, pictures, and calendars showing views of the Reserve. This money will help pay for contractors work, and the installation of a disabled access to the site, which will include another hide and wheelchair- friendly path.

 

For more information regarding community grants please call Tracy Grubb, Community Development Officer on 01386 565168 or email: tracy.grubb@wychavon.gov.uk