Collingwood Bowling Club
As well as being friendly rivals on the Bowling Green, VODA has worked with Collingwood Bowling Club in North Shields for the past several years, supporting its move from a public park maintained by North Tyneside Council to becoming a registered charity running its own facilities. After taking over a disused bowling green in Heaton Park in North Shields, the club desperately needed to raise funds to help bring the green back into a playable state. Group member Alan Hall said: “When we inherited the green we could tell there was an awful lot of work needed to bring it back to its former glory. The other members were all up for the challenge but we knew we needed some support.” The club approached VODA early in 2015 and our Development Team worked with the group’s trustees to amend their constitution, widening their membership to include the whole of the community and stressing their aims of improving the health and wellbeing of local residents. Our funding adviser then identified a number of sources of potential funding and gave the club advice on writing strong applications. In that year alone, the Club were successful in several grant applications, receiving £3,000 from the Community Foundation’s Readman Family Trust, £9,458 from Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme, £500 from the RW Mann Trust and £750 from the Sir James Knott Trust. This was used by the club to purchase a range of greens maintenance equipment, including a large lawn mower, a scarifier and other rescue equipment. A further grant of over £14,000 from the SITA Trust for the installation of a sprinkler system took their funding total to almost £25,000 by the end of 2015. The Club has enjoyed further funding success this year, with grants of £2,400 from the Community Foundation, £1,000 from the RW Mann Trust and £400 from the Joicey Trust all going towards ongoing green restoration costs. The Club also received £570 from the Active North Tyneside Fund for guest bowls sets, which has enabled them to run free taster sessions for anyone interested in giving bowling a go, on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Part of Collingwood’s development plans for the club involve extending their pavilion and building new equipment storage, VODA is continuing to work with the club on identifying potential sources of funding for this work and there is a strong hope that these will go ahead in the coming months.