Newham Community Groups Fund hits half a million jackpot

30 September 2016 in Community neighbourhoods
​Community groups across the borough have now hit the half a million pound jackpot from a fund created by Newham Council and Aspers Casino.
Community groups across the borough have now hit the half a million pound jackpot from a fund created by Newham Council and Aspe
​The Aspers Good Causes Fund, set up in 2012, provides £100,000 a year to help organisations working in the fields of education, art, dance, music, sport and the environment. Schemes providing effective and inclusive projects helping local residents to build their confidence and skills can apply for funding.
Young people affected by crime and violence, vulnerable older people and those at risk of becoming homeless are among the groups benefiting from the 18 schemes backed by the fund this year. A special event was held last night (Thursday 29 September) at Aspers Casino, Westfield, Stratford, to celebrate the groups who received funding.
In total the groups received £78,500, with the individual groups being awarded between £990 and £7,900. Fifty four groups applied for funding.
Among the successful 18 groups this year were:
  • Forest Gate Community Garden which received £7,400 to help provide volunteering, training and educational opportunities in horticulture as well as providing a venue for events for the local community
  • East London Rugby Football Club which received £1,000 to run 21 weekly sessions for children with special educational needs to help support inclusion and integration of all children through rugby
  • Young Gamblers Education Trust which received £6,701 to support their programme of workshops, training courses and activities designed to  inform, educate and safeguard young people in Newham against problematic gaming and gambling
  • Fight for Peace which received £4,000 to provide boxing and martial arts training combined with education and personal development. The group helps young people in communities affected by crime and violence realise their potential and support them to make the most of their lives through improving their fitness, making new friends and enhancing their self-confidence.
  • Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre which received £6,350 towards supporting exercise and activity sessions for around 110 people aged 50 and over including gardening, yoga and tai chi
  • Skills Enterprise who received £5,177 for their Aspire Together project providing crisis support and opportunities for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home to enhance their chances of finding work.
The remaining £21,500 will fund tickets for 2,000 children and young people from Newham to visit Aspinall Foundation’s Port Lympne and Howlet Wildlife Park in Kent as part of their schools wildlife conservation projects. It will also go towards funding Newham Council’s Christmas Hampers scheme, which last year saw around 3,000 hampers provided to elderly people across the borough living alone and on low incomes.
Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “I am delighted that once again Aspers and the Council have worked together to support a wide range of groups delivering initiatives helping to enhance the quality of life of our residents.
“Since it started thousands of people have benefited from the schemes supported by the Aspers Good Causes Fund. This year will be no exception with some excellent initiatives being supported. And I hope we will be able to support even more in years to come.”
Richard Smith, Group Operations Director at Aspers, said: “‘Everyone at Aspers takes great pride in the Aspers Good Causes Fund. In our fifth year we are delighted to be able to provide ongoing support to the range of projects that are delivering positive benefits to local residents and look forward to this continuing in the future.”

Quotes from some of the groups receiving funding

Steve O’Keeffe, Sports Coordinator and Head Mixed Martial Arts Coach at Fight for Peace said:  "I am grateful for the support of the Aspers Good Causes Fund at this exciting time for Fight for Peace.  With the introduction of three new sports at the London Academy this year, this support has played a valuable part in ensuring that young people have continued to benefit from the excellent coaching on offer here, along with the friendships built and skills learnt in the sports sessions. Thank you to Aspers and Newham Council for this support.

Isobel Matheson, a volunteer at Forest Gate Community Garden said: “This grant has helped us meet our aims, to provide a green space in Forest Gate, where people of all ages can come to learn, meet new people, and relax.  The grant through the Aspers Good Causes Fund has allowed us to employ an experienced garden manager to oversee activities that offer benefits to the wider Forest Gate community.”

Ciara Baxter, Co-Founder of Newham SEN Rugby said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive funding for our SEN rugby project. For children with special education needs accessibility to sport can be challenging and availability of support is limited. Rugby is a holistic sport that enables young people to develop co-ordination and social skills. The funding allows us to expand our project and offer children with special education needs in Newham great opportunities to engage in local community sports.”
Adrian Sladdin, Director of Education Young Gamblers Education Trust, said: “The grant from the Aspers Good Causes Fund has been extremely welcome and has enabled us to instigate and develop work quickly in the borough for our programme of education for young people and families around responsible gaming and gambling.”
Malathy Muthu, Project Manager of Skills Enterprise, said: “We are delighted that the Aspers Good Causes Fund has provided us with this much-needed funding. Our team regularly meets people who genuinely cannot afford to feed their families or cannot sleep because they are so stressed and worried about making ends meet, lack employment skills or are threatened with eviction or homelessness. Thanks to this grant, we can now offer crisis support, develop skills, volunteering opportunities and improve partnership working with community organisations to help vulnerable people to bring positive significant sustainable difference in their lives.”
The full list of organisations receiving funding through the Aspers Good Causes Fund are:
​Organisation    Project​ Award​
​282 Squadron Air Cadets ​282 Squadron Air Cadets ​£3,000
​Ambition Aspire Achieve ​New Beginnings ​£7,760
Beckton Skills Centre​ ​Build it, Race it, Go Kart project ​£6.852
East London Rugby Football Club​ ​Newham SEN Rugby ​£1,000
Elevated Aspirations​ ​Dancercise ​£990
Fight for Peace​ ​Open Access Sports ​£4,000
Forest Gate Community Garden CIC​ ​Forest Gate Community Garden CIC ​£7,400
​Ingeenium ​The Reindeer Games ​£1,000
​Memorial Community Church ​50 plus Active Tuesdays ​£4,500
Memory Steps​ ​Memory Steps Drop in ​£1,000
Newham All Stars Sports Academy​ ​Aspers NASSA Sports Skills Holiday Programme ​£4,000
​Newham Stroke Club ​Stroke Club and Befriending Service ​£7,900
Rosetta Arts Centre​ ​Raising Creative Aspirations ​£3,000
Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre​ ​Active Communities ​£6,350
​Skills Enterprise ​Aspire Together ​£5,177
Trinity Centre​ ​The Good Life Project ​£7,500
​Ursuline Links ​Ursuline Links London Day Camp Project ​£1,000
​Young Gamblers Education Trust ​Educate to Prevent ​£6,071