Local Community Groups, the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, Councillors and supporters from all over the Harrogate district came together on Tuesday 16 November to celebrate a year of funding distributed by THE LOCAL FUND for the Harrogate District.
With two rounds of grant making distributed in 2021, totalling a massive £85,000, 29 local community groups benefited from the funding, keeping local people and communities fed, safe, well and connected through what has been a very challenging year.
At the event, Jan Garrill from Two Ridings Community Foundation shared the exciting news of a generous £200,000 endowment donation to THE LOCAL FUND made by Harrogate Borough Council. She also wowed the audience by telling them that any individuals or businesses wanting to give back and invest in the Harrogate area at the moment would see their investment match funded by Two Ridings – effectively doubling the investment.
In the first round of grants, ten organisations were supported financially to essentially keep them afloat, helping them pay for rent, utilities and other essential costs when other income had dried up.
The groups supported were Harrogate Clothes Bank, the Wesley Centre, Peer Support – New Beginnings, Badapple Theatre Company, Masham Town Hall Community Charity, Harrogate Bowling Club, Chain Lane Community Centre,Samaritans of Harrogate and District, Harrogate Hospital Radio and Harrogate & Knaresbroough Toy Library
A second round of funding was made in July supporting 19 local organisations to help them restart their services and activities so people could reconnect, feel well, make friends and starting getting their lives back – so much of which had to stop because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Resurrected Bites launched their community grocery store through the fund, supporting local people on low incomes with an affordable grocery shop all sourced from food intercepted from going to waste, at a time when food poverty rocketed.
- Wellspring Therapy were able to offer reduced costs on their counselling service and developed online counselling and suicide prevention support projects specifically aimed at young people, highly affected by being able to go to school, see their friends or get out of the house.
- Harrogate District of Sanctuary put their funding towards supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Harrogate with social activities, interpreters and payments for small things, that would otherwise see them unable to feel part of their community.
Dancing for Wellbeing secured venue hire for their popular and social wellbeing dance sessions.
The other successful groups were : Fitmums and friends , Harrogate & District Community Action, Boroughbridge and District Community care, Lifeline Harrogate Ltd, Nidderdale & Pateley Bridge Men’s Shed, Supporting Older People, Open Country, St. Andrew’s Church, Burnt Yates, Artizan International, Blind Jack Explorer Scout Unit, Emerging Voices and Autism Angels
It’s worth mentioning a couple of items of essential kit that may seem a little ‘standard’, but for the clubs who were able to buy them, we are assured they make a huge difference! A commercial floor cleaner for Pannal Village Hall and a tractor mower for Pannal Ash Football Club.
Not only do these two pieces of kit mean that the invaluable work of volunteers is made more effective but it is cost-effective as well– the hall can keep the hall cleaner so making it more viable for room hire, and the cost of the mower pays for itself after a year as it is much more cost effective than paying a contractor.
The Lord Mayor of Harrogate made a speech about all the groups and showed the amount distributed this year in a huge cheque.
Karen Weaver, of HADCA said:
THE LOCAL FUND is all about addressing the hidden needs in our district, like loneliness and mental health. It’s so important that there is a dependable fund for small groups that make such a massive impact in the district.
It is really wonderful to be standing here looking at people that strive to make a difference. I love that the fund supports them and that they in turn support so many local people; 15,295 beneficiaries in 2021 alone.
Jan Garrill, of Two Ridings Community Foundation said:
Thanks to all the supporters of THE LOCAL FUND who helped make THE LOCAL FUND the amazing long-term legacy for the Harrogate District. Without the generous support of many donors to the fund we wouldn’t be able to fund these incredible local charitable organisations, many of whom are here tonight.
And a special thanks to Harrogate Borough Council, who with their donation of £200,000 means many more new donors can set up their own funds to support THE LOCAL FUND and get it matched pound for pound.