The summer months saw an influx of successful grant applications for YouCan with a real mix of ideas coming through between July and September. Here’s a round-up of some of the projects that received funding – we look forward to hearing your idea that will help bring your community to life.
1444 (Brownhills) Squadron Air Cadets wind tunnel project
Carolyn Sault got in touch to ask for £300 to go towards the cost of materials to build wind tunnels crucial to helping air cadets learn about the principles of flight – one of the main subjects taught to cadets.
Carolyn said: “This is very difficult to teach without props. The cadets are also studying engineering and some will go into apprenticeships with the Royal Air Force and the civilian world. During the build the current cadets will not only learn manufacturing skills which they can take into their school and working life but the wind tunnels can then be used to teach future Air Cadets from our local community. A long-term benefit not only the squadron but for new recruits as they come through.”
The overall costs of the project are £497.75 and the £300 will go a long way to paying for the wood screens and Perspex needed to create the four proposed wind tunnels. The remaining costs will be covered by parents who work within the construction and engineering industries who have offered to make up the short fall and provide some of the materials and tooling.
Clean Bedding For Kids is a project that takes donated clothing and bedding and passes it on to families who are in need in the Oswestry area.
Wendy Keats applied to the fund as she said they had no way of ensuring that the clothing and bedding they received was clean. Wendy explains: “The £300 will be put towards a much-needed washing machine. Now we can make sure that everything we pass on is nice and fresh.”
The Chalk Project also offer volunteering opportunities to some of Bromford’s customers who live at New Century Court – a supported housing scheme offering a home to young single people aged between 16 and 25 who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Wendy said: “Helping to sort the clothes and bedding at the shop offers work experience to those people who are possibly furthest from the job market.”
Jeffery Steers and his wife, from Newent in Gloucestershire would like to set up their own business and to feel they are part of something productive.
Jeffery’s wife suffers from chronic pain disorder and to help her keep focused she makes her own 3D pictures in boxes from recycled and collected items, and the couple would like to start going along to local craft fairs to test the market.
Jeffery explains: “We’re both been unemployed at the moment and feel isolated. This business idea would allow us to be part of the community again. If the 3D boxes are a success we’d look at setting up a website. My wife is trained in silversmithing, textiles, and metal work. Between us we’ve upcycled and made some unique furniture for our home and, if possible, would look to do this on a more commercial basis.”
The couple were approved for a £300 grant which will go towards buying essential tools, materials and business cards – some of the money will also go towards the booking costs of local craft fairs and an all-important internet connection.
Already working with Bromford’s skills coach, Clare Bartlett, Jeffery and his wife will also be signposted to work with Gloucestershire Enterprise. Here their project will have the best possible chance of getting off the ground as they will offered focused one to one business support to help develop their skills and confidence.
School Lane Gardening Project
At the heart of Bromford’s bungalow scheme at School Lane in Burntwood there is a plain grassed piece of land that a number of the local residents would like to improve. Lucy Lisle applied for a grant of £300 that will go go towards transforming the area.
In association with Groundwork West Midlands who are providing the labour and some of the materials, Lucy and some of the other residents would like to introduce benches, additional paving and raised beds to the garden. As well as the improvements, there are plans to run a few events focused on growing and using vegetables, growing flowers and arranging them.
Lucy said: “The money will be spent on plants to fill the raised beds and some will go towards providing provisions needed for the events. A number of residents are keen gardeners and this seemed a good way to get all everyone together, doing something we all enjoy whilst also improving the area we live in.”
AJ Garden Maintenance
Sticking with the gardening theme, Anthony Bryan of Burntwood, Staffordshire needed some help to buy tools and materials to help him set up a small gardening business that he could run from home.
Anthony worked with Bromford colleague, Marie Bull, who suggested that he sought some business advice; and after completing a number of coaching sessions with Business Enterprise Support Anthony says: “I’m now ready to get started.
“Thanks to the £300 grant I can now buy a petrol lawnmower, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, screwdriver socket set, and hammer set that will really help me to get my garden maintenance and general household repairs business off the ground. I’ll also be investing a bit of the money in business cards to help me promote myself.”
“I’m a qualified nail technician and a lot of the ladies that I work with at the refuge have said that it would be nice to have this kind of service. I’m looking to expand my interests and skills as a mobile nail artist, and business enterprise allowance are helping to support my business plan. “The £300 grant will allow me to provide manicures and pedicures using gel polish. The money will go towards buying a polish LED lamp, a manicure table and leaflets, flyers and business cards to help me promote my business.”
Santa Special Day Burntwood Lions Club aim to make Christmas extra-special for 200 disabled or disadvantaged children this year. Roger Reeves of Burntwood, Staffordshire said: “We’re hiring
Chasewater Heritage Railway for a Santa Special Day on November 26th. Our guests will be around 200 children mainly from special needs schools in the local area.
“The total cost of the event is about £2,500 with the majority of that being paid for by the railway but we still have a shortfall that we need to make up. “The £300 grant from YouCan will go towards the venue costs and providing food for our very important guests to help make their day as special as possible.”
We wish all of these projects every luck and look forward to hearing how they get on. If you have an idea that you think a £300 grant from YouCan could help, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.