Each year we have £100,000 to invest in our communities through our Springboard fund.

The fund is all about people and projects that will realise potential, create employment opportunities and positively contribute to our neighbourhoods.

Applications are reviewed by an e-panel of volunteers who award funding to projects that really help our communities to thrive!

This year has been a challenging year and we’re proud to have been able to award funding to so many local organisations.

We’ll be using this regular Springboard blog to share the positive feedback we receive from projects we’ve helped, and this time, we’re shining a spotlight on Wycombe Youth Action and Marlow Opportunity Playgroup.

Wycombe Youth Action

Project: Empowering Young Women
Awarded: £8,000

The Springboard funds granted to us for our Girls’ Group has enabled us to deliver some great sporting activities during lockdown. This was extremely important for the girls’ mental health and wellbeing, so we were grateful to be able to support these activities. It also meant that the girls had the opportunity to take part in some fun events virtually from home, which broke up their study time and enabled them to interact with others.

Springboard Blog Clothing Recycling - A young girl modelling her tie-dyed t-shirt

We invited guest speakers to join us and we held a very successful quiz, related to online safety (extremely topical), which was delivered by a member of the Safeguarding Team at Thames Valley Police.

From January 2021, we were back online and held virtual workshops on:

  • Identify and culture
  • Food waste
  • Recycling old clothes
  • Arts and crafts.

Springboard - A homemade bookmark

These workshops have been extremely popular, and, by request, we have also continued with sporting sessions. All things considered, the girls are very engaged presently and keen to join each week.

These popular activities have enabled the girls to meet up with others in have a relaxed atmosphere, where they can enjoy themselves.

The group gives the girls the opportunity to discuss any issues worrying them, as we ensure that we make time for a period of discussion each week.

Here’s a quote from two sisters in the group:

“The sessions have been really fun and interactive. There is always a large variety of sessions, from PE with Brendan, to recycling with Charmaine. They have been really beneficial and encourage us to change our creative perspective. There is consistency on the artistic/creative element which we really love and we always learn something new. There is no pressure in the Girls’ Group but it’s always encouraging with a great positive energy.”

Marlow Opportunity Playgroup

Project: Specialist Playgroup
Awarded: £5,000

In December 2020, Marlow Opportunity Playgroup (MOP) was delighted to receive a grant of £5000 from the Springboard Fund.

We applied for this grant to fill the shortfall in income due to the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many charities, we were unable to hold in-house fundraising events during 2020 and the situation will be similar for a major part of 2021.

The award of £5,000 has enabled our charity to continue supporting the children in our care. MOP is the only specialist pre-school in Bucks, providing support for children with a wide range of profound and complex needs.

The children require 1:1 support from highly experienced and trained staff in order for them to access all activities and to fulfil their aims and therapies.

We currently have 17 children attending MOP over the week - with a maximum of 15 per session. We have reduced our numbers due to the pandemic as we're working 1:1 with all the children.

Below is a quote from a parent:

'Mop provides our little girl with the tools to help her develop to her full potential. All the staff are incredible and my daughter is always excited to start her morning session. It is a nurturing, caring environment and I'm so thankful we have access Mop. I can’t think of a better setting for her'

The Springboard grant has helped towards funding our very high staffing ratios and paying for an additional member of staff to help with cleaning. We've also had additional expense to provide the PPE we're now using each day. As our children are very vulnerable, we wear face masks throughout the sessions and also additional protective wear whilst tube feeding and suctioning the children.

Without the financial support from Springboard, our playgroup would have struggled to provide the necessary support for our children in our unique setting.

Springboard - A collage of thank yous from toddlers at a play group