Voting opened today (Monday, July 23) in the preliminary round of the Frasers Budgens of Marlborough Community Giveaway.
The Community Giveaway is being staged by Oxfordshire-based retail group Fraser’s, who are opening a petrol station, Budgens convenience store and Subway outlet at Marlborough Business Park in the autumn.
From now until 1 September, local good causes are invited to nominate themselves for a community grant.
And until 7 September, a public poll will select nine finalists from three categories – Health, Wellbeing and Social; Communities and the Arts; Education and Young People.
The finalists will be invited to pitch their projects to a live voting audience at Theatre on the Hill in Marlborough on Thursday 27 September, when representatives from each community group are invited to pitch their ideas from the theatre stage to a voting public.
While there’s a lot of money at stake, the emphasis will be on fun, with organisers insisting the event will be more like Britain’s Got Talent than Dragon’s Den.
The three community projects that receive the most votes on the night will walk away with cheques for £1,000. And all of the nine finalists will get a share of another £1,000 over the first three months of the new forecourt opening.
To cast your vote, or to apply for a grant on behalf of your community organisation, go to www.facebook.com/BudgensMarlborough You can vote once in each category – so use your vote wisely!
Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the applicants vying for your vote:
Community and the Arts
Marlborough Communities Market
To support the ongoing success of the monthly Marlborough Communities Market, a not-for-profit enterprise working in collaboration with Transition Marlborough and Marlborough Town Council and incorporating a farmers’ market and local crafts and produce.
Kennet Accordion Orchestra
To develop younger/beginners to the interest of music generally and to fund new instruments for the youth orchestra.
Phoenix Brass Band
To purchase two tenor horns to enlarge the horn section of the Training Section, which exists to introduce any person, young or old, to the joys of music and brass banding.
Kennet Valley Arts Trust
Support for the showing of films in the Town Hall for adults coming under the heading of Marlborough Downs Movies.
We Love Marlborough
To bring Christmas cheer to Marlborough families, We Love Marlborough would like Father Christmas to be free to visit in the town hall this year, and have an free top-quality artist-led Christmas crafts-making session culminating in a procession at the lights switch on at 7pm. The Christmas Lights Switch On Activities would take place on 29 November 2012
Health, wellbeing and social
National Childbirth Trust
To support the ongoing success of NCT Marlborough and District, which offers local parents and parents-to-be invaluable support, services and NCT events including: ‘bumps and babies’ cafés’, monthly newsletter, nearly new sales, antenatal classes, baby first aid, walking club and local events.
Carer Support Wiltshire
To support the work of the Wiltshire-wide charity that gives free and confidential emotional support, information, advice and breaks to unpaid carers living in the county.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance
To support the running costs of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, the only emergency helicopter in the UK to fly with a pilot, paramedic and police observer at all times. Each day the Wiltshire Air Ambulance is called out an average of three times. Since 2009 the Wiltshire Air Ambulance has attended 41 emergency incidents in Marlborough and Pewsey alone. It costs almost £2,000 per day to keep the Wiltshire Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.
Splitz – KidzPace
Working with children aged 11-17 who have witnessed or been exposed to domestic abuse in Marlborough and Pewsey. Splitz provides a mix of one to one support and group work to build children’s confidence and self-esteem.
SWIFT Medics provides specialised medical care at the roadside and in people’s homes to people who are critically ill or injured. The grant will go towards blue light driver training and specialised medical equipment for a new emergency responder.
Education and Young People
Marlborough Brandt Group
To enable six students studying for the international baccalaureate from St John’s School in Marlborough to travel on a study visit to The Gambia with a teacher and an education worker from MBG, to enhance their learning about development in an African community.
The new All-Weather Pitch at St John’s School
Having completed the new school building without the help of any national government funding, and moved in late 2009, the school is now working hard to raise the money needed to complete the external sports facilities at the new school. The All-Weather Pitch will not only benefit the students, but will also be available for evening, weekend and school holiday use by the wider local community.
Savernake Forest Scout Group
Savernake Forest Scout Group requires new lightweight tents so that the 60 young members of the scout troop can go on camping adventures and develop key life skills through adventurous physical activity.
The Merchant’s House Education Programme
The programme gives the children a real insight into what life was like in the 17th century for the middle class as well as servants. A grant would be used to make some 17th century children’s outfits that the school children could try them on to experience how different the clothes were to the modern day clothes.
Savernake ExplorerScout Unit
To explore the seven local White Horses in a two day hike. The unit needs camping equipment and a trailer to do this without having to hire. This will enable them to explore other parts of Wiltshire and beyond.