Osbless Community Support Team have been granted £500 from Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing’s (STAR housing’s) Community Chest Fund to aid the team’s volunteers in their continued efforts to maintain areas of east Oswestry.
The money has been used to pay for brushes and other decorating and maintenance equipment, which they use to help communities in need.
The team, set up in 2016, provides help, such as painting, decorating and installing kitchens, to those unable to do certain things themselves, or those who don’t have family. .
Working out of the Hope Church in Oswestry, the team provides support all year round, but they also have a volunteer week in May when they do the bulk of their work.
Helen Evans from Hope Church elaborated by saying:
“During volunteer week in May we used monies from the Community Chest Fund to go to properties in the community and clear overgrown gardens and buy paints and brushes to decorate those properties.”
A lot of the original work done by this group was as simple as picking up litter and helping people do trips to the tip. However, quite often volunteers were having to dig into their own pockets for equipment and in one case, the volunteers bought a lady a washing machine.
The monies that the team have been awarded by the Community Chest Fund means that this won’t be necessary anymore, allowing volunteers to focus on the great work they are doing, rather than the cost of them giving their time.
STAR Housing’s Neighbourhood Manager Martin Whitelegg added:
“This project is great and it’s heart-warming that the community have come together in this way to help others in need. I’m sure that the team will continue to make the community safer and cleaner, whilst through the work they do, creating lasting friendships in the area and uniting the community.”
Helen saved special praise for the work that’s been done with a group of Syrian refugees in the community:
“One area of personal joy was getting a group of Syrian refugees together and providing them with a home-cooked Syrian meal. This led to them integrating much better in the community, which would not have been possible without the Community Chest Fund, it’s been a great help”, said Helen.
The Community Chest Fund is a pot of money that is put aside by STAR Housing for local projects in the communities in which it operates. People can apply for grants of up to £750 to either make their community cleaner, greener or more united.
Previous successful projects include patios for community areas, swings for local parks and cleaning up areas of housing that need attention.
For more information regarding the Community Chest Fund, or to apply for some of the monies available, please visit the STAR Housing’s website.