Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund has now pledged more than £80k to community causes in 2021, after nine grants totalling £23,146.46 were approved.

The latest round of donations, agreed in July, follow 17 grants offered at April’s meeting worth £25,770.60, and more than £30,000 pledged after a meeting in January.

The Community Trust Fund has been running since 1997 and has in that time provided more than £3.5m in grants to community groups. The airport provides up to £100,000 per year, which is supplemented by fines imposed on airlines for excess noise.

Applicants located within 10 miles of the airport site can ask for up to £3,000 for equipment or costed projects, with applications reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Beneficiaries of the latest round of donations include three local cricket clubs, a community-run project encouraging plastic recycling and a Manchester-based charity aiming to tackle food poverty.

Cheadle Hulme Cricket Club, which has been at the heart of its local community for 130 years, will receive £3,000 towards three new wicket covers (pictured).

Alex Read, who applied for the grant on the club’s behalf, explained: “We have 15 teams, which means we need multiple cricket pitches on our square. Currently we can only protect two wickets at a time.

“Thanks to the generous grant from the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund, we will now be able to protect double the amount of wickets, which will ensure we will be able to play more matches in a season.”

Also due to benefit is Stockport-based Plastic Shed, which runs creative, educational plastic recycling workshops. The group’s free sessions allow local people to learn new skills whilst repurposing their plastic waste. It will receive £2,630 to pay for a plastic moulding machine.

Plastic Shed Co-Director, Rachel Lewis, said: “We now have hundreds of people across Stockport saving their bottle caps and plastic packaging from the bin and bringing it down to our workshop in the Merseyway Shopping Centre.

“With this funding from Manchester Airport we will now be able to turn that plastic into items that the community really want and need – the injection moulder will heat the shredded plastic into intricate moulds and we can’t wait to work with our community to recycle even more plastic waste into new useful things.”

Food Poverty charity Humans MCR was also selected to receive grant funding.

The charity has provided a ‘foodbank-on-wheels’ service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring hard-to-reach vulnerable people did not go without nutritious food whilst confined to their homes. It will receive over £2,400 towards a new ‘greengrocers-on-wheels’ unit.

Humans MCR’s Lewey Hellewell said: “We’d like to thank Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund for this donation. Humans MCR analyses and responds to the root causes of food poverty and works to give respect, health, dignity and hope to those in our communities.

“Our mission is to change lives in the communities that we serve by providing access to food and education to build a healthy, hunger-free future.”

Among those to benefit from the 17 donations agreed in April are Crosstown Community Orchard in Knutsford, who will receive £1,450 towards an upgrade project including the installation of a new shed.

The Group’s Chairman, Adam Keppel-Green, said: “In the first half of 2021, we have been working hard to regenerate an underused open space into a thriving community orchard.

“The grant from Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund to install a shed will enable us to continue to develop the orchard and run training, workshops and events, bringing more of the community into the space, sharing skills and more closely knitting our community.”

Other recipients include Cheadle Futsal Club, which offers local youngsters a chance to hone their skills and have fun whilst keeping active. They were awarded £1,600 for two new goals and 25 new balls, allowing them to plan for welcoming members back as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Club Chairman Simon Wright said: “We are delighted to receive this generous award for Cheadle Futsal.

“The club has been impacted during the lockdown with facilities being closed, so there is no better way in re-opening with some new futsal goals and training balls that all of our young players and coaching staff can benefit from.

“We will be using them to continue to deliver a high-quality coaching programme for boys and girls in the local Cheadle community and provide an inclusive introduction to the sport of futsal.”

Community-run Romiley Little Theatre in Stockport, meanwhile, is also looking to bounce back from the pandemic this summer and has received £2,938 towards a renovation which will include brand-new LED lighting.

The Theatre’s Treasurer, Peter Wright, said: “Apart from the fact that this [lighting] will help in reducing the theatre’s carbon footprint, it will enable us to provide a richer experience for our local community and audiences when watching or taking part in our shows; an experience currently only seen in large theatres.

“Equally, for those using the equipment, it will give them access to the latest technology, which hugely increases the options in creating the visual experience of live performances.”

The sum of £1,750 was also pledged to Stretford-based Once Upon A Smile, a Stretford-based charity for bereaved children. The money will pay for comforts including tailored craft boxes and teddy bears.

Community Manager Angela Griffiths said: “We are delighted to be awarded a grant from the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund, which will enable Once Upon a Smile to continue supporting bereaved children at their time of need.

“Last year was a difficult one for many charities, especially small ones like ours, but we have continued to support bereaved families virtually via 1-1 and group zoom sessions.

“This funding has allowed Once Upon a Smile to purchase resources to allow children to create their own Snuggles & Smiles bears, where they can place precious keepsakes or photographs into their bear followed by a heart memorial.

“The funding will also enable us to send tailored craft boxes which include items to meet the child’s individual needs, each box contains resources to promote positive wellbeing”.

The full list of organisations, and what they will be using their Community Trust Fund grant for, can be found below.

Karen Smart, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We have had an unprecedented number of applications in recent months from community organisations across Greater Manchester and North Cheshire, as they begin to plan for the future with the end of Coronavirus restrictions hopefully in sight.

“At times like these, we recognise more than ever the important role that our airport plays as an institution at the heart of our community and are proud to be able to support so many fantastic causes with this latest round of donations.

“If your organisation is based within 10 miles of our airport and you need some support with a community project, our Trust Fund would love to hear from you.”


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