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Grants awarded to Southern Rural community groups

04 January 2022

Three community groups have been awarded a total of £2,441* following a delegated decision of the Southern Rural Committee on 16 December. 

Pirton Sports and Social Club was awarded £500 towards a new pump for the hot water system and new covers for the cold-water tanks in the roof space. This is needed due to a fault developing in the pump when the shower facilities in the changing rooms weren’t used for so long during the pandemic. There are five adult football and cricket teams using the clubhouse, with almost all the players local to Pirton and Hitchin.

Stephen Smith, Chair at Pirton Sports and Social Club, said: “We would like to express our gratitude to the Southern Rural Committee for their grant towards maintenance costs for the shower and changing facilities at the club. Our club is run by volunteers and everyone associated with the club is very grateful for this assistance.

“This financial help has enabled us to ensure that sporting fixtures can continue to be played through these very dark times. The support given through physical exercise to people's well-being and mental health cannot be stressed too highly.”

Breachwood Green Group was awarded £441 towards litter picking in the village and surrounding areas. A Breachwood Green Group was set up last year to coordinate parish-wide litter picking, environmental enhancement events and to campaign against speeding in the village. The grant will go towards litter picking equipment, publicity to advertise events and for volunteers as well as public liability insurance. The litter pick events will take place monthly and as well as improving the local environment also serve to bring local residents together with a common goal which improves community cohesion.

Joe Graziano from Breachwood Green Group said: “This grant will benefit the community in the Parish of Kings Walden which is blighted by fly-tipping and persistent littering. The money will pay for equipment to collect the rubbish as well as our campaign to protect our rural community including planting trees and fighting speeding from 'rat-running'.  We have a stable volunteer base but are always seeking more to join us in enhancing and protecting this historic place.”

Offley Allotment Association was awarded £1,500 towards the installation of running water on their allotment site, which has around 30 plots, to help improve its sustainability.  The association was set up this year and as well as having a large proportion of older plot holders and strong links to the local school, they have had an influx of young professionals and families.

Councillor Faye S Frost, North Herts Council’s Southern Rural Committee Chair, said: “We are very fortunate to have so many enthusiastic, active organisations, groups and individuals across the Southern Rural area providing opportunities for our residents. As a committee, we are more than happy to offer support to enhance these provisions. Offley Allotment Association, Pirton Sports and Social Club and Breachwood Green Group are at the heart of their communities, bringing people together.”

More information on community grants

*subject to completion of the necessary formalities