Vote For Local Community Projects

With funding from £1,000 up to £25,000 available, the Aviva Community fund gives local projects the chance to win funding that could change lives within their community.

Small Things Can Make A Big Difference

That’s what the Aviva Community Fund is all about – helping communities make a big difference through small changes. Now this year’s voting is open, it’s your turn to get behind these worthy local causes and show your support.

Below you will find projects submitted by local groups. The projects with the most votes will become finalists. Deadline for voting is 21st November


Lighting Up Bold Rangers JFC

Bold Rangers JFC is not just a junior football club but a family which is growing year on year. This season we start with 11 teams, a girl’s academy and soon a tots academy. Everything we do is for the kids and the local community.

Now the club is growing, the pitches are taking a real battering,so it would be nice to have some better drainage put in, then as the club grows, the pitches will hopefully grow with us. As a grassroots football club, things can be very difficult to find funding for but at least with this we can show everyone how the community can come together as it will be the public who will vote for this.

Also if we could get the pitches with suitable drainage then the next step of this project is to install more and better Floodlighting. If we could get the floodlighting and the drainage then we may be able to keep the team’s out on the pitches longer than going indoors were it costs us a fortune. In the long term it will save the football club money and it will allow us to bring more teams in and put more teams on the pitches.

It will also help us with events on the field which is only going to help with the fundraising activities.

We don’t ask for much but we see this as an opportunity to make a facility that everyone in the community can be proud off.

I’m going to say thank you now because I want to use all my energy on getting votes for this fantastic project

Vote here

Kitten Karers

As there is currently no trap neuter and return programme within the St. Helens area. Also there is no programme to assist pet owners with neutering and inoculations.

Kitten would like to propose the introduction of a TNR programme and assist the pet owners in the local community.

We would propose the start of a programme with the installation of dedicated pens for lost feral cats and kittens.
A team of volunteers would complete the trapping process and work in conjunction with local vets to reduce / assist the communities of feral cats across the local community.

We would also like to assist the local community by educating and offering vouchers to pet owners that require assistance with neutering / inoculations / micro chipping.
By assisting pet owners we will again be reducing the number of feral cat communities, educating the members of the local area and reducing the number of lost cats within the area.

Over the last twelve months Kitten Karers have been inundated with cats and kittens requiring new homes for a variety of reasons.

Vote here

Cabbage Hall Community Allotments

We are trying to raise funds to progress with our community allotment. We need raised beds and equipment for use on the allotment. We want to make the raised beds accessible to all children, pensioners, disabled and everyone in between! The beds should be a certain height to benefit all users and we want to use sustainable materials.

The purpose of this is to continue to bring the community together, we want the project to be accessed by all, and to enjoy learning how to grow vegetables and flowers, encouraged by each other and with knowledge passed on from experienced growers. For school groups and families, the excitement of growing your own vegetables, realising peas don’t just come out of a tin!

Allotments have a wide range of benefits. Least of all being the health benefits of being out in the fresh air and growing fresh produce.

The allotment is a non-profit association and any money generated from the community allotment goes straight back into the funds to keep it going for the future. Everyone involved with the project is a volunteer and we welcome anyone who would like to help with the project.

Cabbage Hall Allotment Association has been going for over 20 years. Now we want to build on that and invite our neighbours in to see what it is that makes having an allotment so enjoyable, and make new friends along the way.

Not everyone has the time or the skills to tend an allotment of their own, with the current waiting list for your own allotment in excess of 12 months, a community allotment will give them what they are looking for. The majority of the properties in our neighbourhood are concrete yards, so access to a community allotment would be an advantage.

We have a number of groups and individuals wanting to use the community allotment so it is a case of “IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME”

Thank you for taking the time to read this please vote for us and tell everyone about our good cause.

Vote here

UC Crew

‘Break Dancing and Front Flipping to a better life’ will involve young people from the community.

Young People will learn how to eat healthy and lose weight through having fun, improve their mental health, boost self-confidence, increase happiness, learn social skills and make friends whilst learning Break Dancing and Parkour (Free running) skills.

  • We will use the fund to rent rooms to teach Break Dancing and Parkour
  • We will use the fund to purchase safety equipment (mats)
  • We will use the fund to purchase coaching qualifications for our assistant coaches so that we can teach even more children and young people.We want to provide children and young people with a safe place to learn new skills and become healthy physically and mentally.Children and young people in today’s society are under so much stress with school, bullying and trying to fit in. UC Crew want to provide a safe haven for children and young people, where they are free to be themselves, whilst also tackling anti-social behaviour and violence on the streets.

    HELP US to create a great environment for children and young people to grow up healthy, happy and confident while learning how to Break Dance and Front Flip with UC Crew!

Vote here

St Helens Darts Academy

A local Community group made up of members of the community, parents and darts enthusiasts with the vision of bringing young people together to a safe and fun environment within the community to mix and engage in darts. St Helens Darts Academy currently has over 100 young people registered with an average of 50 turning up each week. With this the academy places a charge of £2 for entry each week which covers the costs and meal to ensure they have been fed that night.

The funding would be used to ensure that our group could become sustainable plus ensure that the young people can integrate with not just its own community but other communities increasing the chance to bring people together, no matter what their faith, colour, gender, abilities or sexual orientation.

What we would spend the funding on would be as followed:

  • To make the venue safer with putting in electrics instead of using extension leads.
  • Paying for coach hire once every 2 months so that we can travel and engage with other communities to play darts against them. These would be other youth academies in blackburn, wales and so on.
  • A safety board to ensure that young people that are marking can’t get hit by a dart.
  • A laptop to ensure that records can be collected and kept more secure than the paper format that is currently used. Plus a more secure way to keep and store photo’s and video’s of the sessions.
  • Step stools so that young players can reach the board safely to get the darts out of the board.

All these things will allow us to ensure that the academy can keep offering the opportunity of any young person no matter what their faith, colour, gender, abilities or sexual orientation are to come together in a safe environment to engage with each other and play darts.

Vote here

Walkers Lane Allotment Association

My name is Paul Cooper and I’m currently the chairman of the Walker’s Lane Allotment Association, located in Walkers Lane, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 4AD. I represent a small community of mixed ages and abilities from varied backgrounds. Despite our site being a long established site its lacking in facilities. Our llotment association is attempting to recreate the once proud and close knit community of the coal mining area of Sutton Manor. We believe that in having a welcoming allotment this will encourage people from the surrounding area to be more active and consider a healthier lifestyle and improve the mental health wellbeing of every tenant, it will also encourage the community sprit amongst everyone. It will also develop friendships and encourage networking amongst like minded people from around the surrounding area.

A recent survey in the national allotment association said that the “love of the allotment gardening is one of fresh air, home grown produce, healthy lifestyles and like minded people that this activities offer to everyone”. 30 minutes of gardening can burn 150 calories, which is equivalent to doing a good impact aerobics; it encourages our tenants to produce enough food to supplement a family’s weekly shop, with fresh fruit and vegetables. Working in the allotment can help your body ward of illnesses and raise your serotonin levels, making you healthier and a happier person. By cultivating an allotment we are helping key biodiversity levels.

For our community, and to this end, we are developing a community spirit amongst our members of all ages, and therefore believe that our allotments site is a valuable community asset, to the point we have started to unite and motivate our members in planning community days in helping to clear a communal area on the site.

At present, due to the lack of facilities on site, we are unable to open up our allotment site to the wider surrounding community. Our short term aim, is to raise funding, to help provide some disabled friendly toilet facilities on site, and the long term aim is to gain funding to purchase our own community shed / welfare meeting area room, so that we can have regular meetings on site and use it as a communal area to network, encourage tenants to share their knowledge of growing with the wider community.

But in keeping with the community and the environment, we are seeking funding towards a composting toilet. We have a large number of tenants, who are either retired, or have some form of disability, and thus they require going the toilet more frequently. At the moment the amount of time that they can spend cultivating their plots is very much restricted by the lack of facilities on site. Therefore having a composting toilet on site , would allow our allotments to be more accessible and user friendly , to not only the current allotment tenants , but it also open them up and provide an opportunity for new tenants , who may have a disability.

That’s is why, we are appealing to Aviva’s community fund for £5000 to help us to begin our first aim to achieve enough funding towards a composting toilet facility, for the Walkers Lane Allotment site.

Vote here

Jeanette McCulloch School Of Dance

The Friends of Jeanette McCulloch is a voluntary committee set up by a a number of dance mums whose children dance at the Jeanette McCulloch School of Dance. JMSOD is a dance school based in St Helens and I’d like to tell you about an amazing opportunity that has arisen for our girls .

In October 2018 the dance school will hopefully be attending the International Festival of Dance at Disneyland Paris where the pupils will compete against children from Canada, Cyprus, Russia and Australia. This is a weekend packed with activities for children. They will compete in a dance festival, perform on the Disney stage, dance in a parade and take a class with Disney professionals. Some of the children attended the event in 2016 and hope to replicate it’s success. This is an amazing opportunity for our dancers and they have achieved so much to get the stage where they are ready to compete internationally.

Our parents spend a lot on costumes and entrance fees to competitions so we are trying to organise fund raising events and ask for sponsors to raise money so that more pupils can enjoy the trip. Without help from people such as yourselves many of our pupils would not be able to afford to attend and we rely on fund raising to support the less privileged children in our dance school.

The Friends of Jeanette MCulloch will be working hard to programme a number of fund raising events over the next 12 months. These will include a halloween disco, bag packing, sponsored events etc.

Approximately 45 children will be taking to the stage at Disneyland Paris and we hope to raise £9000 towards the trip. This would allow us to donate £200 per child towards the cost of flights, accommodation and entrance fees for the competition. Some of our families will have two or three children participating in the event.

Jeanette McCulloch School of dance has been teaching children and adults to dance for over 30 years now and the school prides itself on the 100% pass rate with Allied Dancing association exams. The school does a charity show once a year at the Theatre Royal in St.Helens. With shows, competitions and exams all the pupils have a very busy calendar but they wouldn’t have it any other way as all the pupils have a passion and commitment to dance.

I look forward to hearing from you if you can help us in any way with regards to sponsorship. Any amount big or small would be much appreciated. Please give me a call on the number below if you have any questions regarding the dance school or the trip.

Vote here

Rainhill Eco Garden

Rainhill ECO Garden is there for the whole community, developed from a piece of waste land and maintained by a small group of enthusiastic volunteers.It is a peaceful spot for humans to sit and wildlife to prosper, just off a busy road in the centre of Rainhill. All our community events are free. We depend on goodwill, donations and our volunteers.

Our project for this year is to fund the purchase of one or two robust gazebos, which can be used on hard standing, to provide some shelter at our community events. This would enable us to organise our regular events – Easter Egg Hunt, Big Lunch, Halloween, etc- without bad weather making them a total disaster or causing cancellation. We would really like to hold a pre-Christmas musical event in the Garden, in collaboration with the neighbouring primary school, but the lack of shelter is holding us back.

As shown in the photos, last year we struggled against the snow and hail to set up our Easter event.
In early Summer we have a stall at Rainhill Gala to raise the profile of the Garden with its ethos of community recycling and care of the environment for wildlife. This year, the display of our photo competition entries was hidden under a collapsing and flimsy borrowed gazebo with a taped-up leg .We did, however, sell lots of plants grown and donated by our volunteers. It would be wonderful if we did not have to divert some of our existing funds to purchase a gazebo. Priority has always been given to the essentials of trees, plants, compost, wild flowers, bench maintenance, etc but the need to acquire at least one gazebo has become increasingly urgent if we are to attract the wider community to the Garden, as the weather has become more unpredictable. Both young and old visitors, and the volunteers, are put off if there is no shelter.

Vote here

Forest Tots

My Outdoor Classroom CIC was set up because we believe all children deserve time to play in nature.

We offer families the opportunity to come to the woods, explore nature and spend time outdoors and active to improve health and well-being.

During the time in the woods children play, use tools, climb trees and learn about nature. We aim to improve confidence, build on social, emotional, physical, creative and intellectual skills through meaningful outdoor experiences.

We run regular toddler groups called Forest tots. Parents bring their toddlers in to the woods and children take part in fun, engaging, risky activities like roasting marshmallows.

Here is a quote from a parent that regularly attends our Forest tots sessions.

‘I’ve been attending Forest Tots for 6 months with my daughter and can honestly say it is the highlight of our week. It has been the perfect environment for me to build attachments with my newly adopted daughter. Forest Tots suits us much better than a traditional mums and toddler group because the activities are very much about parent and child doing things together. The outdoors environment and the space within the woods are also perfect for my daughter who is a very active child. Kate leads the sessions in a really friendly and gentle way and is always keen to find out what the children want to do. My daughter particularly loves the hammock and the sessions based on stories. Her vocabulary has increased as a result of going to Forest Tots – for example, she now knows ‘fire’, ‘marshamallow’. It was also at Forest Tots that she first tried to drink out of an open cup.

We do not charge parents to attend these sessions at The Shining Light Centre as the centre is in an area of high deprivation and we want our sessions to be inclusive. Instead we apply for funding to cover our costs.

If we were awarded the money it would help keep run the sessions and support us in buying some new equipment for the families to use.

Vote here



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here