A word from our recipients...
We asked a number of beneficiaries in the East Midlands to write, in their own words, how the fund has helped their project.
Harby Playground Committee
Harby Playground Committee was formed by a group of four mums, who as parents in the village of Harby in the Vale of Belvoir, have teamed up and raised £60,000 to help remove the very poor playground facilities we have in this isolated village and replace with modern and safe equipment.
Over the last 6 months we have managed to install more natural looking and exciting play equipment that will challenge our children and promote local healthy activity and benefit all age groups in our village community. IGas were instrumental in kick starting our transformation, by awarding us £5,000 and enabling us to install a fantastic wooden play tower and slide to suit the 2-6 year age group.
We have gone on to replace all equipment and install facilities more challenging and exciting for all. The change in the park is massive and it is now being regularly visited by a large percentage of our community who originally had always had to leave Harby in search of decent facilities. As a group we have been congratulated by young and old living in the village, and it has definitely brought the community closer together with a great place to meet.
We are just about to complete a natural play bark area for the children, which will induce creative play. As you can imagine this project is extremely costly and without the funding from IGas it is unlikely we would have got our much needed project off the ground.
Louisa Buck, Harby Playground Committee
Holwell Project, Long Clawson
In May 2015, residents in Holwell welcomed the arrival of a defibrillator in the village, following a grant of £2,000 for its purchase from the IGas Energy Community Fund.
The Community Heartbeat Trust then held a well attended seminar in the village to demonstrate the use of defibrillators and explain how the equipment works.
Local newspaper the Melton Times previewed the story with a report and picture on and local village newsletter Village Life also carried a report.
Holwell resident and organiser Simon Wilkinson-Blake said: “We’re extremely pleased to have our own defibrillator, located in the red BT phone box on Main Street. It means if a resident or visitor to the village suffers sudden cardiac arrest, we can save precious minutes in their treatment. Our community is very grateful to the IGas Energy Community Fund for its grant to make this possible.”
Simon Wilkinson-Blake, village representative
Scothern Recreation Centre
The Scothern Recreation Centre (SRC) became aware that the main gas feed pipe to the Village Hall was not suitable for use with the latest, more efficient gas heating boilers. As a result of an IGas grant we will now be able to upgrade our heating system.
The SRC are currently raising funds to modernise the Village Hall and ran a very successful competition in conjunction with University of Lincoln to design a replacement facility. This event received wide coverage and a number of local dignitaries and University of Lincoln department heads attended. The IGas grant was publicised at the prize giving event and some of the design concepts are shown in the photograph.
Without the generous help of IGas, the foundations for this project would not be as well placed as they are and the community as a whole is very grateful for the help received.
Chris Shepherd, Chairman, Scothern Recreation Centre
Springline Good Neighbour Scheme—Burton/ Burton Waters
The grant awarded to Springline Good Neighbour Scheme (£1,100 in April 2016) has been crucial in allowing our charity to immediately improve the handling of telephone calls from our clients in a geographical area where the mobile signal can be (at best) variable and (at worst) non-existent!
As a direct result of the grant funding from IGas Energy, we have been able to set up a contract with an external call-handling service (Call Miss Jones) that now facilitates all incoming calls from our clients being answered ‘live’, as opposed to messages being left on an unreliable answerphone system; to be picked-up, misunderstood or even missed altogether, at a later time.
The feedback that we have received from our clients has been favourable. All clients that have been asked have commented upon the improved service that ‘we’ (SGNS) are now offering, as a direct result of their calls being immediately answered by a human being rather than by an automated answering system.
This new system allows our clients to speak directly with ‘us’ (albeit the actual call-handling service personnel) at the outset, often when they are at their most anxious to make arrangements and gain peace of mind. The greatest compliment that is paid is when we (SGNS) call the client back to confirm their request, and the booking of our services with a volunteer, and find that they did not know that they had even dealt with an intermediary during the process.
The new system has been such a success that we have recently discussed it with one (new) local 'good neighbour scheme’ and we have plans to meet with two other schemes in the near future. In all our discussions, we are quick to mention the invaluable financial support that we have received from IGas Energy in this regard.
John Walsh, SGNS Trustee & Treasurer
Uphills MUGA group
Our aim: to provide a safe, free and amazing facility for all ages to enjoy varied sports and keep fit activities in the loca l community.
The Uphills MUGA group was formed by a few unpaid volunteers from the local community, who realised that there was a real need for a safe, self-contained and practical space for people to freely play ball sports.
This need was underscored by the number of reports of young people desperately looking for somewhere to play football, having frequent impromptu sporting sessions on any convenient area.
So, the volunteers have spent, and continue to spend, considerable amounts of time securing land, finding funding and all the other necessary requirements to acquire and build a multi-use gym area right in the heart of Uphills, Gainsborough.
It is hoped the facility, now nearly complete, will be used by all ages, family groups and schools and sports associations.
Jeff Harrison, Chairman
Upper Broughton Parish Council
The play equipment on Top Green needed to be replaced and the Parish Council approached IGas for funding.
The Community Fund team could not have been more helpful. Their guidance galvanised the committee and after consultation with families in the village other funders rallied to the cause. The project became a genuine partnership involving the Parish Council, Upper Broughton Millennium Committee, local and county councillors and the eventual manufacturers of the new equipment, Proludic.
This community and matched financial support was looked on favourably by the IGas grant panel and our application for £1,750 was successful.
More than a year on the new play equipment has been an enormous success. My house overlooks Top Green and I can bear witness that with the enhanced play equipment the green has become a meeting point for families from the village.
The committee is very proud of its success and Anne Copley, the Parish Council Chairwoman’s quote at the opening still rings true, “With many families moving to the village we are delighted to provide these new facilities for the children. I would also like to thank those that contributed to our fundraising efforts as they have created a really special addition to village life.”
Tim Flood, Upper Broughton Parish Councillor
Askham Village Hall Committee
Just a few notes to express our thanks for IGas and your support for our 2015 Project. The project was to replace ageing electric heaters—all more than a quarter of a century old—and some even older wooden tables in our village hall.
Both replacements have been really worthwhile—the heaters are quiet, safer and more efficient. The tables are so easy to stack away for storage, enabling ladies or men to bring them out and put them away, and they have a nice hygienic easy-to-clean surface.
Altogether a much appreciated contribution from IGas in our efforts to make our village hall a safer and more welcoming place for our small community to use for social and family activities.
John Kelly, on behalf of Askham village hall committee.
Welton Patients and Doctors Association
The Welton Patients and Doctors Association (“PDA”) has been awarded grants from IGas to support its work with local elderly and vulnerable people. The PDA was formed to promote liaison and support between patients and staff of the Welton Family Health Centre. We provide equipment not covered by NHS funding and a transport scheme. This is available to patients who have no means available to attend medical appointments. The Practice covers 22 rural villages many of which have no access to public transport. In the past 10 years the number of patients transported has increased from 828 to 1,996.
In 2014, IGas donated £3,300 to enable us to have a secure database built to replace the out-dated fax machine and diary system we were using for the transport scheme.
In 2015, we had 10 wheelchairs, in various states of disrepair, kept at the Health Centre and available for loan to patients needing temporary assistance. IGas awarded £1500 with which we purchased 6 new wheelchairs.
The PDA also holds fundraising fayres and lunches for around 90 diners. Over the years we have amassed a large quantity of catering equipment. This was being stored at Committee members’ homes. In addition, we collect bric-a-brac, tombola items etc., for the fayre. In 2016 we were awarded a grant for the purchase of a storage shed to keep all our equipment together.
Janet Goddard, Volunteer Transport Coordinator, Welton PDA Voluntary Transport Scheme