KCOM celebrates 10 years supporting community groups

Published: Tuesday 20th September 2016 by HEY Today editor

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Communications and IT solutions provider KCOM is celebrating reaching a 10-year milestone with a scheme supporting community projects across Hull and East Yorkshire.

The scheme has supported scores of organisations and projects that have improved the quality of life for local people and communities.

Introduced in 2006, KCOM’s community grants scheme awards three grants of £500 every three months to local community groups, schools, charities and voluntary organisations and has helped fund some 120 worthy causes with donations totalling £60,000 over the past decade.

KCOM established a local community panel to assess the hundreds of applications submitted over the past 10 years to a range of good causes in the region, ranging from a memorial to commemorate Polish pilots who lost their lives in World War II; to helping fund winter clothing for vulnerable children; and a project designed to help isolated and older people get online.

Brendon Smurthwaite, KCOM’s community co-ordinator, said: “It’s amazing to think that it’s been 10 years since KCOM began awarding community grants to good causes in the Hull and East Yorkshire area.

“In that time, we’ve donated £60,000 to some wonderful and worthwhile projects and the grants have really made a difference to the groups and individuals involved.

“We would urge local community groups and organisations who are in need of a helping hand to apply for one of our grants. £500 can go a long way towards buying new equipment or hosting an event which could really improve the quality life for local people and neighbourhoods.”

One successful applicant was the Polish Community Centre, a Hull-based organisation providing support, education, training and facilities for the benefit of Polish migrants in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The community grant helped towards a memorial to commemorate the bravery of three Polish pilots who lost their lives during World War II. The gravestone is located in the World War II Garden of Remembrance in Driffield for people of all nationalities to meet throughout the year, particularly on Remembrance Day.

Anna Grzybowska, Chairperson of the Polish Community Centre, said: “”The volunteers in our organisation work very hard to support members of the Polish community in Hull and East Yorkshire and we were delighted to be awarded the community grant by KCOM.

“The funding meant we could pay for a memorial gravestone and have a small ceremony in the remembrance garden in Driffield to remember these brave Polish pilots who lost their lives in World War Two.

“This memorial is already very popular and is a place where Polish people and other nationalities can gather together and remember their loved ones.”

Another successful applicant was Hull Kung Fu, a voluntary organisation developing the needs of people of all ages in Hull and East Yorkshire through a programme of self-defence, confidence building and career development.

Instructor Sam Norman, 26, said: “We were all taken aback when we heard we’d been allocated the grant. The money awarded to us will buy safety equipment which will help how we train in the future and make it a safer environment for our students.

“We have up to 25 people who attend our classes, with ages ranging from seven to 50! This grant will benefit everyone and we’re so grateful to KCOM for this funding.”

Over the past year groups supported have included:

Park Training Initiative

A scheme to help people lose weight and gain confidence, the Park Training Initiative, based at Bellfield Park in Hull, is the brainchild of Billy Hughes, a physical training instructor in the Army Reserves Infantry, who set the group up in 2012 to help people with weight loss, better well-being, social skills and confidence.

East Hull Co-operative Learning Trust

The East Hull Co-operative Learning Trust consists of 10 primary schools who work together as a network to raise aspirations and improve life chances for around 3,000 children. The grant it received helped with the costs of staging a poetry competition for local schools.

Twilight Sports Project

The Twilight Sports Project is run by Humberside Police in conjunction with the Tigers Trust and encourages youths aged between 11 and 17 to stay off the streets by getting them involved in a range of sports, including football, netball, athletics and badminton.

Older People’s Partnership Group

The Older People’s Partnership Group helps organisations and groups providing services for older people across the city to work together, share best practice and receive support. The allocated grant helped towards the cost of staging activities at a week-long “Celebration of Older People” event.

Hull and East Yorkshire Villagers at War

A voluntary organisation that runs events to commemorate soldiers that lost their lives in World War I and II from the Hull and East Yorkshire area. The grant will fund custom-made medals for dedicated members of the community who research and share wartime stories to preserve the past.

To find out how to apply for the next round of KCOM’s community grants please visit kcomhome.com/community.

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Published: Tuesday 20th September 2016 by HEY Today editor

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