New Year boost for two Island charities

Posted on: January 4, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Two more good causes have between them received nearly £13,000 from the Isle of Wight Foundation to support building projects that help their work to tackle social exclusion on the Island.

The awards of £8,500 to Ability Dogs 4 Young People and £4,435 to Ryde Sea Cadets are the last of this year’s grants to be issued by the Isle of Wight Foundation, the charitable body set up by the partners in Island Roads: Ringway Island Roads, Island Roads Services, Meridiam and Vinci Concessions.

Each year, the foundation issues grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 to local organisations working to tackle social exclusion. This year a total of over £92,000 has been issued to nine groups – bringing the total awarded by the foundation since 2014 to well over £700,000.

The £8,500 for Ability Dogs 4 Young People will help the charity create a new fully accessible kitchen area that can be used both to help trainers prepare dog food and by service users to practice feeding their ability dogs. The grant will also allow the charity to purchase and install blinds to help regulate the temperature of their training centre.

Carol Court founder and CEO of Ability Dogs 4 Young People said: “There are over 700 disabled people under 30 years on the Island and many could benefit from the assistance of an Ability Dog. There are currently 50 working Ability Dogs on the Island, and a waiting list of over 70 disabled young people and children aged from two upwards.

“We want to assist as many people as possible, and these improvements to our training centre will help us to achieve this aim. We are really grateful to the foundation for their ongoing support.”

The grant to Ryde Sea Cadets will enable the volunteer group to greatly improve the accessibility and quality of the bathrooms as well as create some much-needed storage at their Head Quarters.

Linden Softley, Commanding Officer, said: “At Ryde Sea Cadets, the overall aim is to give young people an experience that will help them grow into the person they want to be, in a safe and friendly environment. Through various activities and adventures, young people learn teamwork, respect, loyalty, self-confidence, commitment, self-discipline, honesty, and how to be the best version of themselves.

“For us to help them on that journey we need premises that are suitable and accessible, and the male and female toilet facilities are very much in need of an upgrade so this grant is extremely welcome.”

IW Foundation chair Rob Gillespie said: “These improvements to the buildings will help these two fantastic organisations improve the services they currently offer and also reach out to new people.

“It has been great to support so many varied good causes this year – between them they do fantastic work towards tackling social exclusion on the Island.  We remain committed to tackling isolation, and we will shortly be announcing how groups and organisations working in this area can apply for assistance from grants in 2023.”