New grant scheme restores hope for community groups in North West Leicestershire

Published: Fri 25 June, 2021

Groups and sports clubs in North West Leicestershire have been helped to re-open safely for their communities thanks to a new community grant scheme.

Measham Mobility Bus and Heart of the Forest Heritage are among those that have used North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) Community and Sport Club Coronavirus Support Grant scheme to get back up and running after lockdown.

The scheme has provided over £6,000 to non-profit voluntary organisations, community groups, and sports clubs who were in financial difficulty and have struggled to continue operating due to the pressures of the pandemic.

Heart of the Forest Heritage has received £500 in funding from the scheme which will go towards a new gazebo to allow organisers to host events in all weather conditions.

The group is run by volunteers who share an interest in telling the unique story of the National Forest landscape and have been unable to meet with members since March last year.

Measham Mobility Bus also used the scheme to help get the bus safely back on the road to provide transport for community groups in need with £1,000 towards an MOT, servicing costs and insurance.

The non-profit organisation has been off the road for 14 months and lost £2,000 during the pandemic having paid the bus’ annual bills just before it was announced that the group would have to take a break.

Community groups that fall within the criteria are still being invited to submit an application at www.nwleics.gov.uk/supportgrant

Linda Bull, Secretary at Heart of the Forest Heritage, said: “We’re a very small band of volunteers trying to preserve the heritage of our corner of North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire. Covid-19 has made it difficult for us as we haven’t been able to meet with group members and volunteers since last March.

“Thanks to the funding from the district council and with restrictions starting to ease, we’ve been able to buy a gazebo which means we can look forward to being able to host events again and get back to doing the things we’re passionate about.”

Richard Oakes, Chairman at Measham Mobility Bus, said: “We’ve been off the road for 14 months and slowly but surely we’re getting back to helping community groups from up and down North West Leicestershire get from A to B.

“It’s disheartening for groups like ours when we take a financial hit because we rely on group trips to keep us going so, we’re really grateful for the funding from the district council.”

Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “The Community and Sports Club Coronavirus Support Grant scheme has helped to raise the spirits of not-for-profit organisations, community groups and sports clubs across the district.

“Groups and clubs play an integral part in the community in North West Leicestershire and it’s important that we provide the necessary support to help them re-open in a Covid-safe way.

“If you’re part of a group or club and meet the criteria, I’d encourage you to take a look at how the scheme can help.”

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