The Managed Services Community Fund, in partnership with Wickes, has donated £5000 of funding to the stand-out community project, following a competition at CIH Housing 2015.
Northampton, UK (October 2015) – Managed Services, part of Travis Perkins plc, which provides maintenance materials and supply chain planning for public sector organisations, in partnership with Wickes, has awarded £5000 to Friends of Westfield Farm, a community project based in Dormanstown, Redcar, following a competition held at CIH Housing 2015.
The community of Dormanstown, Redcar is an area of deprivation and high unemployment, with many children and elderly people living in food poverty. Westfield Farm, a community hub in Dormanstown, seeks to combat this situation through a variety of initiatives, including a gardening volunteer programme to provide home grown produce and meals, as well as a schools education projects on healthy eating. Work Hubs provide careers information, advice and guidance, whilst Digital Champion volunteers support residents to access online services and improve their skills – all of which can help with future employment opportunities.
Friends of Westfield Farm submitted a comprehensive project proposal on how the funding could support all areas of their work and would allow them provide support for 500 additional local people, an increase from the 2000 they currently work with. Judges were impressed and awarded the organization the full £5,000 worth of funding.
The competition field was narrowed to 10 finalists, so it was a tough decision for the judging panel, which consisted of three independent judges. However, they felt Friends of Westfield Farm really was a standout project which covered all categories: Investing in your community; Employment, education, skills and training; Health and wellbeing and Environment.
Samantha Cox, Groundwork UK and one of the judges commented: “As Groundwork is a charity that supports communities across the UK, I was delighted to be involved in the selection of a project to receive a grant through this scheme. Friends of Westfield Farm is delivering a range of opportunities including gardening and cookery skills and is a great project that I feel will make a massive difference in their community.”
Another judge, Jenny Osbourne, from TPAS, adeded: “Friends of Westfield farm was an outstanding application and is well deserving of its win. A well designed project with scale and variety that is clearly having practical and long lasting positive effects on the community. I was particular impressed with the work being undertaken on employment, skills and training.”
Barry McBride, Westfield Farm coordinator, said: “We’re really grateful for the funding from Travis Perkins Managed Services. It will allow us to build on our success by giving us the scope to expand and improve our current offerings, as well as develop new programmes.
“Our community gardeners are really excited about the funding as it means they’ll be able to recover the poly tunnel, allowing them to continue to grow produce into the winter months.
“You don’t need to be a Coast & Country tenant to come and use our services. We are here for the entire community. If you want to learn new skills, gain new qualifications or volunteer on the Farm, please do in get in touch. We’re always happy to help.”
Chris Pentland, Social Housing Specialist at Wickes for Business commented: “The Friends of
Westfield Farm project will greatly benefit the local community – actively supporting and
assisting those that are most in need. We are proud to have partnered with Travis Perkins
on this worthy initiative and feel the £5k will go a long way.”
Stuart Hough, Managing Director of Managed Services, says: “Community projects are a really important part of what we do here at Managed Services, and we are really pleased to be able to support Friends of Westfield Farm. We think the judges have made the right choice and look forward to seeing the project progress.”