Local community projects have been awarded £25,000 from Kingston Council’s ‘Your Money, You Decide’ scheme.
The scheme, now in its fourth year, has funded 15 local groups whose aims vary from renovating the 2nd Hook Scout Group’s headquarters to supporting Oxygen’s “What’s the Point?” knife crime prevention project at Southborough High School.
The funding will also help Express CIC continue their work providing support services for families affected by autism and provide tablets for Hook and Chessington Library for their Dementia Friends with Tablets project.
Local councillor Rachel Reid said the project has “certainly been something that’s very popular and well received by the community”.
Every year the scheme encourages local residents to vote for the community groups and charities that they wish to help support for the next year.
Any community group, club, resident association or council department is eligible for the scheme; they just have to recruit locals to vote for their group.
Rachel Reid credited the scheme with engaging locals in the community, and said “it gets people together”.
She described how last year a local scout group helped rally a much bigger influx of voters than any previous years with their dedication to the project.
The councillor hopes to maintain the scheme’s success in the future so that the council can continue to aid local projects, but it is reliant on the councils continuing support.
Annually £30,000 is set aside for the scheme, from the Neighbourhood Discretionary Fund, but only £25,380 was given out to local groups this year due to a smaller turn out of community groups campaigning for funds.
Reid said there had been a lower response in Chessington South than in previous years, which resulted in a smaller number of groups and voters participating.
Oxygen’s programme has used the funds to help continue their work educating pupils on the dangers of knife crime.
Charlie Bamford, an Oxygen representative, said the group educates groups of young boys by taking them on educational trips.
The excursions host sessions where police and paramedics give talks to the boys, another brought in an actor to play a prisoner who held mock interviews with the boys to highlight the potential consequences of their actions.
The organisation has received funding from the Your Money, You Decide scheme two years running and Bamford described the scheme as a “brilliant way to put the decision making power for allocating funding into local people’s hands”.
More information on the scheme and a full list of organisations funded by the Your Money, You Decide scheme in 2015 can be found at: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200172/south_of_the_borough_neighbourhood/396/community_funding_in_south_of_the_borough.