Philanthropy Tales

PUBLISHED: 11:07 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:38 20 February 2013

Herne Bay United Roller Hockey Club was formed in 1924 with hockey, dance and speed sections. It expanded rapidly and still flourishes today as the country’s premier club.

Herne Bay United Roller Hockey Club was formed in 1924 with hockey, dance and speed sections. It expanded rapidly and still flourishes today as the country’s premier club.

Despite the difficult times in which we live, Kent has many donors with diverse philanthropic interests who are continuing to use their funds to benefit local people and causes

Despite the difficult times in which we live, Kent has many donors with diverse philanthropic interests who are continuing to use their funds to benefit local people and causes leave the world a bit better, whether
by a healthy child, a garden patch or
a redeemed social condition, to know even
one life has breathed easier because you
have lived, this is to have succeeded.
Bessie Anderson Stanley

There are people who are bringing Bessie Anderson Stanleys words to life every day in Kent, taking action against the effects of illness, disability and age, lack of education, skills or hope, in their own lives or the lives of those close to them.

The organisation that ensures funding is available to make these projects succeed is Kent Community Foundation, which helps these modern-day philanthropists, both private individuals and corporate organisations, share their success in order to make the world a bit better.

All are united by their belief that Kent, where they live or work, is the place to do it. Here are some of the people the foundation has helped.

Abbey Physic Community Garden, Faversham

Abbey Physic Community Garden provides for the needs of people with mental health problems in Kent. It also provides relief for those who are socially and economically disadvantaged through the provision of horticulture and gardening facilities and training so as to strengthen their confidence and self esteem in order to support them to re integrate into the wider community.

Abbey Physic Community Garden is a charity which aims to develop a community based, working environment for the people of Kent to enjoy long term. The garden is set in the heart of Faversham and offers a unique opportunity to establish a tranquil, health-giving, environment that enables people from all sectors of society to come together.

Situated in a beautiful, walled, wildlife friendly, organically-managed garden, this small charity places an emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of horticultural activities. Grown here is a wide range of spray-free vegetables, fruit, plants and flowers which are for sale to visitors in return for donations. Over the past two years, the Abbey Physic Community Garden has won two Gold Awards for gardening for wildlife and also Certificates of Excellence from South and South East in Bloom.

The garden is an inclusive project for adults of all ages who experience additional problems such as mental ill-health, bereavement, physical disablements and people who enjoy working alongside vulnerable, socially isolated adults and aiding these people who want to get into work but are not able to at present from the local area. All garden tasks are adapted to suit the individual gardener and people with many minor disabilities can be accommodated. The garden and buildings are suitable for wheelchair users and recent additions include a wheelchair-accessible pavilion style building, a greenhouse, cold frames and raised beds - thanks to grant donations. These enable a wider group of people to enjoy the garden as well as providing the space to make jams and chutneys from produce grown in the garden.

The demand for the project has proved higher than expected and it is hoped that further funding sources can be establishedbto ensure the project continues well into the future.

Since the garden started, 48 people have joined. Some have moved on but applications continue to come in and attendance averages above 30 people sessions per week throughout the year, with on average 120 visitors a week. There is no compulsion to attend and there is no similar active, mental health focused project in the area. The skills and training and communal support encourage a positive relationship with the community.

Thanks to support from funders, such as KCF, Abbey Physic Community Garden is able to offer training in various areas, such as NVQs in Horticulture in association with Hadlow College, and other garden-related courses, thus providing skills that can be used in the community at large.

It has received funding from a range of sources, including two grants from Kent Community Foundation. The first award, from The Allan Willett Small Grants Fund, enabled Abbey Physic to replace old and dangerous greenhouses. The second and most recent award was from the Grassroots Grants Programme that helped towards the cost of overheads often difficult to get funding for.

Lewis March

Lewis, now 21, is blind, having lost his sight to a rare cancer of the eye retina blastoma, contracted when he was just 18 months old. He lost the sight in one eye when he was two years old, then after a long series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments his retina became detached in his second eye, leaving him totally blind from the age of seven. His mother Carole says that for her son she will be forever young, as he last saw her face 14 years ago!

Lewis, always interested in sport, took up archery when he was 17 and after just a year, was well on his way to performing at a national level - with his dream to take part in the Paralympics.

Blind archers shoot with the help of a trained spotter (in Lewis's case, his dad Peter), tactile references, a tripod-type aid and foot locators. Their success depends largely on achieving good stance and positioning, and the right equipment.

Lewis, from Ramsgate, has been going from strength to strength since winning an award through Kent Community Foundation from the Ward and Partners Children's Award in recognition of his sporting achievement.

The award paid for a new piece of equipment and, as his mum says: "This award has enabled Lewis to graduate from the equivalent of a Ford Fiesta bow to a Rolls Royce, it has been brilliant to see how he has progressed!

With huge parental support, Lewis has developed a reputation at international level.

His coaches are very patient and totally trained to deal with his blindness and help him to hopefully succeed at a high level. This brilliant young archer continues to gain national acclaim for his skills. He has received over 50. Lewis currently holds an impressive 14 records for Kent and 12 national records.

There are of course costs incurred - in equipment, training, travel and associated competition costs. KCF stayed close to this young man and were able to support him with a second award from The Ward & Partners Charitable Fund which helped towards the costs.

Lewiss dream is compete for his country at a Paralympic level. As yet, blind archery is not yet an accepted category, though Lewis, his coaches and his peers are striving for the sport to be incorporated.

Through the help of KCF, and other funders such as Pfizer, this young man is one that Kent should be very proud of.

1st Ightam Scout Group

The aim of 1st Ightham Scout Group is to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials, as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local community. The method of achieving this is by providing an enjoyable and attractive training scheme of progressive training based on the Scout Promise and Law and guided by adult leadership. The group is an active and proud Scout Group, with access to resources extremely hard to obtain outside this organisation. The Scout Group is made up of dedicated volunteers, and has shown 100 year of commitment to the wellbeing development to the children in its care.

1st Ightham Scout Group for boys and girls can be young peoples first taste of adventure, loyal friendship, community awareness and self reliance, the basics of life long skills. Their ethos is one of inclusion, of care, and of encouragement.

1st Ightham Scouts give children opportunities such as Sailing, Canoeing, Climbing, Micro-lighting and Power Boating, supervised by adults who are trained to professional standards in those fields

This scout group first applied to KCF for funding back in 2007 and were awarded a grant of 3620 from Sport Relief. Through this grant the scout group purchased canoes for the use of the scouts. The group decided to make the canoes available to other Scout Groups in the Malling District the total membership of those sections is over 600 boys and girls.

KCF were able to support the Scout Group again with a grant of 1,000 from The Allan Willett Small Grants Fund which helped towards the purchase of a kayak trailer. The most recent grant came from the Grassroots Grants scheme when the scout Group was awarded just over 4,000 to cover the cost of equipment.

The purchase of the canoes and accompanying equipment has enabled the group to run courses and events which are open to cubs 8-10 years old, Scouts 10-14 years old and Explorers 14-18 years old. The events are open to all the group includes mentally and physically disabled children, and some who are from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The cost of events is kept to a minimum and all leaders give their time for free. Last year the Scout Group started to target the 13-18 year olds and provide them with opportunities and activities. The group felt that by offering exciting and challenging events they can encourage these young people to take up a new healthy sport, reduce boredom and potentially anti-social behaviour that stems from bored youth. These young people will also go on to teach the younger children and become the instructors of the future.

Through being part of Ightam Scouts many children and young people gain in confidence, self-esteem, improve their social skills and develop solid team-building skills.

Herne Bay United Roller Hockey & Skating Club

Herne Bay United Roller Hockey Club was formed in October 1924 with hockey, dance and speed sections. It expanded rapidly and swiftly became the most popular and best supported of all clubs. Today it still flourishes as the country's premier club with numbers and trophies won increasing constantly.

The club came about mainly because the existing Herne Bay Club had become too large and the Second team wished to play in more prestigious competitions. The breakaway players soon established the Pier Pavilion as a home base and even requested one stand to be their own so that their supporters would not have to sit with the now rival Herne Bay followers.

Over the next few years United quickly became a major force competing in, and winning, tournaments throughout England and continental Europe, with regular trips to Belgium and France along with the occasional longer train trip to Montreux, Switzerland.

Although the war resulted in a number of lost years, United continued to flourish with a peak membership of 468 in May 1948. On the rink, the team continued to win tournaments but much to the chagrin of players and supporters alike Herne Bay seemed to have the edge in the regular 'Derby' matches. It has not been all plain sailing for United, as the Pier Pavilion burning down nearly caused the club to fold. However, a few hardy individuals persevered to begin to mould the club into the success it is today.

Currently the club has teams at every level from under nines through to two Senior teams competing in the National Premier League. This is far and away the most successful period in the club's illustrious history with the 1st team being the current National Champions, having won the league 13 times in the last 15 years. Couple this with the highly successful youth section and hopefully the club can make it to its centenary and beyond still at the top of English roller hockey and perhaps even challenging the cream of European roller hockey on a regular basis.

Herne Bay United operates in an area that has been highlighted for regeneration and Heron Ward covers an area with large groups of social and economic deprivation. Many of the families that participate cannot afford the right kit of the right quality to ensure safety standards.

The aim of the project is to provide any child in the area with the experience, promote better health amongst children, allow participation in a sport not available at school, bring together a cross section of the community, increase the number of players who can take part in league games representing their town and district, encourage co-operation with one another as part of a team sport.

Herne Bay United first applied to KCF for funding from the now closed Local Network Fund. A grant of 5,000 was awarded to pay for proper equipment and so enabling the club to accept more children and provide more opportunities. This grant enabled the group to work towards an international tournament - an experience these children they could not afford themselves.

In 2007 Herne Bay United applied to KCF for funding from The Crown Charitable Fund. The Crown Charitable Fund agreed to fund the application subject to the team achieving the same amount of funding from other sources. This challenge spurred on Herne Bay United to not only achieving the target amount but exceeding it through a range of fund-raising activities. The funding which covered the costs of away games and referees really revitalized Herne Bay United and helped them achieve professional league status resulting in winning the Premiere League for a record 13th time. With this win they were assured a place in the European Champions League playing in a number of high profile games against some of the best teams in the world.

More recently, through Kent Community Foundation, The Crown Charitable Fund funded the cost of a new team strip which will last for the next couple of years the players, of all ages, will wear them with pride.

Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation provides the means for individuals and corporate

organisations to establish their own charitable funds, which in turn benefit local people. KCFs unique approach allows individuals and businesses to support their own specific local interests and causes, and in doing so invest in the future of their

community. The process is made very easy, so it offers all the pleasure of giving

without any of the difficulties.

The Foundation goes out of its way to find local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations that need support. It then identifies the local causes that match those our fund-holders most want to help and provides a research service for those wanting the most accurate and up-to-date information on local causes, but wishing to

make their own funding arrangements.

Even though many people have never heard of Community Foundations, over the last five years they have become the countrys fourth largest charitable giver. Today, there is a network of more than 1,200 independent Community Foundations in 46 different countries. The first in the UK was set up in the early 1980s and there are now

More than 60, including KCF, which holds the networks Quality Accreditation Certificate.

Kent Community Foundation became fully operational in May 2001 and, in the first

year awarded grants of 347,995 to worthwhile causes in Kent. Since its inception, Kent Community Foundation has made more than 3,500 grants, totalling in excess of 10 million.

Kent Community Foundation
Evegate Business Centre
Station Road, Smeeth, Ashford, TN25 6SX
Tel: 01303 814 500

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