Sirius Minerals Foundation, the charitable body supported by Anglo American’s Woodsmith Mine being built near Whitby and on Teesside, have awarded grants to 36 local organisations and charities to help them and the people they support recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each organisation will receive between £500 to £5,000 to fund projects and activities to help people regain their confidence and restart their lives as the country continues to come out of lockdown.
Foundation Chief Executive Leah Swain said: “We were pleased to be able to fund local organisations, many of whom had not received a grant from the Foundation before, to provide a wide range of community based activities to enable local people impacted by the pandemic to start to get out and about again.
“It’s been a tough 18 months for so many people in our area and we are just glad we can contribute in a small way to the incredible work of the voluntary and community sector who have done so much for their communities during the pandemic.”
One successful applicant was Newby & Scalby Parish Council, who will use their £4,982 to help launch their Walk & Talk campaign to help prevent isolation.
“We’ve found that more and more people are struggling to get back out into the community after the Covid-19 pandemic, so the plan is to attract and train volunteers to help, whether that be going for a walk or going shopping,” explained Helen King, Head of Hub & Community Support Services with the Parish Council.
“We’re so grateful to the Sirius Minerals Foundation for their support, without this funding we wouldn’t be able to help so many people.”
Gallows Close Community Centre in Scarborough will use a £5,000 grant to keep their hugely popular Young People’s Activity Programme running between September and December, as CEO Kimmie Avison explained: “This funding means we’ll be able to extend the programme which offers provision to local youngsters to try street dance, Zumba, gymnastics, football and also attend youth clubs.
“Over 70% of the kids who attend the sessions are from low-income families and wouldn’t otherwise get access to classes like these, so this support from the Sirius Minerals Foundation is crucial to ensuring they can stay healthy, active and also have access to qualified, expert coaching.”
Another organisation that will benefit from Foundation funding is Redcar based StrHive, who will use their £5,000 grant to continue and expand their Vagabonding sessions for local youngsters.
“These sessions are fantastic as they get youngsters out of the house, off their phones and out and about in the woods or to the beach. The funding will help us buy things like waterproof clothes and equipment and radios, and also help with admin and staffing costs,” said James Hopper, Director of the organisation.
“It also gives us the opportunity to expand these sessions out to more people and will benefit so many people in our community, so thank you to the Sirius Minerals Foundation for making a real difference.”
This is the second round of grants for the Foundation’s Covid-19 recovery fund, following the award of £350,000 to 33 local charities in November 2020.
Anglo American is funding the Foundation with £1m a year while the mine is under construction. Longer term, it will be funded by percentage of mine revenue, which is expected to amount to several million pounds per year.
Future funding rounds will be announced in due course.
The Woodsmith Foundation is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity number: 1163127