20 Dec

Young people set to benefit from IW Foundation grants this year

A number of community based projects supporting young people on the Island are among those to have been chosen as recipients of this year’s grant funding from the Isle of Wight Foundation – the charitable foundation established by the partners in Island Roads.

The Foundation, jointly funded by Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam and Vinci Concessions, has awarded just under a quarter of a million pounds since its launch in 2014 to community projects across the Island helping to tackle different aspects of social exclusion and the provision of training and qualifications.

This year almost £80,000 has been shared between nine such projects.

Amongst recipients are a number projects that support young people on the Island. These are:

Ability Dogs for Young People

Awarded funding to help transform their training centre into an environment that is fully accessible for the disabled young people coming to classes, as they prepare to work with their new ability dogs. It is the only assistance dog charity providing Ability Dogs for disabled young people and children on the Isle of Wight.

Shanklin Football Club

Awarded funding to provide football related training and qualifications in first aid providing new opportunities for those who in the Shanklin and South-East Wight area who would not otherwise be able to afford such training.


Awarded funding to further improve their training programme and introduce certified training in Horticulture to help increase the employability of unemployed younger people and those who are long-term unemployed.

IOW Island Games

Awarded funding to provide grants to talented young sports people living in poor and/or deprived social situations to enable them to take part in the Gotland 2017 NatWest Island Games.

YMCA Young Carers My Time

Awarded funding to support young carers under the age of 18 with personal grants to support their individual educational, social and wellbeing needs.

Break the Cycle – Mind the Gap

Awarded funding to assist all survivors of homelessness to ensure that they get the help and support they need to build confidence and self-esteem to break the cycle of homelessness and enable them to move forward with their lives.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust - Woodland Apprentice Scheme

Awarded funding to help with training and qualifications plus costs for PPE for three apprentices, aged between 18-24 years from the Island, to learn new skills and gain experience in environmental conservation to prepare them for future employment in this sector.

Blue Sky Arts - The Growing Together Project

Awarded funding to develop and alter their premises to make their land management programme for young people with learning disabilities, fully inclusive and accessible to all.

Speaking about this year’s successful projects, Board Director Phil Horton said: “Looking at this year’s applications, the Foundation’s trustees were, once again, extremely impressed with the dedication of the great many groups who work so hard across the Island to strengthen their local communities and to reduce social exclusion.

“This year it was noticeable that we had a high number of applicants working in various capacities to assist young people and we are delighted to support these groups as it complements all the work being undertaken by Island Roads through initiatives such as the apprenticeship, graduates and student bursary schemes all of which give opportunities to young people.”

However, it was not all focused on younger age groups – another successful applicant was The Links Trust, which were awarded funding for Betty’s Bus - to provide a new wheelchair accessible minibus to enable them to provide their services to those who are wheelchair reliant/wheelchair bound.  The Links Trust help provide days out for those people aged 50 years who do not have the physical ability to leave home without help, helping them to meet others and integrate with their local community.

Phil added: “We look forward to hearing how these latest awards will help them continue their innovative and extremely important work.”

The successful groups have been quick to thank the Foundation for their support.

Carol Court, Founder & CEO for Ability Dogs 4 Young People said, “We are delighted to have received such a significant grant from Island Roads. As a charity we use an old aircraft hangar as a Training Centre and meeting place for our disabled recipients. We will use this funding to alter the toilets and kitchenette to provide disabled accessibility (and give us running hot water), which will significantly improve our facilities for our disabled youngsters.”

Betty Gray, who was the driving force behind the original Link’s Trust Betty’s Bus idea, said: “The bus has changed my life and that of so many others.  I couldn’t have wished for a better result, it’s really fantastic so a big ‘thank you’ is due to the Foundation.”

Annette Parsons, co-founder of the project, said: “When the community bus service was ending Betty took it upon herself to contact many people as she could to keep a service going.  The service picks up and returns from people’s front door, meaning they don’t have to carry shopping from bus stops.  The new bus will have wheelchair access making the service fully inclusive. We have the ability to design a programme based on requests and as long as we can do it, we will do it.  Currently we are operating in the Bays area and expanding to Wroxall

 The new Grant Call will open in February 2017. For further information visit www.islandroads.com.

Back to 2016 news

Picture shows Betty (middle) receiving the foundation grant surrounded by bus users, Links volunteers and (far left) Tracy Gordon, Island Roads contact centre advisor who sponsored the project through the application process.

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