IW Foundation provides pre-Christmas charity project boost

Posted on: December 17, 2021 at 10:34 am group of people holding a large cheque for £4,891 for Arreton Junior Cricket Club, children holding cricket bats in foreground

The Isle of Wight Foundation has announced five more local good causes to receive grant funding in 2022.

A total of 11 groups will receive a share of £85,000 to support worthy projects on the Isle of Wight next year.

Pan Together, Arreton Junior Cricket Club, The Common Space, St Helens Community Centre and Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat Station will receive more than £37,000 between them for projects that support communities, tackle social isolation, and promote access to housing and employment.

These grants are in addition to previously announced £16,000 awarded to WightSAR – the remaining five organisations to receive foundation funding in 2022 will be announced soon.

The IW Foundation was established in 2014 by the companies behind Island Roads – Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam, Island Roads Services and Vinci Concessions. Each year the foundation donates around £80,000 to eligible good causes with grants of up to £16,000. Since its launch, a total of nearly £630,000 has been donated by the foundation in support of Island projects.

This year’s recipients are varied, with projects ranging from sports activities for young people to building repairs to improve the operational base of a lifesaving charity.

Rob Gillespie, Isle of Wight Foundation chair said: “Our foundation was set up to support the Island community, with a focus on tackling social isolation and providing opportunities for people to access employment and housing. This support is more relevant today than ever with the effects of the Covid pandemic still being felt across the Island.

“We’re delighted to support groups making a valuable contribution to Island life by supporting isolated members of our community and helping people learn new skills by assisting them into employment.”

Rachel Thomson, Community Centre Manager at Pan Together, which has been awarded £15,561.30 for its community hub ​in East Newport said: “The foundation funding will allow us to create a new ‘community fridge’ where surplus and just-in-date ​fresh and frozen food donated from supermarkets and wholesalers can be safely stored and made available to vulnerable local residents. ​Store cupboard essentials will also be provided. Without the foundation’s support this ​exciting new facility wouldn’t be possible, so we are very grateful​ for the real difference the funding will make to our community.”

Tina Cooper from Arreton Cricket Club, which was awarded £4,891, said: “Sport should be accessible to all, and the cost of equipment shouldn’t present a barrier to young people. The foundation grant will buy more quality bats for our young players, along with safety equipment and a new bowling machine and portable batting cage – allowing young players to hone their skills and have fun in a healthy outdoor activity which promotes teamwork.”

Mark Birch, Operations Manager at Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat Station, said: “We are very grateful to receive £7,156 for our roof renewal project. Our ageing lifeboat station is in desperate need of repair, with a leaking roof threatening to damage equipment inside. The foundation funding allows us to replace the old tin roof, providing full protection for our base which is essential for our life-saving work.”

Nigel George, Founder and Director of The Common Space, said: “£5,000 will help create a new public garden in Sandown to enhance the area for residents and visitors and create volunteering opportunities. The new Iris garden will be completed by February and be in use throughout the year.”

Joost Spit, chair of the community centre management committee at St Helens Community Centre, which was awarded £4,659, said: “Our community centre is more important than ever as a venue for local people to gather, take part in events or activities. The funding will allow us to purchase new chairs and tables which are easier to clean – making us more Covid-secure. They are also easier to store making our spaces more flexible for groups to use.”

Each project is supported by an Island Roads employee, who shares their specialist skill with the grant recipient to help them deliver their projects.

More information can be found at www.islandroads.com/iw-foundation