Shortlist revealed for Hunts Post and Taylor Wimpey Community Chest

Community Chest funds from Taylor Wimpey, St Neots, Sales Executive David Tooley, at the Knights Par

Community Chest funds from Taylor Wimpey, St Neots, Sales Executive David Tooley, at the Knights Park offices. - Credit: Archant

Ten worthy causes have been shortlisted for this year’s Community Chest scheme, organised by The Hunts Post and Taylor Wimpey, with a chance to win £500.

And it’s up to you to decide who should win.

For the past month we have received numerous nominations from readers putting forward charities and organisations that make a difference to the lives of people in Huntingdonshire and could do with a cash boost.

After whittling down the nominations to a strong shortlist, it’s now up to you to vote for the most deserving cause that will benefit from the money, donated by St Neots’s Knights Park developers Taylor Wimpey.

Hunts Post Editor Andy Veale said: “There are some really great organisations on this shortlist. Some are well-know Huntingdonshire organisations, others are groups that are trying to survive at a time when funding is hard to come by.

“All are deserving of our support, but unfortunately we can only support one ... so get voting for the cause you feel should get the money.”

INFORMATION: To vote for one of the following causes, text THP Community and your choice from A-J to 80058. There is no fee to send the text other than the charges from your mobile phone operator, Deadline for votes 10pm on Wednesday, April 16.

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Huntingdon Shopmobility

Evelyn Armer and Sue Prior nominated the scheme which provides motorised scooters for disabled and elderly people to get around Huntingdon town centre.

Ms Armer said the two part-time staff and six volunteers are “very helpful to the public and friendly”. She added: “As a user of Shopmobility, I don’t know what I would have done this last two years if it had not been for them. They can not do enough for us all.”

To vote for Huntingdon Shopmobility use A.

Ladybird Boat Trust

The wheelchair-accessible Ladybird boat, which is based at Hartford Marina, offers day trips along the River Great Ouse to people of all ages who are disabled, disadvantaged or part of a support group.

The trust, which recently took over management from the St John Ambulance, is made up of 24 vounters and costs about £24,000 a year to run its 100 journeys.

Mike Smith, who organises trips on the Ladybird for the Huntingdon MS Therapy Centre, said: “Many of the passengers have restricted mobility and a trip on Ladybird gives the individual a great day out in a safe environment which can lift their spirits and give a sense of freedom.”

To vote for the Ladybird Boat Trust, use B.

Little Miracles Ramsey

Little Miracles is a parent-led support group for families with children that have additional needs/disabilities based in Ramsey which gives parents and carers the opportunity to meet and chat with others in similar situations.

Lucy Morgan said: “Not only do they try their best to help the children to enjoy life but they encourage them to try activities that most children take fro granted.

“They also are a huge support to the carers and families of these children as they give ideas, information and talks and workshops on specialist subjects that surround the children.”

To vote for Little Miracles, use C.

St Ives RUFC

The rugby club is trying to raise money to extend its clubhouse to enable it to set up a girls and ladies team.

Currently the club cannot run a female team as there are no integrated showers but an extension to the clubhouse would create room to accommodate the correct facilities.

Emma Cameron said: “We have the smallest clubhouse in the area despite having lots of age groups that are very successful. With the new extension we would not only have new changing rooms but a double-storey building which could accommodate more space as our current clubhouse is far too small for our rapidly growing club.”

To vote for St Ives Rugby Club, use D.

Pidley Mountain Rescue Team

On average 12 to 15 disabled children and adults a year benefit from the help of Pidley Moutain Rescue Team.

The group buys specialised equipment to help children and adults be more mobile and improve their homelife while raising awareness of the needs of disabled people in Huntingdonshire.

Hayley Lawrence’s son Isaac was given an all-terain buggy to help the family go on trips together as well as this year, the team has given Isaac a new trike, enabling him to enjoy bike rides with his family.

Ms Lawrence said: “Pidley Mountain Rescue make such a huge difference to so many local people’s lives every year. They are a relatively small charity and I really think the award would help them to benefit other local people.”

To vote for Pidley Mountain Rescue Team, use E.

Riverside Theatre Company

The charity runs a youth theatre company, which is based at the St Neots Priory Centre, for children aged six to 21 and helps give them confidence as well as teaching them essential life skills.

As well as creating two shows a year, the group also helps raise funds for other charities, most recently supporting the international AIDS awareness and donating the proceeds from a production to Dhiverse.

To vote for the Riverside Theatre Company, use F.

Small Steps

Huntingdon-based Small Steps is a support group for parents of children with Down’s Syndrome.

Alison Watson set up the group in May 2010 after her daughter Freya who was born with Down’s Syndrome and she discovered there wasn’t any network to help support parents like her.

Now the group has 14 families who meet regularly to play, chat, take part in craft activities, sing, dance and go on days out. Ms Watson also helps support families online throughout the year as well as arranged for professionals to visit the group.

She would also like to be able to pay for a first aid specialist and a speech therapist to train the families and children.

To vote for Small Steps, use G.

Cambridge and Huntingdon Deaf Children’s Society.

Volunteer parents run activities, play games and arrange day trips for deaf children once a month in Huntingdon.

The society provides essential support for children with all types and level of hearing loss up to age 11 as they can often feel very isolated.

It also has a youth group for children aged 11-18 who meet regularly and go paintballing, bowling or go for a meal out together.

Sarah Hammonds said: “The society welcomes and encourages families to come and join in the fun and make new friends. They meet once a month where all the children and siblings can all mix and play together while the parents can talk about their experiences and support each other.”

To vote for Cambridge and Huntingdon Deaf Children’s Society, use H.

Huntingdon Community Radio

Since 1995 Huntingdon Community Radio has broadcast to Huntingdon playing music, promoting community news and features.

In 2009, the station was awarded a full-time licence to broadcast to a 5km radius of Huntingdon from its base in the Saxongate building.

As well as music, the station has a number of programmes dedicated to its community, including community-access programme Over to You, Take Notice promoting events as well as traffic report and news items.

Students are also encouraged to take part in programmes and their production and the station also runs a training programme.

To vote for Huntingdon Community Radio, use I.

Sawtry Cricket Club

The club’s junior section has an under-13s and an under-9s team for both boys and girls and is in need of new equipment.

Ian Fowler praised head coach Dean Harris, saying his enthusiasm was “inspiring”. He said: “Coaching cricket is obviously important but it is not the only focus at Sawtry.

“There is also a focus on bringing together young people to build friendships outside of cricket and to build bonds between the players.

“Dean has a small team of coaches and any money will be using to boost his work, including purchasing new equipment, investing in improving coaching and boosting the number of coaches.”

To vote for Sawtry Cricket Club, use J.