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Parklands Ward Report 2015 - Part 1 - grants to voluntary groups

April 23, 2015 9:37 AM

Those residents who attend the Parklands Ward Committee meetings, which are held 4 times a year, will know that we have a small amount of money available which we are able to give to local groups in the form of small grants. The aim of these grants is to help local groups that in some way benefit Parklands residents. Sometimes the group may not be based within Parklands Ward but it may be that the some members of the group that use the facility live within the ward.

In allocating the money we have to abide by certain council imposed rules, and this side of the application is managed by a council officer. After that we look to see if the groups applying for the grants meet what we consider to be important criteria.

For example we want to ensure that local people will benefit from the grant, even if the organisation applying are based in another ward. An example of this is The Friends of Gosforth Central Park, a park used by many people who live and work in Gosforth. We have allocated grants to The Friends of Gosforth Central Park in order to help these volunteers make the park a welcoming and friendly place for all to visit.

We also like organisations to give us examples of how they have fund raised in order to reach their target. We do however recognise that this is not always possible but we like to see that it has been considered as part of the application.

We recognise that keeping fit and active is important and so we have supported groups that undertake activities which promote fitness. Examples of this include the Bohemians Tennis and Football Clubs, Gosforth Central Bowling Club, Brunton Park Bowling Club and Sport Activities for girls at the Great Park Community Centre.

Protecting or improving our environment is also important to us. We have given grants to The Natural History Society of Northumbria to build a new wildlife hide in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, as well as equipment that can be used by their volunteers. Local Allotments have also received grants; Three Mile Allotments needed to have their access road improved and in return they are helping to beautify the ward by planting flowers on the Great North Road. Salters Road Allotments have also received a grant to improve access to their site.

Parklands Ward has purchased litter picking equipment which is available for local groups to borrow. We can also arrange for the bags of litter to be collected by the council free of charge by putting the group on an approved list of community groups.

The group which runs the Gosforth Community Minibus has also received a grant from us. This group helps Gosforth residents who are less mobile to get out and about. Volunteer drivers are always welcome so please contact us if you would be willing to help out.

A Parklands Ward based charity by the name of Daft as a Brush has also been given grants to enable them to help people suffering from cancer. This charity is based on the Great North Road and provides help in other areas as well as Gosforth. We gave grants towards their running costs and also enable them to purchase Vehicle Emergency packs which will help safeguard their volunteers.

All Saints Church Hall isn't based in Parklands Ward but has been given grants as some of the people using the Church Hall are from our ward. We have made a small contribution towards the renewal of the heating system and the refurbishment of the hall.

The Great Park Community Centre has been given a small grant towards its running costs; our ward includes Melbury and Warkworth Woods which are part of the Great Park.

Recent grants awarded include one to the Brunton Park Scout Group as their Scout Hut is in need of improvements. We hope to see the group undertake some fund raising activities in order to carry out further repairs which are needed to modernise and make their building more user friendly.

We do have a small amount of money that is unallocated and can be applied for but we realise that in the future the ruling Labour Group are planning to cut, or even abolish, this ward fund.

Parklands Ward Councillors
David Down
Pauline Allen
Robin Ashby