The seven representatives at the Town Hall
This year’s recipients showed a breadth of organisations and a range of applications that highlight how the Rye Fund helps community organisations to help a very wide community.
Northiam Community Friends received £500 which it will use to pay for DBS checks for its volunteers as well as training and insurance to enable people in the village to help others.
Peasmarsh Flying Start is using its £1,200 award to pay, among other things for small solid chairs for the toddlers at its pre-school.
ARRCC theatre is using £1,000 to go towards much needed portable heaters which will make the theatre at the Rye Creative Centre a much more appealing venue for wider community use.
Rye Museum’s £751 award will go to pay for a new projector, the current one having packed up, and a range of touchy feely objects like rope, soap and lace for children to handle in order top get to grips with the town’s (ig)noble past as a smuggling venue of international note.
Rye Christmas Festival used its £1,500 award to pay for the specialist skills and workshop guidance that saw paper lanterns made and used by the children from four local schools in a procession that lit up the recent 2017 Festival.
Rye Community Garden was given £500 which will help pay for some much-needed co-ordination form a paid helper in order to drum up interest in the wider community.
Rye & District Community Transport received £1,500 which is being used to support the 326 Bus Service that runs 6 days a week and attracted 21.570 passengers in the year to December 2017.
The Rye Fund was started in 2008 by a group of philanthropists who put £20,000 of their own money into an endowment fund with the intention of using income from the fund to help community organisations. They formed a steering group now chaired by Kenneth Bird, which in turn appoints a Local Panel to assess applications and make grants. The funds themselves, plus charitable status and governance are provided by Sussex Community Foundation, whose Stephen Chamberlain came from Lewes to the ceremony.
Kenneth Bird said: “The fund has grown through investments, government grants and further generous donations from individuals to reach over £120,000. This year we were able to distribute £7,000. Whilst we are very much geared to supporting smaller organisations with grants in the hundreds of pounds if that is what needed, we will next year be able to offer a maximum size of grant of £2000, which might prove more attractive to larger groups.
“The local panel would be delighted to speak to potential applicants and to receive applications ahead of next year’s deadline in the September 2018. We like to see money working and are thrilled to help local organisations help others!”