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A record number of Phoenix tenants have voted to award £100,000 of community funding to a range of projects that will benefit residents in Bellingham and Downham including young carers, job seekers and children.
Nine community projects were shortlisted by our resident-led panel earlier in the year for a large grant of up to £20,000 from our Phoenix Community Chest. Ordinarily, residents would have the chance to meet the projects in person at The Phoenix Festival and vote. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, instead, videos were made by each project for residents to watch on our website. Voting took place online, by post, and for the first time, by telephone – 630 Phoenix tenants got involved to have their say.
Our award-winning Community Chest is an annual fund of £100,00, decided by residents and awarded to projects and initiatives that will benefit Phoenix residents and the broader community. Since being set up in 2013, the Community Chest has given out £700,000 to over 70 projects, benefitting 21,000 people.
Carmen Simpson, Phoenix Resident and Vice Chair of the Board said: "When we can come together again safely, our residents will be able to benefit from these wonderful community projects. A record breaking 630 tenants voted this year! It’s so important that residents have their say through local projects in how we shape Phoenix and decide what’s best for our community.
The people involved in the delivery of these projects really are at the heart of what makes this such a wonderful place to live. Well done to all our winners”
This year’s winners are…
Young Carers - £20,000
Young Carers will run holiday activities for young people aged 5-16 who are providing care to a family member. It’s a chance for them to meet people in the same circumstances and have respite from their caring responsibilities.
Brent Knoll & Watergate - £20,000
The Brent Knoll and Watergate Trust will provide 10 days of holiday activities for 50 children with Special Educational Needs Disability, improving communication and social skills through a range of activities: sensory, cooking, music, creativity and sport.
Youth First - £20,000
Youth First will offer fun-packed school holidays for young people with specialist artists. Activities will include BBQs, arts and crafts sessions and a fun day with inflatables on site. They offer a safe place to go, with trained staff on site at all times.
Career Progression - £18,120
The Career Progression Programme supports an average of 140 Phoenix residents to overcome financial hardship and low pay. The aim of the project is to upskill and empower residents to reach their full potential and progress their careers.
Sports Fun 4 All - £14,353
Sports Fun 4 All will provide free football coaching for young people every Wednesday at Downham Leisure Centre delivered by FA qualified and DBS checked coaches. The project breaks down access to high quality facilities and empowers young people.
In April, our resident-led panel awarded small grants, worth up to £2,500 to: Jelly Babies, Parent Partnerships, Phoenix Senior Super Singers, Thrive in the Allotment, Wuntanara - Community African Drumming and Sedgehill American Football Programme.
David Westworth, Phoenix Director of Customer Services said: "I want to thank everyone involved in the Community Chest this year. Both the winners, the losers and everyone involved as standards of entry were high. Our Phoenix Community Chest remains unique and a record breaking 630 tenants voted this year!
It's so important that residents have their say, shape Phoenix and decide what's best for our community. The Community Chest lets residents do that and invests £100,000 per year in our area. I can't wait to see our residents and community benefiting from these wonderful projects."
More information about all of this year’s projects will be available soon, and all activities will be held in line with current Government and public health advice.
Thank you to all our tenants who voted, to our resident-led panel and to the projects who put themselves forward. Congratulations to the winners!