THE lucky winners of The News’ Cash for Communities are today celebrating after getting a share of £260,000 offered to good causes in the area.
A total of 12 projects were picked from the final shortlist of 20 after readers of The News voted for their winners.
The groups, that range from a football club to a boat project for the elderly, can now start or improve their schemes.
The total money given away by the Big Lottery Fund reached a massive £260,000 after so many of the applications were deemed worthy.
Portsmouth Scouts - £10,000
The money will be used to upgrade equipment including the purchase of 10 new cameras.
Assistant district commissioner Joe Hunter said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won the grant.
‘The new action cameras will let the scouts impress the community with the excitement and adventure of scouting.’
Community First HEH - £27,580
The Havant-based group will spend the money on a team dedicated to helping people with mental illness.
Janet Duggan, V-team coordinator, said: ‘We were over the monn when we heard that we had won.
‘The V-team is a great group of people who will help members make new friends and learn new skills.
‘The money means we can make a difference to many people’s lives and we can help others get a better understanding of mental illness.’
Portchester and District Community Association - £10,000
They will use the money to set up IT courses for the visually impaired. New laptops will be purchased along with specialised software for the users.
Sarah Moss, manager, said: ‘We were really happy when we found out we had won. The money will help so many people and it was something the community needed and wanted.
‘They told us what would help them and now we can provide it. There isn’t a facility like it anywhere else in the area so we are really happy that we can give them the equipment.’
Motiv8 South - £16,508
The charity will use the money to hold music nights in Gosport for young people.
Kirsty Cremer, Gosport and Fareham services manager, said: ‘We are delighted. This will be an amazing project for young people.
‘The money will provide an open access music project one night a week for a year.
‘It will give them the chance to express themselves in a positive manner.’
John Pounds Community Trust - £29,750
The centre will host weekly dinners for disadvantaged people.
Project manager, Paul Hutchings, said: ‘We’re really pleased to receive the funding because it enables us to do something that we’re really passionate about.
‘We want to work supermarkets to use food that is still edible, but would otherwise be wasted.’
Wetwheels CIC - £17,475
Wetwheels will host 30 boat trips for residents of care homes and children.
Geoff Holt, chief executive, said: ‘There will be a generational mix of people out there sharing their experiences with each other.
‘It’ll be absolutely fantastic for them.’
Hilsea Lido - £28,510
The pool plans to run fun weekend activities for kids aged nine to 14.
Grants officer, Janice Burkinshaw, said: ‘For us, it’s wonderful to know that people in Portsmouth who always say they support the lido have actually voted for it. And it’s a real boost for all of our volunteers. This is a really sizable chunk of money that we can use to set us up for the future.’
Baffins Milton Rovers Football Club - £29,706
This grant will pay for an anti-vandal changing room, washrooms for spectators and a canteen.
Club volunteer, Karen Pyrrell, said: ‘It is fantastic that the club has won.
‘We’ll be able to generate extra income from the canteen, so this will really help to make the club sustainable. We’re all really thrilled.’
The Rowans Hospice - £30,000
The money is for a scheme providing companionship and practical help in the homes of patients with terminal illnesses.
Chief executive, Ruth White, said: ‘Having the endorsement of the public and the readers of The News is absolutely fabulous.’
Enable Ability - £19,620
The group will be expanding their PALS teen club and are over the moon with the funding.
Caroline Devlin, development officer, said: ‘I am really pleased that we have our money. It is such a relief that the project can finally start.
‘It is going to make a huge difference.’
Pompey in the Community -£26,725
Encouraging kids to be more healthy, the group will be spending their money to help the deprived.
Clare Martin, chief executive, said: ‘We are over the moon.
‘It is excellent and we cannot wait to get the project started.
‘We will be helping so many people in the community and offering free sports and making healthy food more appealing to kids.’
Home Start Gosport and Fareham - £14,732
Hiring a support worker to look after numerous families in the Fareham area, Home Start was overjoyed when they found out they had won.
Sarah-Jane Scott, scheme manager, said: ‘It is all very exciting at the moment.
‘We are so grateful that we have been given the chance to make a huge difference to so many families.
‘Our support workers will change the lives of families so it’s fantastic.’