Although the primary purpose of all of the hard work from the Astwood Bank Carnival team is to encourage our community to come together and have fun, it also helps raise much needed funding that can be reinvested in our local community.
In November each year the money is awarded to the lucky recipients. We thought everyone would like to know a bit more about the difference this money can make to the various groups who support the Carnival team in many ways. We have asked each of them to tell us the impact the money will have for them.
Astwood Bank Primary School – Grant awarded £850
We will use the donation of £850 from Astwood Bank Carnival to put towards new fixtures, fittings and furniture for our new library. We are looking forward to choosing colourful and attractive new furniture which will encourage the children to use the library frequently. Reading is one of the most important aspects of learning and this donation will enable us to create a place where children’s lifelong love of books and reading will begin. Our current library, funded by Astwood Bank Carnival over twenty years ago, is looking old, tatty and uninspiring. There is a wonderful sense of continuity in funding from Astwood Bank Carnival to inspire our children.
1stAstwood Bank Scouts Group – Grant awarded £450
1stAstwood Bank Scout Group were delighted to receive a donation from the Astwood Bank Carnival Committee at their annual general meeting in November 2017. Our group provides weekly activity sessions for over 60 young people aged 6-14 years who live in Astwood Bank and the surrounding area and as a group we have participated in the Carnival procession for many (possibly all?) years. Sally Payne, Group Scout leader said “Astwood Bank Carnival is an opportunity for Scouts of all ages to work together, and for the Scouts to see and be seen as part of the local community. We will be using our donation to replenish our art/craft supplies and are already thinking about ideas for next year’s carnival float!”
Astwood Bank Toddler Group – Grant awarded £300
The playgroup has been running for over 15 years. The toys and equipment are used every week during term time and are well used! Therefore, the state of some reflects that. The money will be used to replace and enhance some of the toys and resources we have at the group. We are a very well attended group which means all of the toys get a lot of use and inevitably there is regular amount of wear and tear. We will also use the funding to ensure we continue to have a good range of toys at the appropriate standard for the children to play with equipment to use. We will be replacing and updating some of our toys/equipment e.g. farm and farm animals, baby interactive, soft and sensory toys and ride on toys. In addition, we will be enhancing our selection of craft materials which the children use on a weekly basis to create some wonderful works! Around 20 children a week attend our group from Astwood Bank and the surrounding area. That means over the course of the school year several hundred children will benefit from any enhancements to our resources, very gratefully funded by the carnival.
Army Cadet Force – Grant awarded £550
About 50% of the cadets that come to troop are underprivileged and from poor backgrounds. The money will be going towards new training equipment and boots and hopefully a day out (not military). This is a fantastic amount donated to the troop and will benefit the cadets in a huge way. The day out will hopefully be at Alton towers whilst some of the cadets have probably not even been to a fair ground. The boots are normally paid for by the parents as all uniform is free, so being able to get the boots for the cadets is a less of a worry for them.
1stMatchborough Scout Group – Grant awarded £350
Matchborough Scout Group have been involved with Astwood Bank Carnival for a number of years now, growing from ‘simply’ having a float for the procession to having a parent ran stall in the main field. This involvement has enabled many of the young people who attend Matchborough Scout to participate in an event they would not normal have the opportunity too. This participation has allowed the development of these young people with skills, such as confidence, communication and creative all based on the social interactions the Carnival settings allows.
With regards to the grant giving element, without the support of organisations like Astwood Bank Carnival, programmes such as Matchborough’s expedition to Jambo-Ri would simply not happen.
Astwood Bank Guides- Grant awarded £250
In Astwood Bank girls from the ages of 5-18 years meet in the variety of Guiding Units at various times in the Astwood Bank Scout and Guide hut. This year the demand for places has resulted in the happy addition of a Rainbow Unit, increasing the opportunity for girls between the age of 5 to 7. The funds donated by Astwood Bank Carnival Committee will help provide craft and sports equipment for the brand new unit.
Redditch Boys Brigade – Grant awarded £400
“Thank you for your continued support. This year we will be using the money to replace our current barrel BBQ’s and Gazebo. These are important pieces of equipment for us as they are used many times throughout the year to raise funds for our own use and to support local community events.
Running BBQ’s enable our members the opportunity to give back to both our company and the local community and gives them the experience of planning, dealing with the public, handling money and cooking all of which are great life skills for them to take away from us whilst having fun.
Redditch Association for the Blind – Grant awarded £300
This year we intend spending the money to provide equipment not funded by Social Services. This means buying for members two Monomouse print magnifiers that work on televisions, a pair of Max TV spectacle binoculars to enable someone to see the TV more clearly, 6 talking wristwatches, a couple of talking clocks and an illuminated magnifier.
The Association has also increased its annual Christmas gift to £40 per member.