The Kenwood Community Fund has awarded almost £43,000 in grants to nine charitable and voluntary organisations based across Gosport, Havant, Fareham and Portsmouth. The grant programme is managed HIWCF on behalf of Kenwood, to support charitable projects addressing health, nutrition and wellbeing in local communities.

The organisations to receive funding from the Kenwood Community Fund are as follows:

Organisation Project Area
All Saints Church (Safe Harbour Project) Portsmouth
CHAT2Us Gosport
Fareham District Branch Parkinson’s UK Fareham
Headway Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth
Home-Start Hampshire Havant
Marvels and Meltdowns Gosport and Fareham
Moving On Project Gosport and Fareham
North End Baptist Church (Copnor Chaps Cooking) Portsmouth
Portsmouth City of Sanctuary (PCoS) Portsmouth

The funding is enabling an extraordinary range of activities to take place to support these local communities, including a community kitchen opening up earlier than planned to support families and young people with ADHD and Autism, fitness classes enabling both gentle exercise and companionship for people with Parkinson’s disease, and help for older people feeling isolated or needing support through home visits.

Marvels & Meltdowns, Back row Left to Right is Nikki Martin – Centre Manager and Charity Secretary, Shandrika Day – Founder and Chairperson Front Row Left to Right is Layla Churcher Centre Volunteer and Michelle Baker Volunteer Office Manager

Marvels and Meltdowns was founded in 2014, by two parents who were experiencing the heartache and frustrations of caring for children diagnosed with ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Condition, but who were unable to find support locally. The charity is run by volunteers and has recently relocated to new premises in Phoenix Way in Gosport.

The grant is enabling the Marvels and Meltdowns team to purchase equipment for their community kitchen, with Kenwood also generously providing a selection of cookware items including a stick blender, an air fryer and a food processor. When the kitchen is complete, volunteers will be able to provide refreshments for community drop-in sessions and life skills sessions for young people, to help prepare them for adulthood.

Shandrika Day, Founder and Chairperson said, “We are really excited to receive this support from the Kenwood Community Fund, this will enable us to open our community kitchen sooner than we had hoped and get to work on offering our life skills sessions in the new year, thank you so much for supporting Marvels and Meltdowns in our crusade to educate the wider community about autism and ADHD.”

CHAT 2 Us is a small charity operating from The Henry Cook Centre on South Street in Gosport, supporting vulnerable people who may be disabled or elderly and who are experiencing isolation, bereavement or needing a helping hand or advice. The group offers weekly social meetings, a monthly lunch club, home visits and individualised support and advocacy, helping people to get out of the house to meet new people, make new friends and get involved in new activities.

Chat 2 Us weekly meeting and some examples of the crafting created by members

Jeanette Parry, Project Manager at Chat 2 Us said, “We can stop disabled, elderly or vulnerable residents from sitting at home alone worrying about problems that we can help them solve. We can arrange transport for them to meet others at a relaxed, informal lunch group. Or, if they still have nimble fingers, encourage them to join in our craft activities or even play a game or two of cards and dominoes. There is always something to do even if that’s just sitting, chatting and drinking tea!”

The team at Fareham District Branch Parkinson’s UK are using their grant to run tailored exercise sessions for people with Parkinson’s disease. The majority of attendees are over 65, with around 30-40 people coming along to classes at Crofton Community Centre, in Stubbington, Fareham.

Fareham District Branch Parkinson’s UK members taking part in an exercise class at Stubbington Community Centre

Gerald Ingram, Branch Treasurer said, “The exercise classes being funded by the Kenwood Community Fund are helping our members get active again on a regular basis after the lockdowns. Regular exercise is an important therapy for Parkinson’s sufferers so these sessions are very helpful and also provide an opportunity to socialise after the workouts and are much appreciated by the members.”

Helen Feeney, Legal Manager at Kenwood commented “We are committed to supporting the local community through the Kenwood Community Fund. Managing our charitable giving through the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation enables us to identify and focus on innovative local community projects that address the challenges of health, nutrition and wellbeing, to achieve maximum impact and make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged people in our area.”

Jacqui Scott, Chief Executive at HIWCF said “I would like to express our enormous thanks to the team at Kenwood for their generosity and commitment to our local communities, particularly for those people whose already immense challenges were worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation offers companies across the region a way of sharing the success of their business with local people experiencing really tough times, and it is clear that these grants will make a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable individuals and families.”

HIWCF is a locally based grant giver, working closely with donors to ensure that their charitable giving makes a big difference to the lives of local people in need. Since 2006, HIWCF has granted over £14 million to good causes, funded over 4,000 organisations and built endowment funds worth £15 million, to provide a lasting legacy for local communities.