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York Community Groups Urged to Apply for Cash Giveaway


3:49pm 22nd May 2014

The 160 winning organisations in a great cash giveaway last year are encouraging more community groups in York to apply for funding and support in 2014.

Grassroots Giving was launched last year by one of the country’s oldest mutuals, Skipton Building Society, to celebrate its 160th anniversary.

And Skipton is keen to point out that this was not just a one-off – with the Society this year pledging to support 161 grassroots groups, clubs or organisations with cash donations of £500 in 2014.

Mark Banyard, Manager at Skipton’s York Branch, said: “We had an unbelievable number of applications for our new Grassroots Giving community funding stream in 2013. We were overwhelmed by the number of community groups and projects which put themselves forward – in fact, more than 1,000 groups applied.

“Even more encouraging was the number of votes cast for our shortlisted groups. Almost 20,000 people took the time to go online to skiptongrg.co.uk to support their favourite group. What a superb effort by these community-minded supporters!

“Now it’s time to tell York that Grassroots Giving is now open for 2014, and this time we’re going one better with 161 cash donations of £500 going to organisations when judging and voting is complete in November.”

The 160 winning applicants in 2013 were keen to share how the money has made a huge difference to them and will help fulfil projects and ensure they can engage with more and more people in the future.

These are just a few of the comments we received from last year’s winners:

Integrating Communities Active Network: “As a direct result of Skipton’s Grassroots Giving, ICAN will be able to deliver more facilities to deaf and deprived children in the local community. We work towards making a difference in people’s lives, with the help of Skipton Building Society we can continue to do this.”

Aysgarth Station Group: “It offers our small group the opportunity to move forward with our plans to provide the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the experience while learning about the story of this wonderful Victorian station and how the railway influenced people's lives and shaped history in the Dales.”

Transition in Kings: “When you are a very small start up organisation with few completed projects to inspire confidence in your ability to make a difference, it is crucial to team morale and survival to have access to seed funding schemes that are easy and straightforward to apply for.”

This year Skipton has teamed up with Project Dirt, a social network set up specifically to help community and voluntary groups from around the UK get better connected with one-another and their own communities. The Grassroots Giving ‘cluster’ on Project Dirt is accessible from the website (skiptongrg.co.uk). It acts as a hub for all Grassroots Giving followers connecting Grassroots Giving winners and past/future applicants from around the country, allowing them to promote their events, knowledge share, recruit and manage volunteers, share best practice and gain access to more funding and learning resources.

Being part of the Grassroots Giving Project Dirt community enables Skipton’s groups to engage with a wider network of people local to them and to better raise awareness of all the great work they do in their local area.

Another highlight of Skipton’s Grassroots Giving programme is the creation of a set of comprehensive free resources, free to download for all community groups. These resources offer help and guide grassroots organisations through challenges such as raising funding, recruiting volunteers, and project planning - advance registrations for these free resources show a huge amount of interest already.

David Cutter, Skipton’s Group Chief Executive said: “We are once again, delighted to offer our Grassroots Giving programme for organisations throughout the UK. It is a marvellous opportunity for groups which offer lots to their local communities but receive little financial help to be able to apply for vital funding.

“We continue to recognise that our founding values of 'by hard work and hope' have served us well and we know that many of our members continue to give something back to their communities through these type of organisations where people come together for the good of the cause.

“We believe that Grassroots Giving will continue to help us to discover and champion some real gems in communities across the country, and we’re as passionate as ever about helping these organisations grow.

“In 2014 we will be helping 161 community groups with our donations and we’re looking forward to seeing how this will help to improve the work of these wonderful organisations.”

During the online application process, applicants are simply asked to demonstrate how the £500 would make a difference to them, as the Society is keen to donate towards helping develop sustainable projects.

When the closing date of 31 July 2014 arrives, a shortlist of entries will be drawn up and placed into regional groups. Each shortlisted application will be summarised and posted on the Grassroots Giving website in August (Skiptongrg.co.uk) - then it’s over to the local communities across the UK to vote for who they’d like to see receive the 161 pots of support.

For more information on the criteria and how to apply visit www.skiptongrg.co.uk or follow @SkiptonBS_GrG on Twitter.

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