Eight Merton and Wandsworth-based community organisations have been awarded funding as part of a £450,000 Health & Wellbeing Fund run by the Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Age UK Wandsworth, Attic Theatre Company, Home-Start Merton, Home-Start Wandsworth, Jigsaw4u, Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Randall Close Resource Centre, Merton Voluntary Services Council and Share Community will each receive grants of up to £30,000 a year for three years.
Launched by the Wimbledon Foundation in March, the Health & Wellbeing Fund provides grants to projects that will help local people to improve their health and wellbeing and meet social needs in the Club’s neighbouring boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.
Charities and community organisations were encouraged to submit applications for projects which met one or more of the Fund’s objectives: supporting better mental health through social or cultural activities; helping people take better care of their physical health; bringing families and communities together including those more at risk of isolation; and working with vulnerable groups to foster safer communities.
One of the successful projects is Attic Theatre Company’s Roots and Shoots, an arts programme designed to support older people, young refugees and asylum seekers, and disadvantaged young people. The Going For A Song choir is a weekly singing group for the over 55s to help prevent social isolation while the touring ‘Ma Kelly’ play raises awareness of safety issues for older residents. The Many Voices and Leap! workshops aim to help disadvantaged students with their confidence and communication skills.
Louise Hill, artistic director of Attic Theatre Company, said: "We're delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Health and Wellbeing Fund for our Roots and Shoots community arts programme. This funding will secure the future of our year-round community programme and also allow us to create exciting new artistic opportunities for the residents of Merton."
Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Keep Warm, Keep Well project, which aims to reduce excess winter deaths and tackle social exclusion faced by disabled and older people was also selected. The charity’s Winter Warming sessions will help educate those at risk about how to stay warm and better insulate their homes, while Keep Warm packs will provide hats, gloves, soup and where needed, heaters and duvets.
This funding will secure the future of our year-round community programme
Ulrika Hogberg, Foundation & Community Manager said, “We have chosen eight engaging and well-designed projects to support through our Health & Wellbeing Fund and we hope each will have a positive and long-lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of our local community.”