Scout Group able heat its hall for the first time thanks to Biffa Award

The 306th Manchester Scout Group was established in 1957 and has had a presence in Manchester for nearly 60 years, during which time it has been well supported by the community.

And now, thanks to a £16,960 grant from Biffa Award, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, the group is able to repay that support with a newly refurbished hut which includes new toilets, kitchen and, finally, heating that will enable people to use the hut in comfort for the first time ever.

As well as hosting uniformed organisations, the popular building is also home to a children’s amateur dramatics group, a football club, a slimming group, dog training sessions and a gardening club.

Jon Haves, Chair of 306th Executive Committee, said: “I must thank Biffa Award for the substantive grant they awarded us to complete our facilities. Without their generosity and commitment to the community, this refurbishment just would not have happened. Thank you very much Biffa Award for investing in our young people and investing in our community.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, said: “Sometimes a relatively small grant can make a huge difference to an organisation, like in the case of 306th Manchester Scouts. We are privileged to be able to fund the refurbishment of the building to benefit the whole community.”

100 year old roof replaced thanks to Biffa Award funding

Heath Hayes-based Community Life Church has received some major structural improvements, thanks to a £15,000 grant from Biffa Award as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

The grant has paid for a replacement roof, guttering and main entrance doors. The old roof, over a hundred years old, was badly damaged and would not have seen it though another winter.

Church minister, John Tyrell, said “We have always tried to keep the building well maintained and fully usable. The damage to the old roof would have caused severe problems in the near future. The old doors were deteriorating, but the new doors insure easier access and greater security for all users. We are grateful for Biffa Award’s grant that has ensured that building remains a useful asset for the church and the community.”

The building is used most days of the week for various church, community and social activities including a lunch club for the elderly and isolated, a children’s club, youth church, Guides, Brownies, counselling, training and study sessions.

The leader of the weekly lunch club, Sandra Tyrell, said: “The modifications make the church look so much better and the new doors greatly improve access. They are such a help for the elderly and disabled people who enjoy their weekly meal together.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager added: “It is so important that we continue to invest in community buildings like this one which provide a space for people to meet and socialise. Funding repairs to the roof will ensure that the community can continue to use the facility in comfort all year round.”

To mark the improvements, local County Councillor Phil Hewitt, re-opened the building on 23 November 2021.

£20,182 Biffa Award grant will increase space on offer to local groups at Greetham Jubilee Community Centre

Greetham Jubilee Community Centre is a popular facility at the heart of the community. Its large hall is a sports hall with no windows and there is another room for meetings and parties. The centre is so popular that it is often fully-booked and another meeting room was needed.

A £20,182 grant from Biffa Award, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund, means that windows can be installed at one end of the hall, creating a bright airy space filled with natural light. A new sliding acoustic wall means that the large hall will be able to be split into two spaces to accommodate more groups, increasing the rooms available at the centre to three. Work is currently underway.

The popular centre is currently home to various groups and clubs, including a baby sensory group, Special Needs youth group, badminton, table tennis, short mat bowls club, arts and craft sessions, community cafe and Women’s Institute, as well as being used for private functions, meetings and community activities.

The work will mean that the centre will be able to be used to its full potential in future to benefit the whole community.

Linda Edward, Greetham Jubilee Community Centre Funding Coordinator, said: “This new room will make the centre even more suitable for the needs of the community. Our busy community centre is often booked but having another room means we can always accommodate everyone and build our community to be even stronger.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, added: “It is so important that we keep investing in community buildings which provide a space for people to meet, socialise and learn new skills. It is great to have been able to fund the improvements at Greetham Jubilee Community Centre to provide a fit for purpose space for the community.”

Refurbishment project to go ahead at the Narthex thanks to £40,660 Biffa Award grant

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist (CSJB) is more than 100 years old. In 2010 the original hall underwent a significant refurbishment to create a new community hub right in the heart of Norwich.

The Narthex is a large and flexible community space which includes a community cafe, a large function room and smaller rooms available for community activities. Outside there are community gardens accessible to the public seven days a week.

Unfortunately, the toilet facilities are in desperate need of renovation. Low water pressure, a lack of ventilation, damage and the age of the toilets all contribute to the fact that many visitors avoid using them.

The work was expected to have been completed by 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and closure of the building, 90 per cent of its income was lost and CSJB was no longer able to fund the work themselves.

After making an application to Biffa Award, part of the Landfill Communities Fund, a £40,660 grant was awarded, and the toilets can now be refurbished to modern standards

Suzi Pendlebury, Project Architect, said: “Since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Narthex has been inundated with the needs of the community as we come back together. Finally repairing and upgrading the toilets will make such a difference – we are so grateful to Biffa Award.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, added: “At Biffa Award we are proud to support projects like this one at the Narthex which are so integral to the life of their community, bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to share experiences.  Projects like this provide the means for a community to thrive.”

Various community groups are based at the Narthex, including a dementia cafe, parent and toddler group, networking sessions, Zumba and dance classes as well as the building being used for community events and private functions.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations situated near landfill sites could be eligible to apply for Biffa Award funding

Charities and not-for-profit organisations situated near Biffa’s Brookhurst, Cottonmount, Eye, Hartlebury, Houghton le Spring, Poplars, Redhill, Skelton Grange, Standen Heath or Westmill Landfill Sites  could be eligible for a grant of between £10,000 and £75,000 from Biffa Award.

Biffa Award’s Main Grants Scheme awards grants under three themes:

Recreation projects can range from nature trails, boardwalks and community gardens to outdoor gyms, skateparks and play parks. It generally includes projects that benefit people within their free time. This theme also includes projects in communal areas of sporting clubhouses (such as kitchen and toilet facilities) which have a wider community use in much the same way as a village hall.

Community Buildings projects improve buildings at the heart of their communities, such as village halls, community centres and church halls. They can include building refurbishments and internal works to kitchens, toilets, roofs, flooring, window, doors and heating systems.

Rebuilding Biodiversity projects safeguard or enhance habitats for a variety of plant, invertebrate and animal special. Work can include habitat improvement works, tree surgery, scrub removal, and the purchase of plants, seeds and trees. Ideally projects will have a strong element of public access or inclusion such as volunteer involvement.

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, explains: “Although we award grants under three themes, the Recreation and Rebuilding Biodiversity themes are currently underrepresented, so we are particularly keen to hear from organisations that are looking for funding under these two themes. Whether your village play area needs revamping, there is an area that could be transformed into a community garden or nature trail, or you have a plan to improve a habitat for rare species, we want to hear from you.”

Simon Rutledge, Group Externa​l Affairs & Sustainability Manager at Biffa, added: “Biffa Award provides a great opportunity for the restoration of important community hubs, serving hundreds of local residents, as well as protecting and enhancing habitats. Caring for our people and supporting our communities forms a key part of our sustainability strategy ‘Resourceful, Responsible’, so we are excited to see Biffa Award supporting as many communities as it can.”

Applicants must be a charitable or not-for-profit organisation and must own or have a long-term lease on the project site. Projects must fit into one of the three grant themes and be ready to start work if an offer of funding is made.

The overall project must cost no more than £200,000 and Biffa Award can fund up to 100% of the project’s cost up to a maximum of £75,000. Under all themes, applicants must be able to demonstrate the need for the project and value for money.

Full Guidance Notes and eligibility criteria can be found here.

To check whether your project meets the distance criteria visit the Biffa Award website and use the postcode checker on the relevant grant theme page.