Four local projects working to improve the lives of Islanders with special educational needs or mental health issues have received grants totalling over £42,500 from the Isle of Wight Foundation.
The money will be shared between Care in the Garden who will receive £15,850, Isorropia who will get £16,000, People Matter IW who have been granted £7,587.52 and Vectis Radio who have been awarded £3,080.
The awards are the first to be announced this year by the foundation which is made up of the partners behind Island Roads: Ringway Island Roads, Island Roads Services, Meridiam and Vinci Concessions.
Each year the foundation gives grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 to charities and good causes working on the Island to tackle social exclusion. Since 2014 around £710,000 has been awarded to such projects.
Care In The Garden, a Wootton-based community interest company providing meaningful work opportunities for adults with additional needs will use their grant to buy equipment, including a kiln, so they can expand their operation to manufacture ceramic and concrete products.
John Goodenough, from Care in the Garden said: “This is a such a welcome donation as it allows us to branch out into a new activity so we can offer our supported workers a whole new set of transferrable skills
“It will provide 18 additional daily job opportunities each week during the quieter winter months when other aspects of the business are less busy. It is a fantastic boost to us all.”
Community mental health and wellbeing provider Isorropia Foundation will use its grant to help buy a minibus to extend its reach across the entire Island.
“It will allow people who are socially isolated, financially deprived and those with mobility issues to become part of Isorropia Foundation’s wellbeing community,” said Charlie Bell co-founder and director.
“The grant money from the foundation will help us deliver services to more Island people in line with our philosophy of coaching hope, empowerment, responsibility, independence, resilience, social connection and finding meaning and purpose in life.”
People Matter IW, which works with a wide range of Island residents with differing support needs, has been awarded money to establish a new support centre for people with learning disabilities.
ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) specialist training and qualifications will be provided, to mainly young adults, in subjects including careers, experiencing work, volunteering, living independently, personal finance and personal, social, health and economics (PHSE).
“The students, project leaders and People Matter IW very much appreciate the foundation’s support, which will help our setting-up costs. This funding will make such a difference for our group,” said Teresa Day, the People Matter IW Learning Disability Support Centre Lead.
“It will enable us to continue with providing appropriate education in our centre and our students will be enabled to gain new skills and be accredited for their learning.”
The foundation’s grant to Vectis Radio will once again support the award-winning station’s 4Ps Training School which uses the medium of radio to help build confidence and communication in young people – many with learning difficulties and everyday life problems including loneliness.
Station manager Ian Mac said the grant award has arrived at a very critical time for the initiative.
“These funds are so precious because the current funds were about to run out, and we may have had to disappoint a lot of young people. It’s amazing timing, thank you so much Isle of Wight foundation for your support and belief in what we do.”
Foundation chairman Rob Gillespie said: “Once again the foundation has been incredibly impressed with the various work being undertaken by so many fantastic groups and organisations to tackle social exclusion on the Island.
“We look forward to hearing from these groups as their projects make a real positive difference to the lives of residents.”