Harrogate district community groups thankful for Local Fund

A number of organisations across the Harrogate district have received funding from the Local Fund following their hard work and dedication throughout the past year.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:45 pm
The Local Fund is a partnership between Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate and District Community Action and the Two Ridings Community Foundation

Harrogate district community groups, the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire and many more came together earlier this week at the West Park Hotel in Harrogate to celebrate a bumper year of funding distributed by the Local Fund for the Harrogate District.

There were 29 community groups in total that have benefited from the funding which has totalled a massive £85,000 and here is what some of the organisations had to say about receiving the funds.

Resurrected Bites

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The Mayor of Harrogate, Councillor Trevor Chapman, was one of the dignitaries to attend the Local Fund Celebration

Resurrected Bites is a Harrogate and Knaresborough based community organisation aiming to reduce food waste and food poverty and they are just one of many groups across the district that have benefitted from the Local Fund.

The organisation works with local businesses and suppliers to divert good quality food from landfill and instead, convert it into meals for their cafes, and provide it to families through their community groceries scheme.

Not only does it help people save money, it also means residents are helping to save the environment by stopping good food from going to waste.

Resurrected Bites opened their brand new community grocery store at New Park Primary Academy in October, which offers an affordable way for individuals and families to access good quality food.

Harrogate District Community Groups came together earlier this week at the West Park Hotel in Harrogate to celebrate a bumper year of funding distributed by the Local Fund

Michelle Hayes, founder of Resurrected Bites, is thankful for the funding the organisation has received from the Local Fund and admits it will help them out massively, especially as we head into the winter months.

She said: “The Local Fund has provided a three month salary for our New Park Grocery Manager Sophia. This has been hugely important as we needed someone in a paid role to ensure that we run to the highest standards.

"The grocery recently gained five stars in its recent environmental health inspection and that is down to Sophia who does a fantastic job at managing the grocery, supporting our fabulous volunteer team and helping our grocery members with their shopping.”

Harrogate Hospital Radio

Michelle Hayes, founder of Resurrected Bites, who have benefitted from the Local Fund

Harrogate Hospital Radio provides entertainment on 95.3FM, online and on their free app to patients, staff and visitors of the Harrogate District Hospital and is one of the many groups across the district that have benefitted from the Local Fund.

They are a registered charity that is voluntary led and relies on fundraising and donations to provide the service that they offer.

Mark Oldfield is the chairman of Harrogate Hospital Radio and is thankful for the funding the organisation has received.

He said: “We have been so lucky to receive the funding as it has helped us to upgrade our computer system and studio equipment.

Mark Oldfield, Chairman of Harrogate Hospital Radio, who have benefitted from the Local Fund

“The money is so vital especially with us being a voluntary-run organisation and the fact that we haven’t been able to do any fundraising because of the pandemic.

“When I received the email and found out that we had received the funding, I was taken aback and got quite emotional because it is such a fantastic organisation.

“For me as a chairman for the last six years it is also a relief that we don’t have to worry for the next 12 months because the money will be there for bills that need paying and even though we are a charity, we still need to get the money in to pay the licencing fees.

“The finances for this year are looking very good and that is all thanks to the funding.

“It’s an absolute godsend and I am so grateful for the support.”

Wellspring Therapy and Training

Kate Rogata, Director at Supporting Older People, who have benefitted from the Local Fund

Wellspring Therapy and Training provide affordable, psychological support to people in distress and promote good mental health through education and training.

Roger Elliot, Chair of Wellspring Board of Trustees, said: "This funding has been used to maintain and develop our work.

"The mental health support provided by Wellspring has a positive impact on our local community.

"People are enabled to reduce their anxiety, depression and suicidality and to move towards increased confidence and self-esteem.

"These improvements in mental health lead to a reduction in isolation, and an increased ability to engage in the community through positive relationships, employment, volunteering and education."

Supporting Older People

Supporting Older People are a registered charity aiming to alleviate loneliness and isolation often experienced by older people living on their own and they have also benefitted from the funding that they have received from the Local Fund.

Kate Rogata, Director at Supporting Older People, said: "The Local Fund is a brilliant source of funding for small local charities like Supporting Older People.

At a time when the funding climate is challenging, it has enabled us to pay staff salaries, venue costs and volunteers' expenses so that we can run our vital activities programme, supporting people living alone who did not see any one for over a year in the pandemic."

Harrogate Easier Living Project

HELP Ripon & Rural, part of Harrogate & District Community Action, has been able to launch a new weekly group supporting older people thanks to a grant from The Local Fund.

The Friendship & Exercise Group meet weekly at St Wilfrid’s Community Centre as part of a six-month pilot project helping older people to re-establish their social connections, find out information about what’s happening locally and to regain mobility and fitness.

Ceri Naylor, HELP Ripon & Rural Service Coordinator, says: “Loss of confidence about going out alone and reduced mobility are a sad reality for many older people after months of staying at home during lockdowns.

"As well as fostering social connections and improving mobility, we are using the sessions to provide helpful information about local sources of support and we occasionally organise trips too.

"Some clients don’t have the means to get out and about, so we can also provide transport through our volunteer driving service.

"None of this would be possible without the grant from the Local Fund and we’re confident that this pilot project will be a success and will lead to more opportunities for isolated older people in Ripon in the future.”