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MELKSHAM Area Board awarded a number of grants to local initiatives at their meeting last month.
A total of £8,275 was awarded at the meeting held on Monday 14th December from the area board’s Community Grants Scheme.
£2,000 was given to the Atworth Village Hall and Recreation Ground Committee towards the cost of converting its changing room into a multi-use room.
The committee had originally asked for £5,000 from the area board – instead councillors proposed to award £2,000 with the option to consider the application again at its February 2021 meeting for the “residual funding”.
The committee’s application said, “For many years the changing room located at the rear of the Atworth Village Hall was used by local football clubs mostly playing in the Sunday league. For the past five years no club has used these facilities and after many telephone conversations with the FA, it does not seem like it will be used again. Therefore we are proposing that we convert this room to a multi-use room that can be hired by the public. It can also be used by the parish clerk as an office space when it’s not being used by the public. This room will be useful as sometimes we have been asked for a room to be hired but the main hall is in use.”
Melksham Oak Community School was awarded £407 to help purchase equipment for an intervention project based around boxercise to help students with low self-esteem and behavioural issues.
It could also be used to support students experiencing mental health problems – an issue that has become an increasing concern at the school, especially “post-Covid”, explained Debbie Steer from Oak’s outdoor education department.
The school’s application said, “This money will be used to fund a boxing-based intervention scheme. Our pastoral support team will identify small groups of students to attend a six-week intervention programme. The students could be picked for a variety of reasons which could include low self esteem, mental health concerns, behavioural concerns and/or special educational needs.
“The activity will be run alongside support from the pastoral team. This activity will be run in addition to their normal curriculum, therefore cannot be funded by our normal departmental budgets. We also intend to set up an after-school club for these students so that they can still benefit from the positives of boxing, even after the programme has finished.”
Age Friendly Melksham was awarded £918 for its Face2Face Mobile Video Calls project, which will facilitate video calls for people who have not seen family and friends as a result of the pandemic and do not have access to suitable technology.
Their application said, “We will purchase two iPads that service users can borrow that will allow them to have video calls using Facetime/Zoom/WhatsApp with their friends/relatives. The iPads will be a bookable resource that we would deliver to the service user’s home and then collect after an hour or two. Where necessary, the Age Friendly Melksham volunteer would set up the call so that the service user would not need existing computer skills.
“This service will be available to anyone who is unable to access the necessary equipment to be able to make video calls to friends and family and is therefore at risk of being or is socially isolated.”
Young Melksham was awarded £4,950 to create step-free access to the Canberra Centre. Their application said, “Following the sale of a Wiltshire Council property adjacent to the Canberra Centre, the formerly shared disabled access step-free access to the Canberra Centre was lost.
“To ensure disabled step-free access and compliance with the Equality Act 2010 we need to construct a new wheelchair friendly access to the Canberra Centre. This will also support access for Age Friendly members and other community groups using the centre.”