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8th May 2017 - Press Release

Port of Dover Community Fund continues to benefit local projects

The Port of Dover has continued to award substantial investments to local community projects in 2017 via the Port of Dover Community Fund.

Established in 2014, and independently managed by the Kent Community Foundation, the Fund benefits the local community by supporting projects that provide opportunities for people to develop employment skills as well as those offering activities that enrich and improve the social, cultural and environmental life of local communities.

The total amount of financial support provided by the Port Community Fund to date is £256,000, with 36 grant awards made to 30 local organisations.

Port of Dover Community Directors Sam Gurney and Neil Wiggins have been busy meeting with and presenting grant cheques to the winning projects this year.

Porchlight, one of the foremost charities supporting vulnerable and homeless people throughout Kent, was awarded funding for their work helping isolated people to get support for mental health, housing, education and employment.

Beverley Callaghan, Porchlight Trusts & Statutory Officer said: “Your award will enable us to provide regular fun, easily accessible sport and recreational activities for 60 young people in their neighbourhoods. The activities are not just an enjoyable end in themselves – they will help the young people’s development in areas such as healthy living, social skills, communication, team work, confidence and emotional and mental wellbeing, supporting their progress through school and beyond.”

St. Mary’s Arts Trust ‘The Big Reveal’ programme also received a grant for sponsorship of major events in Kent this year such as the Primary Schools’ Singing Festival where over 400 pupils took part, the Rosemary Dunn Memorial Concert, a Play Day and the Mayor’s Concert.

David Burridge, Education Director – The Big Reveal said: “The award has allowed us to plan and deliver high quality musical events for the people of Dover. Our first concert celebrated the life of one of Dover’s great champions of the Arts, Dr Rosemary Dunn. One hundred and eighty performers young and old and a capacity audience enjoyed the event. The second was a singing festival for over 400 schoolchildren. The people of Dover deserve to be able engage like this with the arts and this grant enables them to do so.”

Another grant was presented to Books Beyond Words, an award-winning series published by Beyond Words to help people with developmental learning disabilities to understand their feelings following trauma. Their products and services aim to empower people through pictures. The books all tell a story, but they also let the reader tell their own story – the one they see in the pictures. This helps to find out a person’s inner world and their understanding of situations.

Liz Mincer, Books Beyond Words Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser said: “Port of Dover’s funding to Books Beyond Words will make a lasting and continuing difference to the lives of local young people with learning disabilities. Students with special needs in their final school year will be supported to make successful transitions from school to adult life in the community. Two Dover schools are starting book club discussion groups using our word-free storybooks; these groups will move to their local library in preparation for the young people leaving school, providing a way to sustain friendships and understand life’s issues. This will establish a pattern of support in Dover’s schools and community, with new transition book clubs being started every year. We are looking to link with other initiatives to ensure this is sustainable, going forward.”

Port of Dover Chief Executive, Tim Waggott said: “The independent panel and Kent Community Foundation do a fantastic job of evaluating and awarding grants from the Port Community Fund ensuring its continued success. I am delighted that we can support the remarkable work undertaken by these deserving charities and projects and am passionate about continuing to assist those who seek to improve the future of our town and community.”


Notes to Editors:

Kent Community Fund is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated and disadvantaged.

Porchlight is one of the foremost charities supporting vulnerable and homeless people in Kent. They offer support with mental health, housing, education and employment providing young people and adults with the advice, guidance and skills to live independently in the future, to play an active role in their local community and to fulfil their potential.

St. Mary’s Arts Trust’s ‘The Big Reveal’ is a consortium of like-minded venues and festivals who recognise the need for and value of high quality, compellingly-delivered outreach for children, adults and the wider community. Taking world-class art and artists to hard-to-reach areas and communities they celebrate music, art and people, placing culture at the core of education, community and life.

Beyond Words is a provider of books, services and training for people who find pictures easier to understand than words. Whether supporting somebody with a learning disability or communication difficulty, their products and services empower through pictures.

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