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Aylesbury Vale Community Chest – Working Together 2014

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Aylesbury Vale Community Chest – Working Together 2014


Published by Alison Donovan for The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust in Communities and also in Education, Environment, Housing

Aylesbury Vale Community Chest – Working Together 2014 Aylesbury Vale Community Chest – Working Together 2014

Vale of Aylesbury Housing (the Trust) and AVDC recently celebrated seven successful years of their Community Chest programme, with a total of 85 local voluntary and community organisations receiving grants in 2013-14.

The ‘Working Together’ event, traditionally held at a grant-recipient venue, was hosted by the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton. Attracting over 30,000 visitors annually, the Centre provides educational visits for schools, preschools and other groups, with curriculum-based activities for the Victorian era and WWII.

After being awarded a grant from the Community Chest scheme in 2012, work began to enable professional repointing, tackle repair roofs and invest in new rainwater goods to protect the exhibits inside their museum building and station yard from adverse weather conditions.

Guests were able to see the results of the grants after being given a guided tour of the museum, and even a ride on one of the centre’s diesel trains.

The event featured speeches from a selection of those who had received grants, including Michael Lewington, Director of Calibre Audio Library, who were awarded a grant of £24,000 in May to help and train volunteers over the next three years.

“We are very grateful to Vale of Aylesbury Housing (the Trust) and AVDC for the grant received from the Community Chest fund, which will be used to train volunteers in issuing and returning books on CDs and memory sticks.

“It will also provide staff support through the phased closure of our cassette service, when we will run volunteer focus groups and a satisfaction survey to ensure all our volunteers are happy and can contribute their ideas to the development of our service.”

Masaud Subedar, Head of Community Services at the Trust, formally took over from Cllr Ranjula Takodra as Grants Panel Chairman for 2014-15. He closed the event with an inspirational speech – outlining the value of volunteering and its contribution to making Community Chest such a success. 

“The number of applications that we have received over the past seven years has been absolutely phenomenal, with a success rate of over 85 per cent. It is inspiring to see the varied ways in which the Community Chest grants made a different to residents across the Vale.

“Last year, we reached two separate landmarks – ones of which both the Trust and AVDC are extremely proud of. The first, which was achieved in July 2013, saw the 500th grant awarded to Queens Park Arts Centre and in September 2013, with a grant to Joss Searchlight, a local cancer support charity, we hit the milestone of £3 million awarded in grants since the venture first began.”

Councillor Pam Pearce, AVDC Cabinet Member for Community Matters, said: “Funding is available to Aylesbury Vale communities for a wide variety of purposes, to enable them to fulfil their hopes and aspirations. I am very pleased that the Community Chest scheme is continuing to support local communities in this way, and I would urge any group to consider making an application for a grant. Expert help and support is available from our funding team, to any group considering making an application.”


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