From knitting clubs to outreach programmes: how 10 years of lottery funding has transformed West Howe (From Bournemouth Echo)
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From knitting clubs to outreach programmes: how 10 years of lottery funding has transformed West Howe
CELEBRATING: Martha Searle, second from left, and Ted Taylor, third from left, with volunteers and residents from West Howe, outside the Inspiring Change shop
A DECADE of lottery funding, which has seen almost a million pounds invested in West Howe, will end with a community celebration.
The area, which is one of the most deprived in Bournemouth, was chosen to receive Fair Share Trust funding in 2003, because it missed out on previous lottery hand-outs.
In the past 10 years, £881,183 has been invested in 20 community projects, including knitting clubs, IT workshops, music festivals and outreach support for victims of domestic violence.
The end of the 10-year programme will be marked with a public celebration at the Henry Brown Youth Centre at 2.30pm on Friday, March 15. All are welcome to join invited guests, including local MP Conor Burns and the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, as they hear about how the money has been spent and watch a film made by residents.
They will also hear assurances that the area will not be abandoned now the lottery funding has ended. West Howe has been designated as a priority by Bournemouth 2026 and the West Howe Regeneration Partnership has been set up to deliver improvements.
Martha Searle, Bournemouth council’s neighbourhood development officer for West Howe, has been funded by the Fair Share Trust since 2005. She said she has seen a “transformation” of the area.
“I have seen children grow into adulthood and many people become more and more involved in their community. There are so many dedicated people who have used this opportunity to really get involved.
“Every project has been prompted by the residents and the funding has enabled many things to get off the ground. It has helped give many people more confidence and led to jobs and careers.”
Trust turned my life around
Mother-of-four Mandy Russell said her life has been turned around by the Fair Share Trust scheme.
Six years ago, when she was out of work and feeling low, she was offered a place on a Sure Can course for those with low self-esteem.
This was followed by a course for volunteering, which inspired her to change her life by working for her community.
Mandy, 44, said: “I became one of the original organisers of the West Howe music festival, which ran for four years. I also helped set up the Inspiring Change shop, which is not only a shop but the smallest community centre going.”
She also started volunteering at Heathlands School, hearing the children read, and at one of the neighbourhood nurseries and was on the partnership board of the Moore Avenue children’s centre.
And all this valuable experience helped her secure a job at Faith-works Wessex as a contact worker for the elderly.