Craven groups celebrate Skipton Building Society grassroots funding boost

Craven Herald: Aireville Park which is now set for improvements Aireville Park which is now set for improvements

Several Craven groups are celebrating after winning £500 each in Skipton Building Society’s Big 160 grassroots giving initiative.

The final awards have been officially announced, and among the successful groups were seven from Skipton – the Friends of Aireville Park, The Ghyll, Skipton Junior Cycling Club, the Rewind Club, Skipton Brass, the Community Orchestra and Skipton Young Carers.

And also triumphing over nearly 1,000 other applicants across the country were the 1st Earby Scout Troop, Carleton Playground and Cowling-based Craven Dragons Netball Club and the Friends of Middleton and Ickornshaw.

All were shortlisted and won support in a public vote.

The Aireville Park Friends will use its money to install seats and picnic benches. “We want to make the park more welcoming,” said chairman Fiona Protheroe.

The Ghyll is a volunteer-led group that provides respite care for children with disabilities. Based at the local children resource centre, it will use the grant to buy some new equipment for the play area.

Skipton Junior Cycling Club will put its handout towards training eight coaches ahead of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart coming to Craven in the summer.

Skipton Community Orchestra – set up by two local mums – is planning to purchase secondhand instruments for people to try out after concerts in a bid to boost membership.

Orchestra member Catherine Davison said: “We can hopefully show you don’t have to be an amazingly talented musician to be a part of the orchestra.”

Also showcasing the town’s musical talents are Skipton Brass, a community brass band that has been going strong for 43 years, and Skipton Rewind, which teaches young people the skill of songwriting.

Skipton Young Carers will use its grant to fund activities and projects for young carers in the community. It currently has ten members aged between seven and 18.

Set up in 2004, Earby’s scout troop has increased over the past two years, from 20 to 50 members.

Group Scout Leader Doris Haigh said: “It is donations like this which really keep us going and allows us to accommodate the ever-growing demand.”

Craven Dragons Netball Club provides young girls and women with the opportunity to play fun and competitive netball in a safe and friendly environment.

The club is looking to expand its facilities and wants to host netball camps during school holidays for girls aged from 11 to 14.

Coach Anna Sheryn said: “We can invite teams from other clubs and schools as a result of this donation.”

The final groups to benefit are Carleton Playground, which will use the money to renovate the area and install new equipment, and Cowling-based Friends of Middleton and Ickornshaw, which is hoping to improve Middleton Rec.

Skipton Building Society launched its Grassroots Giving programme as part of its 160th anniversary celebrations earlier this year.

David Cutter, Skipton group chief executive, said: “It was set up to support groups who show commitment to their community, who could illustrate how they plan to evolve in the future.”

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