Food banks, furniture and football are just a few of the ways the University of Derby is helping community projects across the region.
The University’s ‘Community Fund’ has already helped several local projects since its official launch in October 2014 and now seven more have been awarded funds, including three in Derby.
In the third round of funding, the University awarded grants to the Food and Education Enterprise (FEE), 1st Chellaston Rainbows and Allenton United U10’s Football Club.
FEE is a ‘Community Interest Company’ that provides educational and volunteering opportunities and training to the unemployed and vulnerable groups in Derby, including the homeless and refugees.
The University’s Community Fund awarded FEE with a grant of £350 towards its clothing and food banks, volunteering and training services. The project currently provides clothing to five families a week and supports 60 people through their food bank services.
Ali Neghipooran, Secretary of FEE, said: “We are grateful for the support we have received from the University’s Community Fund. The funding will help towards some of the costs of running our weekly food bank services and allow us to provide clothing bank services to diverse communities in Derby, so they can access clothing for free.”
1st Chellaston Rainbows currently have 60 girls aged five to seven waiting to join their Girlguiding group and the University’s Community Fund awarded them with a grant of £250.
In April, they decided to open a new Rainbows pack to allow more girls to join and the money will be used to help them cover the cost of setting up the new group.
Rachel Couchman, Leader of the group, said: “As a new unit we need all of the essentials to make the running of the unit not only safe but fun for the 15 girls we currently have. We are truly grateful to the University as the funds have allowed us to free up money and we are now able to offer our Rainbows their first Girlguiding experience outside of our meeting place.”
Allenton United U10’s Football Club received a grant of £350 from the University of Derby’s Community Fund to purchase training and match kits.
The club trains 10 boys, many of whom come from single parent households, have parents that are unemployed or live in council properties and cannot afford training and match kits.
James Doyle, Manager of the team, said: “We are thrilled to receive this generous grant. Our players will now be able to play in a quality match kit, proudly displaying the University of Derby emblem.
“We can’t thank the University enough and we look forward to working with them to create awareness in the local community of all the great work they do.”
Other winners of the third round of funding included the Glossopdale Furniture Project, the G52 ‘Be Safe’ Project in Glossop, and The Hall Homeless Support Project and Mansfield Churches Together in Nottinghamshire.
Rosie Marshalsay, Head of External Relations at the University added: “We received a significant amount of applications for funding this time around but these three stood out due to the real impact they make on the local community.
“As a University we’re particularly keen to support projects that help people to build their confidence, learn new skills and develop the belief that anything’s possible, and belonging to a local football club or Rainbow’s group can be the first steps to doing this.
“It’s fantastic to see projects like these making a real difference to people’s lives and we’re thrilled to have been able to support them through the Community Fund.”
The Community Fund is just one of the ways in which the University of Derby hopes to give back to local people by handing out grants to inspiring projects that seek to benefit the community in some way.
For further information about the Community Fund, click here.