Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tesco Bags of Help

The Tesco Bags of Help grant is now up and running. The money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland is being used to pay for a large number of local projects to improve green spaces in communities. Projects that will get the green light as a result of the funding will include building new pocket parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens.


The WHSmith Trust

The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that aims to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates, and also to promote literacy and a love of reading.

With the introduction of the new WHSmith Community Grants, the WHSmith Trust is now offering grants of up to £500 to voluntary organisations and schools from the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag levies across the UK.

Grants are awarded every six months to charities, schools and community groups of any size, provided they support the community in the UK.

The following community groups may apply for WHSmith Community Grants:

•             Registered or Exempt Charities

•             Voluntary/Community Groups (constituted)

•             Schools and pre-schools

To apply for a Community Grant, fill out the application on the WH Smith website.       

There are two annual application rounds – 1 October to 3 March, and 1 April to 30 September. At the end of each six month period, grant applications are reviewed and grants issued.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Kingfisher Awards

The Kingfisher Award Scheme provides primary school children with the opportunity to go onto farms to explore the natural world. It is very much a practical exploration, allowing them to touch, feel and see the relationship between food, farming and wildlife.

Each year, a number of primary schools attend a Field Day in June when they visit a farm. They take part in a number of activities, such as pond dipping, shearing and animal tracking, designed to give an understanding of how farming and wildlife are linked. Emphasis is placed on the food chain, ecosystems and life cycles within the natural environment. Experts are on hand to guide the children into discovering for themselves and to answer questions. The children are encouraged to use all their senses to understand and experience the countryside.

Back in the classroom the children do further research on the themes of the Field Day and prepare a display. This is a team effort that allows the children to develop ideas and explore their natural environment at school and at home. Even though all the children will have the same broad experience at the Field Day, it is fascinating to see how each school group is inspired in different ways and informed by different parts of the day. The freedom to explore themes in their own time makes it easier for teachers to blend the Field day experience with the classroom work going on in the summer term.

All of the schools are then invited back to the farm for a picnic where they present their displays to compete for the Kingfisher Trophy. The judges are a panel drawn from farming and wildlife backgrounds with whom the children discuss their work. The afternoon also includes activities such as making willow dragonflies or story-telling. At the end of the picnic, the judges have to make the unenviable decision to award the trophy to one winning school. It is a tense moment!
First launched in Devon by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and friends in 1992, Kingfisher now works with around 800 children a year across four counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire). It is administered by the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SouthWest).

For four years the Field Day was held at Alvediston, but this year it moved, with the kind permission and support of the Sykes family, to Norrington Manor. The picnic will be held at Fyfield Bavant where the Reis family throw open the barn doors for a day and welcome the children to the farm.
Here in Wiltshire, Kingfisher is run by enthusiastic volunteer Alastair Brown. He started the scheme some years ago as a result of seeing his brother do the same thing in Somerset. He had always had an enthusiasm for wildlife since a very early age and wanted to inspire the same thing in others. Alastair says, “I particularly liked the way that Kingfisher set out to achieve its aim of taking children onto farms and allowing them to discover the relationship between food, farming and wildlife.” He goes on to explain that, “It appealed to me, too, that the Kingfisher Award Scheme was entirely free to schools taking part, with the fundraising being my responsibility; particularly useful for smaller primary schools.  In my first year and subsequently, I also noted the enthusiastic responses from teachers whose classes had taken part, saying that their classroom preparation for the display had provided an excellent forum for a range of teaching subjects.”

The AONB Sustainable Development Fund provided the Wiltshire Kingfisher Awards with its first income of just £500. Since, then we have been privileged to support the scheme in any way we can.

This year, Alastair will be hanging up his wellies and handing over to FWAG South West’s Louise Kennedy who will be taking up the responsibilities for the Kingfisher programme in the future. If you would like to learn more about Kingfisher, or would be interested in your school getting involved, then you can contact Louise at louise.kennedy@fwagsw.org.uk

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Are you a looking to fund a community project within South West Wiltshire?

If you are a community enthusiast, community or voluntary group or town or parish council looking to fund a community project in the Mere, Tisbury or Wilton community areas during 2015/2016, then you may be eligible for a community area grant.

Wiltshire’s community area grants scheme provides up to £5,000 to help fund facilities, equipment and other projects that are important to the local community and create a lasting legacy.

Funding is also available to help communities wishing to start a new or maintain an existing basic computer skills activity.  For more guidance on what this could be and what you can apply for please click here.

You can now view grant applications online for ideas and inspiration. So, if you have a project in mind and you want to make it happen, why not register and make an application. Register and apply.

A full list of the parishes in South West Wiltshire is provided below:

Mere Community Area, which includes the parishes of East Knoyle, Kilmington, Mere, Sedgehill & Semley, Stourton with Gasper, West Knoyle and Zeals

Tisbury Community Area, which includes the parishes of Ansty, Berwick St John, Berwick St Leonard, Chicklade, Chilmark, Donhead St Andrew, Donhead St Mary, Fonthill Bishop, Fonthill Gifford, Fovant, Hindon, Sutton Mandeville, Swallowcliffe, Tisbury, Tollard Royal and West Tisbury

Wilton Community Area, which includes the parishes of Alvediston, Barford St Martin, Bishopstone, Bowerchalke, Broad Chalke, Burcombe Without, Compton Chamberlayne, Dinton, Ebbesbourne Wake, Netherhampton, Quidhampton, South Newton, Stratford Tony, Teffont and the town of Wilton.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Free Trees for School, Community & Youth Groups (UK)

The Woodland Trust has 3,250 free tree packs to give away to schools, community and youth groups this autumn. The free tree packs are available for planting on one publicly accessible site. Each pack is worth £30, £105 or £420. All applicants need to do is find a suitable site and supply the volunteer planters and tree protection. The packs come in different mixes of tree species so applicants can choose the best one for their project. All those eligible will receive their tree packs between 7th and the 11th March 2016.

The closing date for applications can be made up to the 6th January 2016. Read more at: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/in-your-community/