As communities begin to tentatively emerge from lockdown, grants from the Isle of Wight Community Fund and The John Swire 1989 Trust are helping to address issues such as social isolation, mental health and poverty. Grant funding worth over £35,000 has been awarded to support the services of 12 Island based charities and voluntary organisations, to help people experiencing difficult times who have been adversely affected by the challenges of Covid-19.

One group to receive a grant from the Isle of Wight Community Fund is Nettlestone and Seaview Shed, pictured here in pre-Covid times following a project to restore village signs. A grant of £3,000 is supporting the build of a new shed, to create a workshop environment bringing local residents together for friendship and conversation while getting involved in skilled craft work.

Rob Webb, Chair of Trustees for Nettlestone and Seaview Shed said “The grant will enable Nettlestone and Seaview Men’s Shed to realise the goal they have worked so hard to achieve for the last two years, that is to build and equip a shed and workshop. It will support members of our community who may otherwise feel ‘left out’ and our activities will benefit many other members of our parish.”

A grant of £2,986 from the Isle of Wight Community Fund is enabling Daisy Chains Isle of Wight to set up online peer support groups for parents of children with health needs. The groups will offer advice on the challenges of bringing home and caring for a premature baby and how to keep children healthy, particularly where they have compromised immune systems.

Mandy Fuller, Co-Founder of Daisy Chains IW said “Daisy Chains IW is delighted to receive this grant which will allow us to help families to stay connected and supported through very difficult times. We are really excited to get this project off the ground and we know it’s going to be a real support to the parents when they just need to talk to parents who know what they are going through.”

The Medina Marching Band in Newport helps to strengthen community identity, offering a sense of wellbeing for band members through working together as a team to learn new musical skills, and bringing together the community through performance. A grant of £3,000 from The John Swire 1989 Trust will provide music stands, tuition books and musical instruments for new recruits, while covering premises hire costs for band rehearsals.

Kevin Downer, Vice Chairman of the Band commented “The grant from the John Swire 1989 Trust will enable the band to continue and grow in the coming years. With this funding we will promote the band to encourage new members, provide them with the instrument, uniform and learning resources needed to become a musician within the band. We are 45 years old this year, founded in 1976 and the longevity of the band is our main objective and with this grant it will help to achieve this by bringing in new members and also help to retain the membership we are already lucky to have.”

The 12 Island groups to receive a grant are as follows:

Age UK Isle of Wight
Aspire Ryde
Cowes Sailability Club
Daisy Chains Isle of Wight
Jigsaw Family Support
Medina Marching Band
Nettlestone & Seaview Shed
Northwood Cricket Club
Ryde Saints Football Club
Sea View Yacht Club Ltd
South Wight Area Youth Partnership
Wight DASH

Michael Smith, Chair of the Isle of Wight Community Foundation commented “The voluntary sector is reeling from the impact of Covid-19 with many charities and community organisations facing unprecedented demand for services just at the time that their funding is being stretched further than ever. It is vital that we continue to help these smaller local organisations that are providing a lifeline for people experiencing challenging times. Our work is only possible thanks to the generosity of our fundholders and these grants will make a tremendous difference to the projects and resources available for those in need on the Island.”