One lucky local project could be in line to receive a grant of up to £10,000, thanks to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s popular Community Fund.

Now the fund, which has up to £30,000 to give away this financial year, will be open to good causes and local projects across the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The Community Fund was first launched in 2016 and is part of an estimated £1 million that the Steamship Group returns to the community every year through subsidised travel for islanders, NHS flights, sponsorships and charitable donations.

Entries are now being accepted for the first round of funding, with the closing date set as November 30th.

Sharon Sandercock, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “We are now inviting applications for this year’s round of funding and we are looking forward to making a real difference to our local community. The success of the fund in its first year was remarkable and we supported some truly worthwhile causes.

“The Steamship Group returns around £1 million a year to the communities it serves and we look forward to supporting many more projects on the islands and mainland.”

This year the fund will have four funding grant categories including an award of up to £10,000 for one lead project. The other categories are:

  • Two projects up to £5,000
  • Two projects up to £2,500
  • Four projects up to £1,250

In its first year the Community Fund awarded £22,000 to 18 different projects ranging from a new marquee for the Isles of Scilly Brownies and Guides Group, to a new CCTV camera to cover a blind spot at Cape Cornwall for the National Coastwatch Institution.

Bids to the Community Fund are open to voluntary groups or charities, schools and education establishments, community clubs or societies, and individuals undertaking not-for-profit projects for the benefit of the wider community. The Fund originally operated in the islands and West Cornwall only, but will be extended to cover all of Cornwall this year.

In the first round awards of £6,750 were given to six different projects. Eight good causes received a share of more than £9,000 in the second round of awards, and £5,700 was given to three projects in the final round.

Projects include:

  • £3,000 towards a vital piece of safety equipment installed to watch over popular Priest Cove, near St Just in West Cornwall. The CCTV camera was bought by NCI Cape Cornwall to look into a blind spot behind the watch station. The state-of-the-art camera, which relays pictures back to the station, has been hailed a “vital piece of equipment” which can see all the way to Sennen. It has been discreetly placed high on the cliffs on the southern side of Cape Cornwall.
  • £1,500 towards a creative literacy project working with children on the Isles of Scilly, Mousehole, Newlyn and Penzance, taking the history of Royal Mail Ships as inspiration. Poetry postie Sally Crabtree held workshops with pupils at Five Islands School on St Mary’s to show that poetry can be fun and doesn’t have to be boring. She then turned the children’s poetry into postcards, which she delivered at the Sea Salts and Sail Festival in Mousehole and, ultimately, to celebrate the UN’s World Post Day. The Poetry Postie character was first commissioned by the Postal Heritage Museum and Archive and has since performed at festival and events all over the country – from small village fetes to large music festivals such as Womad.
  • £650 to support a Scilly family who cycled unsupported from John O’Groats to Land’s End in July 2016 – despite only having five miles of island road to practice on. Julian and Michelle Morel and their sons Finley, 13, and Shea, 11, planned the journey to raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Society and support the memory café on the islands. The family used the money to pay for all their travel expenses and said they wouldn’t have been able to embark on the ambitious 847-mile bike ride without it.
  • A donation of £1,500 to Brownies and Guides on the Isles of Scilly, who went camping together for the first time in August 2016 thanks to the arrival of a huge marquee paid for by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. Thirty girls from the 1st Isles of Scilly Brownies and Guides camped at Sandybanks Farm on St Mary’s, where the 18mx6m marquee was used as the kitchen, dining and craft area.

Full details, eligibility criteria and application forms are now available from the Steamship Group’s website. All projects are judged by members of an independent panel.