Walford Community Support Scheme gets boost to help create a more connected and resilient community
The Walford Community Support Scheme based in the Parish of Walford, Ross-on-Wye, is celebrating today after being awarded £2700 in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA UK, as part of the £1.5million pilot programme, Places Called Home.
The pilot programme from the largest funder of community activity and world’s largest home furnishing retailer, is supporting more than 330 local communities across the UK with grants of up to £5,000 to build back better and differently as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Places Called Home programme builds on the energy and creativity of communities coming together during the crisis to support each other and aims to inspire them to take action around healthy and sustainable living, while learning from each other and building meaningful connections.
The Walford Community Support Scheme will use their funding to forge community spirit and improve the lives and well-being of its’ residents, it is run by the parishioners for parishioners. With the easing of restrictions, they will now be able to offer the community the opportunity to socialise in their newly converted Community Hub and become part of a sustainable community – one where everyone can thrive and flourish. The funding will allow the scheme to engage parishioners in new social activities, develop a community garden and outdoor space, improving both physical and mental well-being.
Be Mackintosh, the WCSS co-ordinator said: “The Walford Community Support Scheme would like to thank the National Lottery players and IKEA for their support through the funding. The scheme endeavours to reach out to all our parishioners, with the vision of improving well-being, sustainability and improving communication.
“We will bring together our elderly members of the scheme for coffee mornings, community lunches, gardening activities and craft sessions. For many, these gatherings are their only point of social contact therefore the scheme is working towards broadening our scope of projects to allow the members to be stimulated by a wide range of pastimes. Purchasing essential garden furniture, raised gardening beds, water butts and gardening equipment will allow members to enjoy the outdoor space.
”The scheme has strong connections with the local primary school and hopes to link up with them to ‘Grow Together’ in our community space. The scheme would like to reach out and bring together the younger community to be part of the new Community Hub. Supporting the younger generation with practical tasks and giving them the confidence to learn new skills and socialise together is an exciting new challenge for the scheme Through the funding the scheme would be able to offer these younger members practical skills training whether it be cooking, gardening or physical activities hopefully leading to a healthy lifestyle. All the activities will lead to a stronger community bond, allowing improved communication and socialisation as well as improved mental and physical well-being.
“By listening to the needs and wishes of the community through social media and verbal conversations the funding will allow the scheme to respond to our residents in a positive and fulfilling way. The scheme is totally inclusive and it would be delighted to hear from residents who may wish to join us at The Hub for socialisation or could offer support and engage with our new vision”
Emma Ackerman, Funding Strategy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said: “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that we can build on the energy and creativity we’ve seen to make stronger communities and a better everyday life. We’re delighted that together with IKEA and National Lottery players we have been able to support this across the UK with our pilot partnership and funding announced today.”
Hege Saebjornsen, Partnership Advisor at Ingka Groupsaid: “The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated how fragile the world is, reinforcing the need for collective resilience – for our neighbourhoods, our communities and our planet. Through this programme, we have an opportunity to make sustainable and healthy living accessible and affordable for everyone while also unleashing the skills, energy and enthusiasm of communities to take part in making a difference every day.”
Places Called Home is a small-scale pilot to test how a partnership between the largest funder of community activity in the UK works with the world’s largest home furnishing retailer.
If you would like to become part of the Walford Community Support Scheme please contact: Be Mackintosh email@example.com or 07493171430