Community groups given vital funding

Ilkeston Arena church as been given �2000 towards its food bank. Lisa Harrison with volunteers in the food bank.
Ilkeston Arena church as been given �2000 towards its food bank. Lisa Harrison with volunteers in the food bank.

Thousands of pounds in funding is to be donated to community groups by Erewash Borough Council.

More than 30 organisations, which also include arts and sports groups, will share a slice of £24,000 - awarded from the council’s small grants fund for 2013-14.

Among those set to benefit is the Arena Church Community, they have been given £2,000 towards its food bank and new after-school meals programme.

Lisa Harrison, who manages the food bank, said: “The bank relies on donations to keep it going but we have only recently started applying for grants.

“We started the food bank at the church but outgrew it. We have about 40 people at each session, ranging from people on benefits, people who have been made redundant and single parents. People who come here have to be referred by an outside agent.”

The food bank takes places twice a week and sees people receiving a food parcel.

Another group set to benefit from the council’s cash is the Lighthouse Youth Club, based at Nottingham Road Methodist Church Hall. They have been awarded £484 for future projects.

Paul Parkin, who applied for the grant, said: “We hope to reach out more to the young people of the community and provide more opportunities. “The money will be spent on funding future workshops and activities such as performances, animation and film making, music and creative media,

He added: “We have applied for funding for equipment before but this is the first time we have applied for a full-scale project.

“We want to inspire them to get involved in other things as well, so far this has proved a success as they got involved with a float for the carnival.”

A total of 28 community and voluntary groups, four sports and one arts organisation were awarded funding.