Basingstoke Counselling Service (BCS) based at the Goldings in town were “absolutely delighted” to receive a one-off grant of £984. As a charity BCS provides counselling to adults in the Basingstoke area, seeing people in need from all walks of life. They adjust client contributions according to personal circumstances as they believe it is incredibly important to address the root causes of each individual’s situation.
The charity said: “This grant is so welcome, because it has helped us to provide 41 counselling sessions for those on very low incomes at a time when there is an increasing need for the service we provide. We are grateful to the Mayor and those involved in the community chest for recognising the importance of the work we do for the community”.
BCS isn’t the only charity to benefit from funding to support people with their mental health. YPI Counselling received£500 to develop an accredited training workship in support of young people with mental health. The charity based at The Orchard helps young people from across Basingstoke and Deane.
The borough’s shed project has also benefited with a small grant from the community chest of £290. Basingstoke Shed spent the money on the purchase of a jigsaw and spindle sander which will help the local group make things for local children. This includes wooden toys which they expect to make available for hire, to sell or to donate to other local groups.
The charity said: “Our members will make these and therefore they will be able to use their existing skills or for those less experienced, learn new ones”.
Another small grant was awarded to the Volunteer Centre at Basingstoke Voluntary Action. By awarding £260, the team bought a tablet with attachable keyboard for outreach events. “This has been of particular use for our volunteers as they have been able to make referrals in front of the volunteer rather than sending the information to the office to be processed” BVA said.
Remaining monies have been spent on new printed publicity materials to help increase volunteering in the borough as part of the launch of a new website. BVA added: “The small amount of money has made a significant improvement to the quality of our outreach”.
Also benefiting from an earlier round of funding, Muffin’s Dream Foundation received a £980 grant to help them deliver services to local families. The grant money is being used to run eight events up until July 2017 at the Active Life Centre in Basingstoke, and three outdoor activity days. These events will support children with long term and life limiting disabilities to take part in sporting activities often more readily available for more able bodied children.
The charity said: “Often the children we support find it extremely difficult to undertake such activities. With the support of our trained leaders we work specifically with families to ensure each child benefits from the experience”.
These are just some of the ways the community chest and work of the Mayor’s charity of the year has supported local groups and charities to flourish.