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Wigley Community Fund case studies

See how the Wigley Community Fund has helped our locals so far...

Southam Civic Ideas Forum (SCIF) was established in 2000 to carry out and support practical projects which benefit the town.

It has eight core members who meet bi-monthly, but anyone who lives in or near Southam is welcome to join in with the group’s activities.

The group applied to the Wigley Community Fund to produce updated versions of two popular public information leaflets – The Southam Town Trail and The Holy Well Walk. They were initially produced in 2005 but had not been updated for some time.

A grant of £664 from the Wigley Community Fund ensured around 4,000 new leaflets could be produced, providing enough copies for around three years.

The leaflets shine a spotlight on Southam's history and are hoped to provide a boost to the town's tourism.

SCIF member Pam McConnell said: “The leaflets have such an important role to play in promoting what the town has to offer both to visitors, and to new and existing residents, and to highlight some of its important history and heritage.

“We rely on the support of local business and grant-giving organisations, so we’re very grateful to The Wigley Group for helping us to update and do another print run of both leaflets.”

The 1st Long Itchington Scout Group was set up in 2016 by a group of villagers who had been involved in the running of similar groups around the area, and wanted to set up their own for local youngsters.

There are almost 100 members across two Beaver Colonies, two Cub Packs, and two Scout Troops, who meet all year round, over three nights of the week, at their HQ in the village.

Group leaders and young members are constantly fundraising to meet the running costs of their HQ, and to help pay for their varied programme of activities and adventures.

After seeing The Wigley Support Fund advertised in a local newsletter, they applied for the £631 that they needed to buy 12 new hammocks and to pay for the annual service of their large gas-powered camping stove.

Kevin Etter, group Treasurer, said: “The grant from The Wigley Support Fund made a big difference to our group.

“We need to do a lot of fundraising just to keep the group going so without this money it would have taken us so much longer to buy the new hammocks and to ensure the stove is safe to use — both of which will provide more opportunities for our young members to enjoy a host of new experiences.”

Rubbish Friends (Southam) was set up in 2019 by a group of friends who wanted to make a difference to the environment and contribute to a greener society by keeping Southam clear of rubbish for the benefit of residents, visitors and wildlife.

Every month a group of around 30 members, adults and children, meet each month to pick up litter in different areas of the town.

The Wigley Community Fund donated £980 to buy new litter picking tools, as well as some more hoops for holding the refuse bags to expand their stocks, and two handicarts which will enable less abled people to join litter picking sessions. The grant also paid for a year’s insurance.

Fran Howell, of Rubbish Friends (Southam), said: “We are extremely grateful for the financial support of Wigley Group, and now that the grant from them has enabled us to build up a good stock of equipment, we can loan it to the Scouts, schools and other nearby village groups.”

Monthly afternoon tea parties have been held at the War Memorial Hall in the village of Marton since 2015 as way of helping retired people in Marton and the surrounding villages of Birdingbury, Leamington Hastings and Hill to meet and make new friends.

The group was established by villager Mary Harrison and serves sandwiches, sausage rolls, cream scones and cakes with speakers of local interest invited to give presentations.

A £600 grant from the Wigley Community Fund was used to pay for the hire of the hall and the purchase of the ingredients to make the food for one year.

Previously, the group was paying for the costs of the tea parties through regular fundraising by individuals and local businesses.

Jane Hampson, who helps to run the tea parties, said: “The grant gives us the security of knowing that we can continue the tea parties for one year and has given us time to source additional funding for the longer term.”

A grant of £1,900 from the Wigley Community Fund paid for Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) that was installed in a redundant phone box in the village of Stockton, Warwickshire.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Figures from the Community Heartbeat Trust suggest that 30,000 people every will suffer sudden cardiac arrest and approximately 95 per cent of those will die before reaching hospital.

With an AED in the community, the survival rate could be as high as 50 per cent.

The nearest hospitals to Stockton are 9.5 miles and 14 miles away, which demonstrates how vital a defibrillator is to a rural village.

Villager Sue Coutts, with the support of Stockton Parish Council and Councillor John Emberton, had been seeking funding to get a defibrillator installed there since the death of her father who suffered a cardiac arrest.

Sue said: “I’m not sure whether a defibrillator would have saved my father’s life, but it did highlight how important this potentially lifesaving piece of equipment can be. It’s thanks to the generosity of The Wigley Group that we can now buy one for Stockton.”

The installation and maintenance of the defibrillator and the phone box was funded by Stockton Parish Council, which also paid for a group of villagers to be trained to use it.