The 2020 Community Chest Awards was a virtual event this year due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony was transmitted from the Brewery Tap at the Blandford based Brewery and hosted by Lucinda Gray and Mark Woodhouse, both Family Directors of Hall & Woodhouse.
£50,000 was awarded to 35 deserving local causes from across the H&W trading area in the south of England. A total of 365 applications had been received for grants totalling over £1,000,000 during the extended application period from February to April. During the national lockdown, the judges held a number of online meetings to consider applications for emergency funding and £9,500 was awarded early to 6 organisations which were identified as needing immediate aid to support their local communities.
A total of over £667,000 has now been awarded to 820 community groups since the Community Chest was established in 2002.
The largest award of £2,500 went to UK Harvest, a perishable food rescue operation based in Chichester that collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to charities that support vulnerable people. During the crisis they requested emergency funding to enable them to cover the work of local food banks that have been financially supported nationally, but were not operational due to their volunteers being ‘vulnerable in age’.
High Mead Farm in Longham near Wimborne provides a day service for local people living with mental health issues and learning difficulties. Based close to the Brewery, and a recipient of previous Community Chest awards, they found themselves with no income during lockdown looking after 200 animals and a large vegetable patch. Emergency funding of £1,000 was awarded to enable them to keep the farm running and to be able to continue to supply vegetables, eggs, meat and honey to local customers and isolated people in the community.
Lucinda Gray, Company Relationship Manager & Next Generation Family Director said: “In a year of such challenge, we’re proud to be helping others make a difference to their communities. We understand and have heard first-hand from the charities, how necessary the grants are for the survival of these local causes.
“The donations are going to a real mix of charities across the south; from youth services to mental health support, to those that specialise in facilities for people with disabilities, to free computer access for those who need it most.”
A virtual beer and cheese tasting session led by Mark Woodhouse followed the presentation of the awards. All the winners and judges received a ‘Dorset Dozen’ beer box, a selection of characterful and crafted Badger ales, along with the recommended selection of accompanying cheeses, so that they could participate in the event online.
|Charity||Amount of Award|
|4Sight Vision Support||£2000|
|Black & Minority Ethnic Young People’s Project||£2000|
|Blandford Opportunity Group||£1500|
|Bridport & District Citizens Advice||£1000|
|Burgess Hill Repair Café||£1093|
|Bus Stop Club||£2000|
|Chichester Information Ship for Young People||£1500|
|CYCALL Adapted Cycling (Worthing)||£1000|
|East Dorset Citizens Advice||£1000|
|Exmouth Gateway Club||£1500|
|Fare Divide (Littlehampton Community Fridge)||£1500|
|Footprints Project – Life Works||£720|
|High Mead Farm||£1000|
|Home-Start North Dorset||£1500|
|Home-Start East Dorset||£1500|
|Island Community Action||£1500|
|Kangaroos Mid Sussex||£1500|
|Lordshill Youth Project||£1500|
|Off The Fence Trust||£1000|
|Shaftesbury & District Carers Association HOPE projects||£1300|
|Treads Advice & Information Centre||£1500|
|Tubbs Computer Supplies||£2000|
|Water Lily Project||£800|