Burradon Forum helping residents old and young thanks to Banks Group grant support

November 16, 2017 | Community News

Members of the Burradon bowling and karate clubs with (back, centre) Chris Kelsey of The Banks Group

A North Tyneside residents’ group is safeguarding the future of three of the community groups that it runs for local people with the help of a four-figure grant from a regional employer’s community fund.

Burradon and Camperdown Forum was founded 20 years ago as a means of enhancing the quality of life in the two communities that it serves, and helping to meet the needs of the people that live in them at a time of great change in the area.

The Forum is now a registered charity, and as well as undertaking a community development role in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders, it supports a wide range of groups and services which are accessible to local people of all ages.

Three of Burradon’s most popular groups – the pensioners’ luncheon club and coffee morning, the bowling club and the karate club – were all facing the need to upgrade their respective aging equipment, but each of them didn’t have the money available to do so, and there were concerns that the sustainability of each of the groups could come into question as a result.

But now, regional employer The Banks Group has stepped in with a £2,467 grant from the Banks Community Fund which has allowed each club to make the purchases it required.

The luncheon club has bought in new crockery, cups and a pair of tea pots, while new outdoor jacks, scoring boards and frames, and rink markers have been purchased by the Burrandon bowlers.

The karate club has added new training battle ropes, medicine balls, padded smash board and target pads to its inventory, and all three groups are hoping that being able to offer better equipment will assist in attracting new members.

The Forum has been central to the delivery of many major local improvements over the years, including the construction of a new £3.5m school and community centre, the development of a new village green, the creation of a nature pond at Burradon Primary School and the installation of a pit wheel memorial.

Forum representatives also meet every month with North Tyneside Council to raise any local issues that they feel need to be addressed on a wider scale.

Chris Wray, secretary at Burradon and Camperdown Forum, says: “The groups that we support are about more than just providing pastimes for local people to do – they help to build cohesion, confidence and well-being across all age groups in what remains a deprived community, and boost the self-esteem of the people taking part in each of them.

“The pensioners’ luncheon club brings together people from across the community that might not have many other opportunities for social interaction, and so helps to tackle loneliness and social exclusion, while the bowling green is recognised as one of the best facilities in the region and often plays host to representative matches.

“We want to offer opportunities to local people of all ages, as well as to encourage as many as we can to make the most of what’s available in their community, and we hope to see more members joining in with these three clubs as a result of the new facilities they can all now offer.

“The funding we’ve had from the Banks Community Fund is a real vote of confidence in the work that the Forum and its members undertake, and it will make a terrific different to the future sustainability and success of each of these groups.”

Chris Kelsey, communications manager at the Banks Group, says: “The work of the Forum’s members provides a lynchpin around which the well-being of the area it covers is built, and we’re very pleased to be assisting three of the groups it supports continue to provide their invaluable contributions to the two communities.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.

Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.

The groups that we support help to build cohesion, confidence and well-being across all age groups

Ten year-old Hannah Hayes demonstrating her karate skills with Chris Kelsey of The Banks Group

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