Grant programme awards more than £16,000 to local wellbeing projects

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First Steps, Bath could offer Rugby Tots sessions thanks to a grant through the B&NES Community Wellness Fund
Rugby Tots at First Steps, Bath with Claire Wynne Hughes from Quartet and Esther Harrill from Virgin Care.
Keynsham Walking Football team.

Bath Carnival, First Steps Bath and Sporting Family Change are among 12 community groups and charities benefitting from the Bath and North East Somerset Community Wellness Fund grant programme to improve mental ill health and loneliness across the area.

Virgin Care is responsible for the grant programme as part of its contract with Bath Council and the local NHS to bring health and care services together and improve outcomes by allowing local people to stay well and proactively look after their health. The grant programme funds a number of grants each year and is managed by Quartet Community Foundation which runs the application and grant award process as well as tracking outcomes.

The programme is aimed at community groups and charities in Bath and North East Somerset targeting loneliness and isolation, and delivering projects promoting healthy lifestyles to enable local communities to tackle some of the causes of mental ill health.

The full list of groups benefiting from grants in this 2018/2019 round:

•           Bath Carnival  £2,000 towards workshop costs leading up to the Carnival, involving Genesis Trust, Julian House and Wheels for All.

•           Sporting Family Change £1,856 to run a gym fitness project for families in Radstock.

•           Woodworks Project £1,600 for an upholstery tutor to work with service users developing skills and increasing wellbeing.

•           First Steps Bath £1,000 for weekly Rugbytots sessions for young children attending the First Steps community nursery in Twerton for two terms in 2019.

•           Carers Centre B&NES (Care Network) £1,845 for cost of sports coach and to purchase Boccia equipment.

•           West of England Rural Network £1,300 for a one year project to engage a group of men in a music group aimed at reducing social isolation.

•           Swan Advice Network £1,000 for a 6 month pilot to set up monthly socialising sessions, targeting the older, vulnerable and isolated people that use the service.

•           Keynsham Walking Football Club £750 towards expanding the Walking Football Club.

•           Life Project (Bath) £1,885 towards the costs of a drop in group to support parent-carers.

•           Bath City Football Club Foundation £750 for weekly free football sessions during the school holidays for the benefit of children and young people in Twerton.

•           Nova Sports and Coaching £648 for coaching leaders to offer Boccia sessions for adults with learning difficulties.

•           Make a Move £2,000 for the continuation of the Moving for the Mind project.

Claire Wynne Hughes, Philanthropy Executive for B&NES at Quartet Community Foundation said: “These 12 groups are great examples of the kind of small, local good causes Quartet supports in Bath and North East Somerset. Our Vital Signs research highlighted many of the health and wellbeing challenges faced in the area including high levels of childhood obesity in Twerton and Radstock so we’re so pleased these grants will support groups in their work to promote health and wellbeing in the area.”

Kirsty Mathews, Managing Director of Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Care Services for Virgin Care, said: “We’re delighted to be able to fund local projects that we know will help improve mental and physical wellbeing and make a difference from the wide range of activities that these grants support.”

Roz Lambert from First Steps Bath: ““ We are so grateful to Quartet and to Virgin for the Community Wellness fund support that has enabled additional children to access Rugby Tots at First Steps Twerton. You only have to see the children prepare for their session, you can feel their excitement and joy, to know that this early experience of outdoor exercise will set them up for life. We see tangible benefits, increase in confidence, physical and social skills, giving children, who may not access these type of opportunities, the very best start.”

Martin Coles Secretary of Keynsham Walking Football Club: “Keynsham Walking Football Club welcomes people over 50 to play the game at their own pace, improving health and wellbeing and being part of a community club.

“The club is run by its members and over the last four years membership has grown from just 10 to over 100.

“At present we have up to 70 players aged over 55 coming along each week. This funding will help us pay for more goal posts and this will give us more pitch space so we’ll be able to welcome more players.  We are hoping to expand numbers to enable us to run an Over 70s team.”