CHARITIES in Warwickshire are being invited to bid for a helping hand.
Homebuilder Miller Homes is pledging to donate £10,000 through its Community Fund to good causes across the region this year.
Local charities, community groups and other organisations across Warwickshire are encouraged to apply to the first of two funding rounds due to take place in 2023.
The housebuilder, which is building new homes in Stratford and Kenilworth, has introduced a regional community fund to help local grassroots projects linked to education, wellbeing, the environment and sport across the West Midlands.
Applications for the first round of funding will close on Wednesday May 3. Donations up to a maximum of £2,000 will be awarded to the successful applicants.
Last year, ten good causes across the West Midlands benefitted from the Community Fund, including primary schools, Scout groups and sports clubs.
Warwickshire organisations to have recently received donations from Miller Homes’ Community Fund include SPARK Youth Music in Stratford, which provides vulnerable young people aged 11 to 16 with musical opportunities.
The organisation received £500 to help fund a placement for a neurodiverse young person on its programme.
Clare Thomas, founder of SPARK Youth Music, said: “Initiatives like the Miller Homes Community Fund are critical to our organisation as we rely on funding to keep our organisation running and reach more vulnerable children.
“SPARK is a not-for-profit community interest company that puts young people into bands and aims to provide positive social impact through music.
“We aim to improve confidence, self-esteem and general well-being in young people especially those who are vulnerable.”
A £500 donation was awarded to The Open Door at St Michael’s Church in Budbrooke – a community-run cafe providing a warm space and hot food for vulnerable people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
Caroline Edwards, community outreach and link worker, said: “We are extremely thankful for the funding received from Miller Homes.
“This has enabled us to open up on a Friday evening to provide a two-course meal for those attending, without the worry of costs.
“The sessions are run by volunteers, who provide a warm welcome, delicious food, and the opportunity to signpost those attending to other areas of support.”
Budbrooke Community Association CIO, near Warwick, which received a donation of £500 to support its youth groups, is using the funds to install raised beds, bug hotels and bird boxes to teach children about growing food and looking after wildlife.
A £250 donation was also awarded to volunteer-led Lego club, Budbrooke Bricks, to help support its work with children with special educational needs, including the introduction of a ‘quiet building session’ for children with autism and neurodiversity.
Alastair Parsons, area sales director for Miller Homes Midlands, said: “We are committed to building communities, in addition to building homes, and have developed a Community Fund to support local projects that promote education, wellbeing, physical activity and the environment.
“Warwickshire benefits from a large number of small local charities and community groups that deliver great opportunities in these areas and are in need of additional financial support.
“These groups are undertaking vital work, from supporting children with medical or education needs to encouraging outdoor activities, so we are keen to help as many of these organisations as we can through our Community Fund.
To make an application to the Miller Homes Community Fund visit www.millerhomes.co.uk/corporate/community-fund
A second round of funding will open for applications in September.