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Your chance to help Sheppey bid for National Lottery cash

Sheppey Community Development Forum is making a bid for National Lottery cash to boost the Island. And it needs residents to help.

It is holding a series of meetings in Sheerness, Queenborough, Minster, Eastchurch and Warden Bay to gauge what Islanders want and need.

Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, at the Sheppey Community Development Forum
Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, at the Sheppey Community Development Forum

Cassandra Gibbs of Swale Community Voluntary Services (CVS) said: "The forum is a group of individuals and organisations working to develop and improve where we live.

"We need to hear what you love and what you want to change about living or working on the Isle of Sheppey so we can identify potential projects and hear real opinions about the area.

"Join us at one our focus groups and be part of the discussion."

The Forum, led by Steve Chalke, took over the bid after Swale council failed to secure any money for Sheppey. It was turned down because there had not been enough community consultation.

The Forum can apply for up to £10,000 for an Awards For All grant or up to £300,000 over three years for either a Reaching Communities or Partnership grant.

Swale Punch and Judy man Myles 'Mr Mystery' Phillips often puts on shows at The Leas at Minster. Could there be more?
Swale Punch and Judy man Myles 'Mr Mystery' Phillips often puts on shows at The Leas at Minster. Could there be more?

Money should be for bringing people together, improving places or helping people reach their potential. It can take up to nine months to complete a submission.

Suggestions already mooted include improving the seafront and promoting seaside events; creating more activities for either young people or the elderly; developing labour skills; improving public transport and setting up a group to market the Island.

Mr Chalke said: "What really matters is consultation, especially with youngsters."

The team is now led my Julia Watling from Swale CVS, who has replacedand fundraising consultant Claire Haffenden.

The first focus group will be at Rushenden Community House, 89 Manor Road, Queenborough, on Friday, February 14, from 10am to noon.

Award-winning Blue Flag beach at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey
Award-winning Blue Flag beach at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey

Others will be at 5th Sheppey Scout Hut in Dicksons Walk, Eastchurch, on Wednesday, February 26, from 10am to noon; Seashells Children and Families Centre in Sheerness on Thursday, February 27, from 9.30am to 11.30am; New Road Community Centre, Minster, on Thursday, March 5, from 7pm to 9pm and Warden Bay Village Hall on Saturday, March 7, from 10.30am to 12,30pm.

For more details email cassandra.gibbs@swalecvs.co.uk or call 01795 473828. The Forum is also on Facebook and Twitter.


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