Major boost for minibus project

Posted on: December 5, 2019 at 3:46 pm
The Phoenix Project receiving its cheque from the IW Foundation

A Ryde-based project that provides activities and opportunities for people with learning disabilities is the latest organisation to be supported by the Isle of Wight Foundation.

The Phoenix Project has been awarded £16,000 by the foundation – the charitable trust made up of the partners behind Island Roads. Each year The foundation – comprising Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam, VINCI UK Foundation and VINCI Concession – gives grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 to Island charities, good causes and organisations working to tackle social exclusion and isolation. Since 2014, nearly half a million pounds has been given to such causes.

The Phoenix Project will use the money to help buy a new minibus to transport clients to its base in Salters Road, Haylands and also to take them to and from off-site activities.

There are 90 people using Phoenix Project services. They are all adults aged between 19 and 82 with moderate to profound and multiple disabilities who live across the Island.

Clients can choose between a selection of activities including cooking, art, gardening, woodwork, yoga, swimming, horse riding and dance. The project has also recently opened a unit in Newport where users can learn and develop skills in woodworking.

Louise Smith, fund raising co-ordinator at the Phoenix Project, said: “Transport is simply essential to us in order to achieve a high level of care and provision.

“For various reasons, public transport is often not available and suitable for our service users. We really do need our own transportation and having our own vehicles also gives us the opportunity to encourage interaction and friendship as our clients travel together.

“This sits perfectly with our over-riding ethos: providing a specialist environment in which people learn new skills, maintain friendships and develop independence so they become part of a family and enjoy a full and active life, improving health, happiness and wellbeing.

“We are really, really grateful to Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Foundation for this fantastic donation. It will bring real benefit to the Phoenix Project and our service users.”

Under the foundation’s grant scheme, an Island Roads employee ‘sponsors’ the application from a group and then acts as a link to build an ongoing bond between the foundation and the recipient.

Island Roads Asset Manager Mark Roberts who sponsored the successful project application said: “The Phoenix Project does a fantastic job in tackling social exclusion and isolation.

“We are so pleased to be supporting its work and in doing so opening opportunities for so many people.”