Small grants, big difference
A local grant scheme has been making a big difference to small projects being run in Telford and Wrekin in the last five years.
Since 2015, Telford & Wrekin Council’s waste contractor Veolia has been offering grants as part of its agreed contract with the council to provide added value over and above the recycling and refuse services it provides.
Over the five years, it has given £87,578 in grants towards 115 local projects that help groups improve their environment or community.
The Telford Repair Café at The Wakes in Oakengates was one of the beneficiaries of the 2018 round of grants. Ann Johnson submitted a successful bid for £500 to help set up ‘The Repair Shop’ style café for people to bring along items that need fixing.
With a mantra of “Do not bin it, stop loving it or wearing it – instead bring it to the Telford Repair Café and see if anyone can assist with a repair”, the café has helped fix a host of items, ranging from broken vacuum cleaners, watches, radios and tables to blunt knives, ripped cardigans and pyjamas with broken elastic.
Today, the repair café sessions are run on the last Saturday of the month and attract people who want things fixed from across the borough and beyond. The next session is on 25 January from 10am to 2pm.
Anne said: “We’re so grateful for the funding, and are thrilled to report that the group is now self-sustaining and an established fixture at The Wakes. We have a great network of talented volunteers who repair up to 20 items a month and are happy to share their knowledge and skills. It’s fantastic to see people repairing items rather than throwing them away.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member responsible for the waste collection and recycling contract, said: “The added value element of the contracts we secure make a real difference. You can see this with The Repair Café. A community garden at Old Park School, junior playing kits for Madeley Cricket Club and a safer ramp at St George’s Bowling Club are just a few more examples of the difference the grants make.”
Steve Mitchell, Director - West Midlands at Veolia, said: “It’s a pleasure for us to work on this added value plan with the council and we are proud to partner with communities in this way to make the borough a wonderful place to live. We look forward to supporting many more local projects for years to come.”
Veolia’s current funding round is open until 31 January 2020, so there is still time to apply. Details of Veolia grants and other local grants here.