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Lottery funding helps Berrington Court residents purchase minibus

Berrington Court Social Fund has been awarded £8,500 from the Lottery Community Fund.

A group of determined residents of Berrington Court Independent Living Scheme, built and managed by The Community Housing Group, successfully achieved £8,500 grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund towards the purchase of a minibus which could be used for fellow residents.

Berrington Court is a unique housing complex for over 55’s. The scheme is designed to enable independent living in modern, comfortable apartments but with the provision of extra care services if required.  Residents have use of facilities such as a restaurant, salon, cinema and community rooms as well as landscaped gardens.

During the Autumn 2017, resident, Ken Gough began to think about neighbours who were restricted in their ability to go out in the wider community and worried that they may become socially isolated.

With the backing of other residents in the scheme, a working group, chaired by Ken was established in April 2018 to raise funds towards the purchase of a minibus which could be used for trips and social outings.

Members organise activities such as seasonal raffles, themed suppers and pop up shops with some goods being donated by residents, staff and local businesses.

The group successfully bid for funding from charities and organisations such as the One Family Foundations, Tesco and Aviva but were delighted when their bid for £8,500 from the National Lottery Community Fund was approved. This brings their total raised to around £17,000 and the purchase of the minibus is imminent.

The Group have already started work to recruit volunteer drivers, making sure that all necessary safety checks and training requirements are in place. Anyone with time to spare can join their team as a driver by contacting Sue Houghton by email martha_athome@yahoo.co.uk

Berrington Court Social Fund is now a formally constituted group. “We have learned a lot about how complicated funding applications can be,” said Ken, “but we were so determined to succeed, we just tackled each obstacle as they appeared and never gave up.”

The cheque from the National Lottery Community Fund was presented to members of the Berrington Court Social Fund on 7 May 2019 by the Mayor of Kidderminster, Martin Stooke followed by a celebration tea party for fellow residents. “It was hard work but well worth it,” concluded Ken.