University of Derby funding scheme helps community groups in the great outdoors

27 July 2017

The University of Derby Community Fund has awarded two local groups funding to support outdoor projects that will benefit valued members of the community.  

Whiffle Pig – Community Interest Company (C.I.C) – deliver creative workshops for people living with neurological conditions. The group’s aim is to reduce social isolation and support their members to return to work if they choose to do so.

A £1,000 grant was given to the group to help develop the sensory and therapy garden they have recently purchased. The money will contribute to a raised bed planter, a small fence (as safety for children’s workshops) and some material for seating which has sensory attachments.

The fruit and vegetables grown in the garden by members of the group will be gifted to Doorways – a charity that feeds the homeless in Derby.

Annie Fielder, Co-Founder and Director of Whiffle Pig, said: "We are elated with securing this community funding for our garden. It means our workshops can continue on from the hospital into the community, giving our service users a beautiful place to call their own and socialise.”

Rosie Marshalsay, Head of External Relations at the University of Derby, said: “We’re delighted to be able to contribute to the sensory garden, an outdoor space that clearly plays an important role in the community. It will be amazing to see members connecting and benefiting from nature and the environment.”

1st Blidworth St Mary’s Brownies also received a £300 grant from the University for the purchase of camp beds.

With access to their own camp beds, the group will be able to take all Brownie members on group holidays, regardless of household income.

Jasmine Sheppard, Assistant Leader, said: “Being able to purchase the camp beds means that it will be cheaper for the Brownies to be taken on pack holidays, and they will be able go away more often, giving the girls opportunities to gain skills, have fun and make memories that last a lifetime. No girl deserves to be left out because they cannot afford it.”

Rosie Marshalsay added: “It’s so important to encourage young people to get active and take part in team activities that help with their social development. I hope that 1st Blidworth St Mary’s enjoy their pack adventures.”

The Community Fund is one way the University gives back to local people. Over the past three years the University has given £37,000 in grants to inspire projects that seek to benefit the community in some way.

In previous years the fund has supported various projects including sports clubs, youth groups and small charities in Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield.

Local projects across the region can apply to the Community Fund for the next round of funding.