Council grants for life-changing projects

Friday, 17 December, 2021

East Hampshire District Council has helped give autistic adults and those with learning and physical disabilities a magical new experience through a grant to a local charity.

The council granted FitzRroy, based in St Peter’s Road, in Petersfield, more than £10,000 to create a state-of-the-art sensory room that provides a therapeutic and stimulating environment for its members.

The grant was one of 61 given to life-changing projects across the district as part of the council’s Supporting Communities Fund, a scheme set up to support community groups and charities.

FitzRoy’s Sensory Room is filled with light, sound and colour. The equipment chosen for the room can help those who need to relax or support those who need a more energetic environment. 

Cllr Julie Butler, EHDC Deputy Leader Portfolio Holder for Welfare and Community Integration, said: “Fitzroy is an amazing charity and they do incredible work with people with learning and physical disabilities.

“This is exactly the sort of project the Supporting Communities Fund was launched to help. It provides a valuable service to some of our communities most vulnerable people who, without the great work of this charity and the grant we have provided, would not be able to enjoy this fantastic experience.”

Maria Avery, Deputy Manager, Hampshire Day Services, said: “I am not only very proud of the room but also the knowledge of how much use people can get from it, which makes it all so special. I want to thank East Hampshire District Council’s Supporting Communities Fund for making it possible”.

The Supporting Communities Fund started in 2019 with £1 million to spend and over three years it has supported 61 local organisations. The last of that fund was awarded this year and a new £1 million instalment has been lined up for 2022-20225.

Some of the projects have been completed while some are still in progress. Among the completed projects are:

Greatham Primary School - Refurbishment and improvements to school hall facilities. £10,000

The new project is an upgrade to the hall and disabled toilet facilities, including new floor, IT etc. Facilities will be available for the community use.

First Headley Scout Group - Scout Centre Extension. £12,000

A timber-framed store built to house tents, lockers and other equipment and replace an old and unsightly shipping container which was beyond repair.

Petersfield Open Air Swimming Pool - Refurbishment of the pool. £20,000

The pool opened to the public on May 1, 2021, and operated all season, seven days a week, running a full schools’ programme from May to July and swimming lessons for children and adults.

Horndean Technology College - To extend a 9 v 9 artificial football pitch into a full-size pitch with 3G surface. £25,000

The new pitch will benefit the whole community as it can now host matches for local football clubs. The school is now looking to expand women and girl’s football.

Petersfield Rugby Club - Installation of floodlights. £10,000

The new ELD floodlights are directional, so no light shines on the hedges or wildlife behind them. There are four youth teams using the pitch with the floodlights from Monday to Friday as well as the Colts and senior squads.

Grayshott Concerts - To stage live music events. £8,000

One of the concerts was in support of local ‘Covid Heroes’ and was free to those people who supported the public during lockdown, including health workers, delivery drivers and essential shop workers.

The Kings Arms, Alton – Building work on its youth centre. £15,000

The young people using the services are given guidance and advice by a youth worker and are helped with their self-esteem, with building emotional resilience and with developing positive and healthy relationships.

The Kings Arms, Petersfield - Building improvements. £15,000

The grant was used to convert the Kings Arms’ new building, which was previously a restaurant, into a space that was fit for young people to enjoy.

Holybourne Village Hall - Refurbishment of toilets. £8,000

All the toilets have been refurbished and an improved water heating system has been installed.