A RANGE of groups that support local communities have been awarded grants of up to £3,000 from the Forest Council to continue their work.

Recipients of the council’s Community Grants scheme, which aims to help local organisations “build capacity” and continue the ”great” services they provide, learnt of their allocation for 2023/24 this month.

More than £20,000 was allocated to local groups through the scheme in all this year.

Representatives of the successful applicants (pictured) came together with councillors for a celebratory photo at the council offices in Coleford recently.

Recipients included Lydbrook Baptist Church, who received £1,750 for new flooring, which will enable them to “widen their support and activities with the community.”

Cinderford Band were allocated a £2,000 contribution towards instrument costs for a learners programme for young people and adults.

The Canopy arts network was given a £2,420 grant for a pilot project which will enable its ‘Creative Walks in Nature’ work to be expanded.

The hall at Broomsgreen in Dymock received £3,000 to help install a biodigester which will replace the ageing system, allowing continued use of the space.

Woolaston Memorial Hall and Playing Fields received £2,306 to go towards play equipment.

Ellwood Youth FC were given £2,200 for training new coaches.

Hare Forest School CIC received £2,900 to enable a parent and toddler Forest School group. The Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF) was given a £1,000 contribution towards DBS checks for their volunteers.

Soudley Village Hall Allotments received £450 for new fencing, while drama group Newnham Players were given £600 towards portable staging.

The Wye Valley River Festival were allocated £955.50 for youth workshops that will provide a safe space for young LGBTQ+ people to “learn about who they are, develop a sense of community and reduce isolation”. The project will also be part-funded by the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.

Forest Fighting Fit martial arts group were given £500 for new equipment, as was Noxon Toy Library as a contribution towards setup costs.

Cinderford’s music festival Cindyfest received £500 to help with running costs, while St John’s Primary in Coleford were also given £500 to enable recycling at events.

Lastly, Coleford Welcomes Walkers were given £698.92 for Go Pro recording equipment which will enable walks to be recorded and made available freely online to help combat loneliness and isolation.

Cabinet member for Communities, Councillor Adrian Birch, said: “We all know how vital our local community groups are for strengthening our local communities and the health and wellbeing of individuals within them. Therefore, it’s so important that we do everything we can to support these groups so they can continue to grow and provide their services to their communities. 

“We receive lots of applications and it’s always difficult deciding who receives the funding. However, I know that the council’s Community Wellbeing Team is working hard to support those groups who were unsuccessful this time. 

“It’s been great to see how last year’s groups have used their funding and I look forward to seeing the impact this next round of funding has on our community.”