Local groups and good causes have got until February 28th to apply for a grant of up to £10,000 from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s Community Fund.

The charitable fund has donated a milestone £50,000 to 35 different groups over the past three years.

2018 saw the Community Fund’s single biggest donation yet – a massive £5,000 to the Cornish Pilot Gig Association towards its project Pulling Together the Past, which aims to preserve irreplaceable historical data on the traditional Cornish sport.

Now, for the final time in this financial year, the Community Fund is inviting applications for further grants, with a potential top gift of £10,000.

 Sam Hicks, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s Community Fund, said: “We would like to remind people they only have two weeks left to apply for the Community Fund. We want to hear from any local groups and good causes which may need a boost to help them sustain and grow the work they are already doing.

“Many people are unaware that we have this pot of money to give away as part of an estimated £1 million the Steamship Group returns to the community ever year through subsidised travel for islanders, NHS flights, sponsorships and charitable donations.

“It is wonderful to read the applications from so many worthy causes, often run by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers for the good of our communities.”

In 2018 alone the fund donated in excess of £23,000 to 12 different projects. It was praised as “a force for good” by TV presenter and bushcraft expert Ray Mears, after he visited several island beneficiaries earlier in the year.

Recent beneficiaries include:

  • £1,200 to Home-Start Kernow, a small charity which offers support, friendship and practical help to struggling parents in Cornwall. The money paid for 10 new volunteers to be trained.
  • £1,200 to Build-a-Bike, a scheme in Camborne which has helped hundreds of disadvantaged people rescue old bicycles and give them a new lease of life. The money was used to buy new parts for bikes they are rebuilding.
  • £1,250 to St Agnes Island Hall, which paid for wifi to be installed for the first time and for two years’ running costs
  • £2,000 towards replacing the old, leaky roof at Constantine village hall
  • £2,000 towards an impressive new made-to-order outdoor adventure playground at Mount Hawke Academy, providing the growing school and local community with a long-lasting asset to be enjoyed by future generations

The Community Fund, which first launched in 2016, is open to good causes and local projects across Mid and West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The fund has four funding grant categories including an award of up to £10,000 for one project. The other categories are:

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

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.

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.