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The 17th Community Chest Awards were held at the Crown Hotel, Blandford Forum in September 2018. The judges were Fiona Dart, Blackmore Vale Media editor; Marilyn Barber, Stour & Avon Magazine news editor; Grant Robson, The Community Foundation; Lucinda Gray, Andy Wing and Mark Woodhouse, Hall & Woodhouse together with independent judge Colin Brady.

Mark Woodhouse welcomed guests, who included Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell, and local civic leaders, explaining that the purpose of the Community Chest was to work together towards improving facilities and the life of local residents.

182 applications were received for grants totalling over £316,000. 27 organisations were successful, each receiving a share of £25,555, with grants ranging from £323 to £2,595.

The White Hart, Longham run by Business Partners Paul and Carol Stroud once again generously boosted the Community Chest pot with the annual proceeds from their Book Club and a Beer & Cheese Evening.

The highest award of £2,595 went to Burngate Stone Carving Centre, an educational centre set up to revive and preserve Purbeck’s stone working heritage. The grant will pay for an additional 12 weekly sessions of an art and skills project for people experiencing social isolation and low level mental health issues in the local community. The more modest, but equally appreciated, sum of £323 went to the Apollo Swimming Club for the Physically Disabled to enable them to kit out their new minibus with updated first aid kits and safety equipment.

CharityAmount of Award
1st Ferndown Scout Group£1500
2nd Templecombe Scout Group£500
Apollo Swimming Club for the Physically Disabled£323
Blandford Explorers£500
Blandford Foodbank Plus£500
Bournemouth & District REMAP Panel£500
Bridport and District Citizens Advice£600
Burngate Stone Carving Centre£2595
Citizens Advice Purbeck£1500
Community Kitchen Project£1000
Corfe Castle Village Hall CIO£1000
Dorchester Sawmills Scout/ Guide Hall Management Committee£1000
Dorset Computers4Carers£750
Dorset Disabled Canoe Unit£750
Gillingham Dementia Friendly Community£1000
Home-Start South East Dorset£1500
The Hut£500
Mosaic – Supporting Bereaved Children£750
The Pantry Partnership£500
Read Easy Blandford£950
Read Easy Poole£950
Shaftesbury & District Carers£500
Shaftesbury District Girlguiding£1000
Somerford ARC Community Centre£2000
St Edward’s School£737
Thornford Village Hall£400
Treads Young Persons Advice and Information Centre£1750

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