Grants for nature and for volunteer food-parcel delivery service

Two community groups in the south of the borough have been awarded £3,000 each following their successful bids for support from the Community Grants Programme.

The programme, administered by Kingston Council, encourages local voluntary and community sector organisations to access funding and expand their capacity.

The Friends of RAF Chessington will use its grant to continue work on the Community Woodland Walk Project, building pathways through the park and supporting the redevelopment of the play area. The project has already brought back to life swathes of recently unusable pathways and seeks to further develop safe walkways and a wildflower meadow complete with safe disabled access paving.

The Friends of RAF Chessington, said: “Hurrah, our park is now accessible to everyone!

“Thanks to a community grant and the support of many local residents, ward councillors and idverde [grounds maintenance services and landscape creation projects business] we now have a proper pathway around the park.

“We also have plans to improve the park’s biodiversity with a new wildflower meadow and to create a new access point so even more people can enjoy this wonderful space.”

The Save the World Club will use its funding to continue supporting the Angels of the Hood – a group of 26 volunteers who distribute an average of five tonnes of food a week to vulnerable and needy individuals across the neighbourhood, supporting those who are self-isolating and shielding. Since lockdown was first introduced in March 2020, they estimate 3,500 deliveries have been made to households, Surbiton YMCA and Kingston Hospital.

The grant will pay for the expenses of volunteers, who all use their own transport to deliver food, and to power additional fridges and freezers being used to keep donated food fresh.

Councillor Lorraine Dunstone, Chair of the South of the Borough Committee, said: “Councillors in the south of the borough are really proud to be able to support both of these initiatives, the groups work really hard within the community and what they do is very much appreciated, particularly during these difficult times.”