Big Lottery Celebrate Fund grant will pay for celebration in Stamford

Stamford town centre
Stamford town centre

A community celebration weekend including a raft of free food and activities is to take place in Stamford thanks to Christ Church securing a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Celebrate fund.

The event is being designed to appeal to and provide something for all members of the community from young to old, the infirm and less mobile.

Christ Church was awarded the grant following support from Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service.

Martin Purnell, operations manager at Christ Church, said: “The bidding process was extremely competitive and there were a high number of applications made. The fact that Christ Church could demonstrate being a worthy investment was due to the support provided in putting together the application by Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service officer Heidi Haxeltine.

“This event is the beginning of a new history within the Christ Church community.

“We seek to tackle isolation, loneliness, intergenerational activities and bring people together as a community group to look to future integration events.

“We hope the event will offer opportunities for people to make connections and start building lasting friendships and relationships to go forward as one community.

“There are lots of people on this estate who feel lonely and isolated and we want to get them out of their houses. It’s just vital.

“We hope that through being able to provide food and activities free the event will be accessible to everyone.”

The event is envisioned to include attractions such as a tea dance, live music to appeal to different generations and children’s activities such as bouncy castles and face painting.

Work has already got under way to begin engaging the local community in putting forward ideas of what they would like included and the Teenzone youth group has been invited to design a logo for the event, set to take place Friday, August 4, to Monday, August 7.

The funding will allow catering for 1,000 people across the weekend and has allowed a project manager to be employed to bring the event together and coordinate all aspects to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all.

A team of about 45 volunteers is expected to be needed for tasks such as stewarding, running stalls, assisting with refreshments and activities.

Christ Church is keen to hear from people who have ideas for what the weekend should include or who want to get involved.

The event will also be used as an opportunity to gather high quality feedback on what needs are not currently being fulfilled in the community, which Christ Church will try to address in the future.

It is hoped this event will bring together all of those already involved in the various groups Christ Church operates as well as the wider community, who currently may not have opportunities to mix.

Christ Church’s current offering includes Tots ‘n’ Toast parent and toddler group, Teenzone for young people, a day centre for older people, Startafresh to support vulnerable and disadvantaged adults, support for those facing financial hardship and a community transport scheme for those who can’t use public transport.

The Celebrate fund was created after national research showed six out of 10 people could not remember ever coming together to celebrate with their community.