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Growing Chippenham cadet band given boost by generous community grant

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Growing Chippenham cadet band given boost by generous community grant

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Published by Tina for Spectrum Housing Group in Housing

The Chair of Spectrum Western Challenge’s Brunel Community Forum, Tony Clarke shakes hands with Flight Lieutenant of the Chippenham Squadron Air Training Corps, Harriet Balshaw. The Chair of Spectrum Western Challenge’s Brunel Community Forum, Tony Clarke shakes hands with Flight Lieutenant of the Chippenham Squadron Air Training Corps, Harriet Balshaw.

A group of young cadets from Chippenham, Wiltshire have been awarded a grant by Spectrum Western Challenge Housing Association which will enable them to buy new instruments to benefit the local community.

1304 Chippenham Squadron Air Training Corps submitted a bid earlier this year to Western Challenge’s Brunel Community Forum Grant, to pay for additional and replacement instruments for the Squadron's Marching Band.

The Squadron, which has just under forty cadets between the ages of 13 and 20 from Chippenham, Calne and surrounding villages, has recently been invited to become the official marching band for town parades, and applied for the funding in order to fulfil this important community role.

Recognising the importance of this to both the Cadets and to the local community at large, the Brunel Community Forum, chaired by Spectrum resident Tony Clarke, awarded a total of £2,600 to the group for the provision of these new instruments.

Flight Lieutenant Harriet Balshaw is one of three volunteer leaders for the squadron:

“This grant will make a huge difference to the growth of our band. Previously the band has been a small, static group playing drums and bugle. Due to the hard work of the cadets, membership has increased and we have been invited to become the official marching band for town parades, including Remembrance Day and the annual Civic Ceremony.

As a charity we rely heavily on fundraising, so we are very grateful to the Brunel Community Forum and Spectrum Western Challenge for their generosity. This grant will improve the band’s ability to play for the benefit of the town, and will allow us to use our old instruments to train new members and grow the band.”

Emily Bennewith, the Resident Involvement Officer for Spectrum Western Challenge who oversaw the grant process, says:

“The Community Forum Grant is designed to encourage forum members to reach out to the communities they live in and make a positive impact on the places Spectrum Western Challenge works. Providing funding to purchase equipment for the Squadron Band is a perfect example of this.

Tony Clarke, the Chair of the Brunel Community Forum contacted the Squadron and found out more about the work they do. He was encouraged by the way they give opportunities to young people from all walks of life, and help raise funds for other local organisations in Chippenham. He asked them to apply for funding so the band could buy new musical instruments and carry on encouraging attendance at community events.”

This past week's funding to 1304 Squadron was one of three grants awarded by the Brunel Community Forum Grant.

£3,000 was awarded to Highbridge Residents Association to assist with the purchase of a van to deliver furniture, enabling those on a low income to buy affordable second hand furniture from a shop donated by the local council. The money made from this project will be re-invested into the local community.

A further £2,200 was awarded to support the work of Dressability, a Swindon-based charity that makes clothes for disabled people with limited mobility and older people with age related conditions who need adapted clothing to make it possible for them to dress independently. The project will help 480 people over a 12 month period.

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