The fund supported Treherbert and District Gardening Society with a grant of £1,279.47 to invest in IT equipment at the start of 2020. It may not seem an obvious grant for an allotment, gardening group but lack of IT equipment meant:
– They could not make purchases online
– They had to complete grant applications by hand or rely on use of a PC of a friend or family member
– They were not able to contact members via email
As it happens, the award was made just before COVID struck and so having access to IT equipment had greater impact than first imagined:
– The group were able to keep in touch with suppliers and order online as COVID restrictions meant suppliers were not able to visit site anymore
– The group were able to produce and print newsletters using new equipment that they sent out to all members to stay in touch during the lockdown period.
– When new IT equipment arrived, the group realised they needed some support to fully benefit from functions and so working closely with Interlink RCT, Meriel Gough helped the group access free training which will have real impact for the group and ensure they are digitally included
– All equipment was purchased from a local computer shop in Aberdare, supporting another local business
As life starts to return to normal, they will use computer and printer to produce presentations for their Society meetings, show members tutorials and videos on the computer, look for advice and help online about food growing. They will invite guests from Keep Wales Tidy and Men’s Shed Treorchy (who have just taken on a new base down the street from the allotment site). They will be able to produce and print posters advertising their work and encouraging people locally to get involved. They can continue ordering supplies online and will be able to email and stay in contact with all allotment holders as well as wider gardening group membership.
If you have an idea for how a Micro Fund grant up to £5,000 could help your group, the next round opens in June with decisions in September. Have a think and get in touch with the team, Michelle and Kate are here to help and offer guidance!