Managed Services Community Fund, in partnership with Wickes, part of Travis Perkins plc, has awarded £5000 to Friends of Westfield Farm, following a competition held at CIH Housing 2015.
The community of Dormanstown is an area of deprivation and high unemployment, with many children and elderly people living in food poverty. Westfield Farm, a community hub in Dormanstown, seeks to combat this situation through a variety of initiatives, including a gardening volunteer programme to provide home grown produce and meals, as well as a schools education projects on healthy eating.
Work Hubs provide careers information, advice and guidance, whilst Digital Champion volunteers support residents to access online services and improve their skills.
Friends of Westfield Farm submitted a comprehensive project proposal on how the funding could support all areas of their work and would allow them provide support for 500 additional local people, an increase from the 2000 they currently work with. Judges were impressed and awarded the organization the full £5,000 worth of funding.
Samantha Cox, competition judge, said: “As Groundwork is a charity that supports communities across the UK, I was delighted to be involved in the selection of a project to receive a grant through this scheme. Friends of Westfield Farm is delivering a range of opportunities including gardening and cookery skills and is a great project that I feel will make a massive difference in their community.”
Jenny Osbourne, another judge, added: “Friends of Westfield farm was an outstanding application and is well deserving of its win.
“I was particularly impressed with the work being undertaken on employment, skills, and training.”
Barry McBride, Westfield Farm coordinator, said: “We’re really grateful for the funding from Travis Perkins Managed Services. It will allow us to build on our success by giving us the scope to expand and improve our current offerings, as well as develop new programmes.
“Our community gardeners are really excited about the funding as it means they’ll be able to recover the poly tunnel, allowing them to continue to grow produce into the winter months.
“You don’t need to be a Coast & Country tenant to come and use our services. We are here for the entire community. If you want to learn new skills, gain new qualifications or volunteer on the Farm, please do in get in touch. We’re always happy to help.”
Chris Pentland, Wickes for Business social housing specialist, added: “The Friends of Westfield Farm project will greatly benefit the local community – actively supporting and assisting those that are most in need. We are proud to have partnered with Travis Perkins on this worthy initiative and feel the £5000 will go a long way.”
Stuart Hough, Managed Services managing director, concluded: “Community projects are a really important part of what we do here at Managed Services, and we are really pleased to be able to support Friends of Westfield Farm. We think the judges have made the right choice and look forward to seeing the project progress.”