Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity has helped retailers to support local projects and good causes with over £160,000 in donations with its latest round of Heart of the Community Awards.
Following a successful initial round of funding last October, the Heart of the Community Awards initiative enabled Nisa partners to nominate a local community project to receive up to £5,000 of funding from Making a Difference Locally, with the emphasis in this round being on good causes that encourage communities to enjoy and spend time outdoors as we emerge from national lockdown restrictions.
Nominations were accepted from Nisa partners via a dedicated website throughout April and May and the winning good causes have now been notified.
The latest round of Heart of the Community Awards saw 53 good causes nationwide benefit from donations totalling £163,000, cementing the initiative as Making a Difference Locally’s biggest funding giveaway to date.
Winning donations will fund a wide range of projects and equipment, with just some examples including village fairs, sensory gardens at primary schools, kayaks for a watersports club, equipment for use by Scout groups, outdoor play and gym equipment and community growing gardens.
One of these was North Berwick in Bloom (pictured), nominated by the Nisa Local on the seaside town’s High St, and awarded a £4,540 donation.
The community-based group helps to look after the town and keep its public spaces looking beautiful. Thirty volunteers work all year round to plant hundreds of summer flower displays, spring bulb festivals, winter bedding and permanent flower beds.
The funding from MADL will be used towards new plants and planters with reservoirs to reduce the amount of water required to keep them watered, and to provide new ‘covid barriers’ to ensure one way corridors and social distancing in the summer months when the town is busier with tourists.
Kate Carroll, Nisa’s Head of Charity, commented: “We received a fantastic response to our first round of funding last year and the feedback from good causes that have benefitted has been incredibly heart-warming, so we were delighted to be able to bring back the Heart of the Community Awards for a second round of donations.
“With many of us likely to have spent much of the last year indoors due to national restrictions, we were keen to support causes that encourage or help communities to spend time outdoors this time around and we again received hundreds of very deserving nominations.
“The Heart of the Community Awards have also provided a great opportunity for independent retailers to engage with local causes and projects in need of support and we look forward to seeing how the funding will really make a difference for their local area.”