Fringe Box



Groups And Organisations Make Bids For Grants Under Council’s Project Aspire Scheme

Published on: 28 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 29 Jun, 2016

Groups and organisations keen for a share of money from Guildford Borough Council to improve and enhance communities in the Westborough and Stoke wards pitched their ideas on Monday evening.

Members of organisations and groups at the Project Aspire event held at the park Barn Social Centre.

Members of organisations and groups at the Project Aspire event held at the park Barn Social Centre.

Each explained the nature of their project and why funding is needed. They put this to a panel that comprised the Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson; the leader of the council, Cllr Paul Spooner; and Steve Field, formerly of Park Barn, and who now works for the Chelsea Football Club Foundation.

The grants are part of the council’s Project Aspire initiative that has the slogon “everyone matters”. The council has pledged that it wants everyone in the local Westborough and Stoke communities to have the chance to have their say on what improvements they would like to see where they live.

A total of £250,000 has been made available in the way of grants and improvements over the next three years. At this first round of grant applications £30,000 is up for grabs.

Among those who presented their ideas at the event held at the Park Barn Social Centre were:

Positivity in Progress: an organisation that helps people suffering from depression lead a positive life.

Misty Bowers from the Matrix Trust explains one of its bids.

Misty Bower from the Matrix Trust explains one of its bids.

Matrix Trust: a project to offer bespoke mentoring to young people, and a cycling project to get children more active.

St Peter’s Shared Church: that needs a new heating boiler and to therefore to encourge more community use of its building.

Guildford Children’s Centre: a project that will help parents get back into work.

Craig Hill from Jellyworks.

Craig Hill from Jellyworks – animated in his bid.

Jellyworks: an organisation that plans a ‘Wacky Races’ style fun event to be held the Slyfield Industrial Estate.

Downsview Residents’ Assocation: funds to stage a community event.

Park Barn & Westborough Community Association: funds to offer coach trips and outings for members of the community, and funds to continue a greenspace initiative in Northway.

Kings College: to build a programme of community based activities.

New Life Baptist Church: funds to set up a lunch club.

Rhythm of Life community choir: funds to pay expenses to its volunteer musical director. It’s bid to the panel was begun by members of the choir signing in a surprise “flash mob” style.

Voluntary Action South West Surrey: funds to continue its Joining In! project, its Guildford Time Bank project, and an online community notice board project called

Meeting Point: funds to run this social caring group.

Future World of Work: money to develop career guidance and community development.

The Boileroom: funds for a project centered around surplus and waste food.

Surrey Youth Focus: to connect the community with business.

CHIPS: for its playschemes.

In the run-up to the event, groups and organisations were invited to talk over their ideas at two sessions. These were hosted by the council’s community development manager Sam Hutchison and members of its community wardens team.

Carol Dunnett, the chief officer at Voluntary Action South West Surrey (VASWS), who spoke on behalf of its own applications, said: “We are also pleased to be able to help other organisations and groups so they can develop their own ideas and projects to help their communities.”

VASWS is the borough’s local council for voluntary services and is funded by GBC to provide support for all types of voluntary action.

Cllr Iseult Roche.

Cllr Iseult Roche.

Ahead of yesterday’s funding pitches, Cllr Iseult Roche, lead councillor for community, health and sport said: “Not everyone naturally likes filling in forms and some people find it difficult and daunting. We have especially chosen a very user-friendly way to apply for a grant, by removing some paperwork and giving local people an opportunity to express their ideas in conversation and talk them through to a selection panel.

“New organisations and individuals have come forward with their ideas, as well established applicants. This means new ideas, hopes and initiatives straight from the community have that opportunity for funding, focussed on local people and local need.”

The chairman of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association, Wayne McShane, who also spoke to the panel of behalf of its grant applications, said: “As a commiunity leader I enjoyed hearing what other organisations had to say and what their plans are and what they have to offer. There were some very good ideas put forward.”

The panel listened to the bids and made notes.

The panel listened to the bids and made notes.

The panel will now consider all the applications in detail, which were also submitted in writing, along with other written applications for grants of £500 or less, and will make their decision on who will be successful.

This will be made public in about 10 days time. A further round of funding bids will be invited towards the end of the year.

The panel, other councillors, council officers and council staff including member os the community ewardens team pose for a photograph.

The panel, other councillors, council officers and council staff including member of the community wardens team pose for a photograph.

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