Wed, 16 Mar 2016
YOUNG people in Thatcham are to benefit from thousands of pounds in grant funding from Thatcham Town Council.
Youth groups were the winners on Monday night as the town council’s grants committee awarded £6,414.88 out of a possible £8,744.62 to worthy causes.
This is the second tranche the town council has awarded during the 2015/16 financial year.
The town council uses Greenham Common Trust’s Find Me a Grant website to find local groups seeking funding.
The trust then doubles the money awarded by the town council through match funding.
Thatcham Youth was awarded £813 (match funded to £1,626) towards creating a new club for 12- to 15-year-olds in the town.
Representing the group, Naomi Mildenhall said that the new club would provide leadership skills and improve confidence in young people, rather than the club having to stop them from attending once they turned 12.
Berkshire Youth was awarded £1,250 (£2,500) towards its Tomorrow’s Leaders programme, which provides skills and equipment to teach sport across Berkshire.
The money was granted provided that no more than eight young people from Thatcham take part in the programme.
Representatives told councillors that they worked closely with Thatcham Youth, but councillors wanted the benefits to be felt by more young people in the town.
Receiving £500 (£1,000 match funded) was Young People and Children First to help pay for an operations manager to run the charity.
YP&CF supports people aged between 16 and 25 in the district, who have been in care or are homeless.
The charity houses the young people in Cornerstone, a five-bedroom house in Thatcham, which offers one-to-one skills programmes.
Charity founder Patsy Stone told councillors that the charity was growing and looking at taking on another property but trustees would need help with the day-to-day running.
The Bus of Hope was granted £840 in order to come to Thatcham, Berkshire Maestros received £406 towards taking children to sing at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Prior’s Court Foundation received £275 towards a wheelyboat, to be used by autistic children in the foundation’s care.
The ReadiBus was granted £250 (match funded to £500) towards a new bus.
ReadiBus provides a door-to-door service for people in West Berkshire with mobility issues.
Harriet Faulkner said that the service gave people a reason to get up in the morning by restoring confidence and providing a social element to their lives.
The ReadiBus is facing a funding cut from West Berkshire Council, along with other bus services across the district.
Aware of the threatened cut, councillors said the modest amount would be needed.
A grant of £557 was awarded to the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre, £105 went to the Education Business Partnership West Berkshire, Thatcham Vision received £316, £1,000 went to Edible Thatcham, and £100 was granted to the Pied Piper Pre-School.
All 12 groups received the full amount of funding requested, leaving £2,329.74 unallocated.
Councillors were asked whether they wished to top up the charities but, with budget cuts meaning that the town council could take on more services, they opted to place the funds into town council reserves.