Seven Bath charities and community groups are sharing £5,000 from Bath Building Society’s annual charity awards scheme with a further four receiving hot-air balloon tickets which can be used to raise funds.
The winning good causes were chosen from a record number of 53 applicants by a panel of judges. The successful groups received their awards at a ceremony last week in the Mayor’s parlour.
Bath Building Society community and retail operations manager Jonathan Cook said: “We were truly overwhelmed by the number of people who applied for a charity award this year. This shows just how important our programme is to the local community particularly in this time of austerity.
“The quality and variety of entries we received was extremely high and it wasn’t an easy task for our judges to choose the finalists.
“We hope that our support and recognition help these deserving organisations to continue to make a real difference in the local community.”
One of the projects benefiting from an award is alcohol misuse service Reason, received £1,500.
Established in November last year, Reason is an independent charity providing alcohol advice and support services designed to prevent alcohol dependency among people who are drinking problematically.
In the first quarter of this year it provided its service to 32 people through a total of 108 one-to-one sessions.
Alcohol support worker at Reason, John Hill, said: “The award from Bath Building Society will allow us to run 50 one-to-one sessions for our clients.
“As an independent community service, we rely on external funding to help those with a problem which is difficult in the current climate.
“This grant is fundamental to keep our project going and we are so grateful to have received the top award.”
The other award winners were The Open Door Centre; Alice Park Community Group; The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases Charitable Fund; Bath Opportunity Pre-School; Paulton Rovers Netball Club; PEOPLE; Friends of PSJ Primary School; Peter Pan Pre-School; Oldfield Park Pre-School and South Wraxall & District Working Men’s Club.
Bath Building Society’s charity awards scheme has been running for seven years. To be eligible, organisations must turn over less than £150,000 a year and operate and benefit people in Bath Building Society’s business areas of Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol. This year’s judges included the Mayor of Bath Cllr Andrew Furse, Paul Wiltshire from the Bath Chronicle, Breeze FM managing director Steve Jones, and Bath Building Society chief executive Dick Jenkins.
Causes for celebration: Mayor of Bath Cllr Andrew Furse, the Mayoress Mrs Mei-Ling Chou Furse and Bath Building Society chief executive Dick Jenkins, (far right) at the awards handover ceremony