Mr Don from Cirencester is a member of a community bingo club that has been running twice a week for many years. The club is enjoyed by many of the customers that live at Beech Grove Court as well as providing fun for members of the surrounding community. Mr Don approached YouCan for a grant of £150 to buy a new electronic bingo calling machine after their old one finally gave up the ghost after giving years of loyal service. These types of events are so valuable for the people that rely on them for their social life, so the YouCan foundation was more than happy to award the full amount applied for. We’ll catch-up with Mr Don in a few months to see how things are going … Natalie Warburton of 1206 (Mercian) Squadron in Lichfield contacted YouCan to request a grant of £300 to help towards funding a team sports kit. Natalie said: “There are over 60 cadets in the squadron and they take part in lots of different activities including rugby, football, hockey, netball and athletics. Having a specific kit would really help the 12-19 year olds feel a greater sense of belonging to the team and the wider Lichfield community. “Kit can be expensive and the grant will allow all members of the squadron to get involved in representing their organisation in the community and encourage equality and unity.” The full grant has been approved and we look forward to cheering on the teams in their new kits. Watch this space to see how they are getting on … If you would like to find out more about 1206 (Mercian) Squadron, you can take a look at their website, like their [...]
Dave Gallagher, who is 71 and lives in Lichfield, approached YouCan for a grant of £130. He has a passion for the history of the city and helps to run the Facebook group: 'You're probably from Lichfield, Staffs if….' which has nearly 6,000 members. Dave wanted to put on a photo exhibition of old Lichfield and needed the funds to help with the cost of hiring the Guildhall room. “I wanted to show the public how Lichfield was in the early days and how it has changed. I got involved in the Facebook group about four years ago.” Dave goes on: “I had a few albums about the city and by taking over the day-to-day running of the Facebook group, I’ve now amassed loads more photos and memorabilia. About eight of us run these shows; we started free monthly group meetings at Lichfield social club and moved on to taking the show to hospitals and homes. Now we do free displays for anyone who is interested in the old Lichfield city." Dave is really pleased to say that the exhibition was a big success: “We had a steady flow of people through the doors all day and it was great seeing peoples’ reaction at seeing the old photos and how the city has changed - it was wonderful.” Here are a few pictures from of the day. Do you recognise anyone?
Amy Charles from Wolverhampton came to us with a plan to hold a weekly upcycling workshop at Gatis Community Space in Whitmore Reans. Her aim was to teach children aged 12 and over to refashion their clothes with an emphasis on ethical consumerism and sustainability. The £300 grant from YouCan was used to help buy sewing supplies, second hand clothes, fabric and body forms or mannequins. Amy also planned to use the grant to pay towards stationery and printing, hire cost of the premises and advertising. When we caught up with Amy we discovered that her initial plans had changed slightly: “The upcycling workshop has mutated into a craft workshop which, if you think about it, is a sort of upcycling,” she told us. “The reason for the change in direction came about after doing some taster sessions in our on-site cafe to find out people were interested in.” Amy went on to say: “I have spent the grant on yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing supplies, fabric and clothes for upcycling. I have tried to buy second hand where possible as I want to promote ethical consumerism to get people thinking about buying less, choosing well and doing it yourself. We were also lucky enough to have two knitting machines donated to us.” Open Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 4pm, the community centre is becoming a hub of activity for the children and adults in the local area since reopening. Amy says: “Gatis Community Space is the only community centre in the area and locals have fond memories of it so it’s great to see lots of people getting involved in these activities and using the place again.” It certainly looks like the £300 YouCan grant is helping the community [...]
In April 2015, Laura Hill from Leamington Spa approached YouCan for a £300 grant to help get her friendship and relationship service for people with learning disabilities and autism off the ground. The grant was approved and ‘Safemates’ was born. Since then the project has gone from strength to strength. With a launch on 16 July 2015 at the Zephr Lounge in Leamington Spa, people came together to enjoy an evening of music, dancing and making new friends. Based in Warwickshire, Safemates offers fun and safe activities that promote social inclusion for people with learning difficulties and autism. One of their aims is to help people find friends and possibly partners as many people have said they feel that meaningful friendships and relationships are often missing from their lives. Since launching, they have gone full-steam ahead to ensure that there are plenty of activities for their members to enjoy including pub nights, day trips and discos. They recently had their first breakfast club with members looking forward to an upcoming curry night. With events planned well into December, it’s fair to say that the £300 grant from YouCan is certainly helping to bring together a whole community of people; helping them get involved in things, and make friends with people they may never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. To keep up to date with everything that's going on you can follow @Safemates on Twitter and like their Facebook page. They also have a website where you can get advice, find out more about the service and take a look at their upcoming events. Find out more at www.safemates.co.uk