Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability Grant’

Chain(saw) reaction saves the day

Posted on 19th February 2014 by

chainsawThere’s nothing like real-world learning…

Fresh from the successful opening of the Greenmount Sidings project in Bury, Alistair Waddell, chair of the Greenmount Village Community Group, has developed an interest in woodland management.

Armed with a trusty new chainsaw, Alistair and colleagues from the group have invested some of their Community Spaces sustainability grant in woodland management lessons from Paul Robinson of Bury Council.

And last week Alistair had what he describes as “a bit of an advanced lesson.”

chainsaw 2He says: “A large pine tree fell down right across the path that goes through Greenmount Sidings and it needing clearing quickly. So Paul contacted me and under his direct supervision I assisted him, along with my wife and son, in removing the tree within a few hours of it coming down. Without help from the community this would have been a job that would not have been completed for a few days, and would have caused a lot of distress to those who use the area for their walks.

“I believe you can say that this is a success story of the sort Community Spaces was anticipating and we did not think we could do for many reasons. I, for one would never have thought it possible 12 months ago!

“Thanks for the foresight and the opportunity.”


Floral welcome for Duchess

Posted on 19th July 2012 by


Project co-ordinator Phil Creek and Wendy Jenkins, Programmes Director at Groundwork UK, with some of the children who created giant flowers for the Royal visit

The Duchess of Cornwall was greeted by a display of 120 giant resin flowers – part of a Community Spaces Flagship project – when she visited Exeter Cathedral’s Majesty Flower Festival.
Children from 46 Devon and Torbay schools decorated the glassfibre resin flowers to form a guard of honour for the Duchess. The designs follow a theme entitled ‘The Colours of the Commonwealth’ based on ideas developed from studying artists and art from 53 Commonwealth nations.
The flowers were funded with a sustainability grant from Community Spaces, which helps projects to continue to have an impact after the major work has been completed. Last year saw the launch of a £450,000 Community Spaces project on the Cathedral Green, part of a masterplan designed to create new pathways, lighting and planting as well as places to sit and enjoy the improved landscape.
The flower project was led by the Devon Learning and Development Partnership, which last year helped children to decorate 170 life-size sheep that adorned the Green as the project was launched.

Playground takes off

Posted on 22nd June 2012 by

mossvale launch

Plenty of smiling faces in Manchester as Beverley Slater, secretary of Moss Vale Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, cuts the ribbon to launch a new play area for the community.

More than 180 residents attended the opening event at the playground in Silver Street, Irlam.

The association, which secured a £49,999 Community Spaces grant to fund the playground, has just been awarded a further grant to ensure the sustainability of the project.

The new money will pay for activities including a teddy bears’ picnic, Hallowe’en events, a pirate party, planting sessions and  Christingle service, as well as equipment for maintenance.

Beverley says: “We are really excited about the extra work that can be done. We have had a fantastic response from local parents and children alike at how much the new play area is making a huge difference.”

The design of the play park has been based on drawings by the Moss Vale Youth Group of their ideal play area. Children from local schools worked with Irlam and Cadishead Arts Officer Fay Flatt to paint a colourful mural on the concrete fencing which runs the entire length of the play area.

The local community has shown its support for the project through the Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, who have developed a Facebook page to keep local people up to date on developments.

The page has a photographic record of the site being turned from unused grass and overgrown shrubs into an exciting playground. Comments on the page from customers include “It’s great watching this coming together from my living room window” and “Fantastic! Didn’t think it would take so little time to build”.

Sustaining the interest

Posted on 12th October 2011 by

martin proffittMartin Proffitt was the facilitator for the Byker Garden project in Newcastle, which completed last month.
Here, he outlines some of the imaginative plans from the group behind the Garden and how mambers plan to use their Sustainability Grant 

“I was really impressed from the beginning as to how the group behind this project ran with the seemingly impossible task of developing the project further and gaining support and momentum from all as they did so.

Now that the main project is complete on the ground comes the real test in sustaining support and involvement of local people in its long-term development.

I recently received their sustainability grant application form and they have some great, innovative ideas which should really help push their project forward into the arms of the local community.

The working group behind the sustainability grant development have really embraced the need to involve all sections of the local community.

To give you a flavour, they will be engaging with local schools, residents and other groups in a range of activities which involve activities such as… deep breath… practical gardening and food growing sessions, wildlife education sessions hands-on with bird and bat box making, mixing history and wildlife with art, using food produced in the garden for pizza making (using an outside oven!), creating colourful planters and window boxes to take home, BBQ days, local talent show and events, summer workshops, poetry and music, seed collection, storage and use, decoration making workshops, apple celebration days… nearly finished!… Hallowe’en celebration, mini-beast hotel making, art workshops in the garden – being inspired by the plants and colour around them, tree day – tying in with the history of the tree and picnics.


The group is also applying for an extensive list of tools to ensure they are able to carry out the maintenance of the newly improved area.”

Plenty of  ideas – and hopefully some inspiration there. Please share your plans for sustainability… you might just inspire like-minded groups up and down the country.

Sustainability through stories

Posted on 14th June 2011 by
Hilly Fields Natural Play Area, London.

The Friends of Hilly Fields in London, who completed a fantastic natural play  project in their local park with the help of Community Spaces funding, are now using their Sustainability Grant to run story-telling sessions in the park. Which we think is a great way to get local children and parent’s involved and interested in what’s happening on the new space. You can find out more by visiting their website:  

If you’re stuck for ideas on how to use your Sustainability Grant – or have used the funding to do something really inspiring please join our Sustainability Grant discussion.

In the meantime – we hope the story-telling goes well for our Friends at Hilly Fields!

A little boost to give your project that extra mile

Posted on 4th March 2011 by

Community Spaces wants to help ensure that your project will continue to be a valuable asset in your community for many years to come and to help your group do this we have allocated an additional pot of funding (a Sustainability Grant) to every project that has been successful with securing funding from the programme.

The maximum Sustainability Grant payable is related to the size of grant you have been awarded and is included in your offer of delivery grant letter.

What will it fund?

The Sustainability Grant can be used for a variety of things and we encourage groups to be innovative and creative with the ideas they submit. The idea is to use the funding to ensure that the project you have delivered is well used within the community and that it will continue to be valued. There are three key areas that can be covered by the Sustainability Grant: 

•  Events and activities

•  Training/Group capacity building

•  Equipment and tools to help volunteers maintain the site

Some examples of how groups have used their Sustainability Grant can be found below:

Stoke Gabriel Pre-school

This group is running Chainsaw Carving Woodshops as many of the locals admired all the carved woodwork in the Community Spaces project. Find out more about this project by following this link.

St Mary’s Church Parochial Church Council

This group has used its Sustainability Grant to hold a series of ‘Fun Days’ at the churchyard. At one of these events children were invited to bring their tteddy bears and let them abseil from the church spire. This teddy bear abseil day proved hugely popular and has now become an annual event. The group has also started up ‘Autumn Watch Days’.  

If your group has used its Sustainability Grant in a creative way, please tell us about by leaving a comment. If you are struggling with ideas, then let us know too – I’m sure we’ll be able to help get you inspired…

A little helping hand…

Posted on 23rd September 2010 by

Last week, we set the Community Spaces team a challenge to produce and film a video that would help community groups with their projects.

We split the Community Spaces team into two groups and here are the end results. 

Please feel free to leave comments on your favourite video!