The Daily Mirror has teamed up with Aviva to launch an exciting new award category to help preserve and protect the nation’s green spaces.
It’s part of Aviva’s Community Fund, which offers up to £25,000 for local projects that make a difference to people’s lives, from support groups for the elderly and grassroots sports teams to projects for young people and their families.
The new Environment category, in association with the Daily Mirror, is for projects that restore, protect, and connect communities with the parks, wildlife habitats and woodlands around them.
The awards will recognise community groups that encourage recycling, renewable energy projects and environmentally-friendly building ventures.
The initiatives that benefit are not only bringing together people in their communities, but are also striving to protect and invest in our environment and make the most of the beautiful British countryside and green spaces in towns and cities.
If you think YOUR local project could make good use of money from the Aviva Community Fund, here is what you need to do.
Get your thinking cap on
What project does your organisation need funding for? Will that idea, or an existing project, have a positive impact on your community?
Submit your project
Fill in the entry form for the Aviva Community Fund. There are six categories to enter, and four levels of funding to choose from.
Rally the voters
Let everyone you know that your project has been put forward for the award. Take it out to social media and the local press to let people know about your amazing work and incredible plans, and secure their votes.
Cross your fingers
The projects with the most votes will go forward as finalists. A panel of judges will pick the winners, and the lucky projects will be announced in the New Year.
Among last year’s winners of the Aviva Community Fund was the Friends of Polly’s Park in Swansea, above – a group set up to transform their local park.
Secretary Hayley Gwilliam says the once-loved park had become run-down and strewn with hazards.
After petitioning the local council for funding, it was soon clear Hayley and her friends would need to do it themselves.
Public funding was really tight, so the council helped us set up as a non-profit group that could work independently and apply for any funding we needed.
That’s where the Aviva Community Fund came in, and after a great campaign, the Friends of Polly’s Park were awarded £25,000.
It meant the park could be completely transformed.
It is fantastic now, says Hayley. It was completed in February and now people come from all over, not just our area. We were also able to create a stunning green space for the kids to run about and explore.
With awards ranging from £1,000 to £25,000, the Aviva Community Fund could make a huge difference to your community.
Whether it’s a specific project – a make-over of your local park or starting up a cinema club to ease the loneliness of the elderly in your area – or training sessions for volunteers, additional funding could make a big impact.
As well as this year’s new Environmental award, there are five other categories you can enter.
This is dedicated to projects that look after people’s health and well-being. They could be anything from active living and hospice care to community centres that run well-being initiatives.
The Shine Camp project, above, dedicated to giving young adults with cancer a memorable trip, was one of a number of award winners last year. Young people with cancer can feel isolated, so this is a way to allow them to meet and support one another and be part of a UK-wide community.
This category is for groups that look after younger people and support family life with education, Scout groups, after-school activities and parent support classes.
The One World Festival 2015, above, received £1,000 towards the running of an event for 180 children last year to raise awareness of diverse cultures in the community, as well as global issues like waste reduction and recycling.
The third category offers support to groups for older people, including befriending and listening services, dementia charities and classes that help the elderly get internet savvy.
Age UK Barnet, above, was awarded £5,000 last year to help its fantastic work with more than 3,500 elderly people in the borough with 200 volunteers.
For local and grassroots sports clubs. This new category will go to groups for all ages or specific age groups, and to projects that encourage particular groups of people to get more active.
This category is for general projects that benefit the community but don’t fit the other categories. It could be a community development project that cares for animals, or any other activity that helps.
The Pathways Care Farm in Lowestoft, above, received £8,800 last year. The farm provides a safe environment for people with mental health issues to help their mood and develop social skills by caring for animals and getting involved with different farming activities.
Before applying for the Aviva Community Fund, groups should check out the awards on offer and see which funding range will work best for them and their needs.
Ideally it should be possible to deliver your project completely within the funds you apply for, so do take time to price up what you are trying to achieve and apply to the one closest to that figure.
Projects that don’t need any extra money from elsewhere will have a better chance of winning than those that need more input.
The awards are split up into different categories.
For ordinary entrants there are:
300 awards for up to £1,000
36 awards for up to £5,000
18 awards for up to £10,000
18 winners of the top cash injection of up to £25,000.
Groups that can enter using an insurance broker or financial adviser will be able to increase their chances of winning with eligibility to an extra:
60 awards of up to £1,000
36 awards of up to £5,000
12 awards of up to £10,000
4 awards of up to £25,000
Enter now Aviva.co.uk/community-fund and you could win up to £25,000 to help your community.
News Source MirrorNews