University of Derby announces support for trio of local projects

19 October 2015

Fishing, cricket and youth work are the latest local projects to receive grants from the University of Derby’s Community Fund.

In the fourth round of funding for 2014-15, the University awarded grants to Sunnyhill Community Centre, Spondon Cricket Club and the Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club, all based in Derby.

Sunnyhill Community Centre was awarded £730 for their Youth Space project, which they hope will bring together young people, old people and those from different backgrounds in a safe environment.

The Youth Space will be open to everyone, with a range of activities to get involved in, such as sports, games and socialising. The Centre is also planning to use the space to host educational talks and workshops about key skills including: budgeting, healthy eating and how to use a computer.

Tansy Spencer from Sunnyhill Community Centre said: “The Centre could not have put on the wonderful activities it is now able to without the help from the University of Derby.

“As well as the children and young people learning vital lessons in cooking and basic literacy and numeracy, they also have loads of fun while learning. It means these children have somewhere to go to and socialise and learn to work together.”

children playing cricket on a sunny day

Spondon Cricket Club will use their £250 Community Fund grant, together with additional funding, to improve the practice facilities for female cricketers. The project is part of the on-going development that reclaimed 2,500sqm of derelict land on the edge of the Club’s outfield.

Kathleen Green, Hon Secretary at Spondon Cricket Club, said: “As the only cricket club in the City of Derby actively supporting and providing cricket coaching and playing opportunities for girls and ladies, the lack of sufficient net practice space has been inhibiting player development at all levels.

“We’re very grateful to receive the grant from the Community Fund and we are well on the way to reaching the target we require to install new grass practice nets.”

After receiving their grant of £620, the Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club will start work on installing accessible fishing platforms at Mill Dam – a small lake adjacent to the University’s Markeaton Street campus. It is hoped that the platforms will provide a space where wheelchair users, beginners and children can fish from.

David Sharpe, Vice-Chairman of the Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club, said: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to the University of Derby for this grant which will help greatly in providing safe facilities for the local community to fish and observe the local wildlife.

“Mill Dam is a special place in the city of Derby, which over the years has suffered neglect that we are striving to put right, and to develop as a safe and educational environment for all. Our plan is to manage this space with the ongoing help from the University of Derby, Derby City Council and the Environment Agency, all of who are fully supporting our voluntary work here.”

Voluntary and Community Services Peaks and Dales in Buxton was also awarded a grant of £900 in the fourth round of funding, which will be used for their Dome Café Club project.

Rosie Marshalsay, Head of External Relations at the University added: “Over the last year we’ve been able to support more than 18 local organisations across Derby, Derbyshire and further afield through the Community Fund.

“We’ve chosen projects in this round that stand out for making a real difference to people’s lives and bringing local groups together. It’s fantastic that we can support them with this.”

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.