HUNDREDS of young, elderly and underprivileged islanders from across Jersey and Guernsey will benefit this year from funds donated by The Channel Island Co-operative Society’s Helping Hands initiative.
Among 35 Channel Island recipients of more than £16,000 this year are 15 charities, youth groups, schools, church congregations and social-welfare care providers in Guernsey and 20 in Jersey.
Helping Hands was set up to provide financial support to a variety of good causes across the Channel Islands. There were 98 applicants for a share of the donations.
Jim Plumley, the Society’s Chief Commercial Officer, said every year it was difficult to choose who should receive support.
‘We always want to help as many local initiatives as possible being a local community retailer in the Channel Islands. Every year there are so many deserving causes in need of help and we try to understand from each applicant how the money will be used to the maximum benefit of islanders,’ he said.
Among this year’s recipients in Guernsey is Les Voies School in Collings Road, St Peter Port. As part of their Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, secondary school children have been creating an outdoor learning space and sensory garden for primary school children. The school received £500 from the Society’s fund.
‘We were absolutely thrilled when we were told that we had been chosen to receive funding from the Helping Hands fund. The children have worked so hard on the demolition and rebuilding of the outside area. We had no funds left for planting and gardening and this was such a fantastic boost for the project,’ said Tracey Trenchard, the school’s outdoor education teacher.
‘We took the children out to the garden centre when we found out and let them choose plants to put in the raised planters, along with herbs and spices to create a sensory area. We had been lucky enough to have some soil and building materials donated but this money will hopefully allow us to finish the project.’
Among the recipients in Jersey this year is Art In The Frame Foundation, which received £345. The foundation supports up and coming local artists and craft workers and helps with art education in primary and secondary schools. Its most recent project, the Creative Arts Alliance at the Harbour Gallery, has used the donation to buy three new sewing machines to offer art-textile opportunities to Jersey youths.
‘Everyone at the foundation is overjoyed to have received this generous donation. The younger generation rarely get the chance to experience the fun that textiles can bring, the donation will really help us to unleash their creativity,’ said Pat Robson, owner of the Harbour Gallery.
The Helping Hands initiative aims to provide assistance to as many charitable causes across the community, rather than larger single donations to fewer charities. It reflects the Society’s underlying principles of co-operative trade where profits not only remain in the Channel Islands to be reinvested but a proportion is given to a wide range of community initiatives.
Other Jersey recipients this year include The Stroke Association, which received £1,500 to brand an ambulance with a life-saving message, Les Landes School which got new gardening equipment for the school’s nature garden and Friday Fun Mothers and Toddlers will benefit from £300 worth of new toys, role play equipment and mats.
In Guernsey, other recipients include La Mare De Carteret Primary School, which received funding for a set of new netball posts, Eldad Elim Church which was given a ramp and facilities for disabled access in the community hall and Guernsey Scouts received money to buy new fridges, freezers and chest freezers for camping trips.