Two community groups have received £4,000 towards their projects from our dragons den of involved customers.
The first successful applicant was Kingswood Community Transport (KCT), whose bid was presented by Jo Earley. She wanted the dragons to help fund a new accessible vehicle with the aim to reduce isolation and enable members to access local services.
KCT have a fleet of 21 vehicles and their membership is up to 1,500 and rapidly increasing. They support their local community of isolated, lonely, elderly, and many more by driving them to hospital appointments and to do the shopping run but also take them to social activities such as community groups, pub lunches, clubs, etc.
Jo of Kingswood Community Transport said: “To of been chosen by Merlin to make a presentation at their dragons den was a really lovely experience. We at KCT are so proud of the wonderful work that we are doing in the local community. To able to share our information and experiences with the dragons hopefully we can go on to help more people. We thank you all for allowing us to come and for the money given to really make a difference.”
The dragons awarded them the full grant of £3,000 and were all so impressed they wanted to help advertise Kingswood Community Transport to Merlin customers.
The next recipients to receive funding after pitching their project to the dragons were Turnberries Community Centre. Turnberries who are based in Thornbury are planning to create a new cinema room for the local community and asked the Dragons to help fund a large screen and projector. They are awaiting funding from other sources, so the panel have given Turnberries a ‘yes’ to receive £1,000, either this financial year or next, depending on when they get the rest of the funding.
Kay Rose, Community Insight & Investment Officer said: “Our panel of customers were impressed with the two applications, especially with Kingswood Community Transport. A staff member and volunteer driver presented to the panel, they were extremely passionate and proud of the project. The Dragons were very keen to promote the service to Merlin customers and within Independent Living Service schemes within the area they cover.”
Any community groups interested in bidding for funding from our dragons den of involved customers can find out more and apply online at www.merlinhs.co.uk/community-grants