Thursday, 19 January 2012

Latest Community Chest funding

I realise that I haven't posted in a while about the grants that I have made from my community chest. This is the money that all Cornwall Councillors have each year (currently £2,195) to support local groups with projects and activities.

Cornwall Council has recently received a freedom of information request asking for details of how all councillors use their grant and the complete list shows just what a good scheme the community chest is. The entire list will be published by the council shortly, but my grants are as follows:

Cedar Grange - Equipment for art group project £162.40
Cedar Grange is one of the largest care homes in our area. They wanted to set a new art group and my funding helped to buy some equipment to get them started.

Chamber of Commerce - Christmas Lights £500
Chamber of Commerce - Late Night Shopping £500
The Christmas lights and late night shopping are key parts of attracting people to Launceston during the winter months. The old lights needed replacing and, together with my fellow Cornwall Councillors, I was delighted to contribute to some of the new lights last year and to this year's late night shopping fun.

Causley Festival - Publicity £500
Causley Festival - Rap Workshop and Poetry Slam £395
M-Mad - Causley Film Project - £500
The Causley Festival is a relatively new initiative trying to draw visitors into our town and to provide more events for locals. I provided help with publicity in the first year and then contributed towards the costs of an event aimed at younger people in the second. I also provided funding to M-Mad, a creative arts project for young people, for them to produce a film of the second year aimed at attracting future sponsorship.

FLIC - Hire of films, equipment, town hall and advertising £200
When I ask people what they most want to see change about our town, the most common answer is a cinema. Hopefully, we might get a permanent cinema at some point in the future. Until that time, FLIC do a great job putting on shows each month which are attracting bigger and bigger audiences.

Gwynngala/LAFF - Display Boards £500
Both Gwynngala and Launceston Arts for Fun (LAFF) are very popular groups of local artists. They wanted to buy display boards to enable them to show off their works.

Amateur Boxing Club - Headguards £500
Des Charnock and his team do a great job at the boxing club and have produced some very talented boxers. However, in order to compete, the youngsters need proper head guards which conform to official standards.

Neighbourhood Policing Team - Coach Park artwork £500
I was approached by local police officers asking for help with a project in conjunction with the Barefoot Games to provide a legitimate outlet for local street artists. The Town Council kindly offered the use of the coach park wall and I helped to pay for the materials.

Launceston Foodbank - Set Up £500
This is a great project which has been set up by a group led by Keith Roberts of Central Methodist Church. Since I posted about it, it has opened its doors and helped a number of clients. With more and more people struggling even to put food on the table, the foodbank is a facility we need (even if we wish we didn't). I hope that it will become an organisation that is the top of everyone's supporting list over the next few months.

Rifle and Pistol Club - Air rifle £395
The rifle club has been operating for many years and approached me because they want to attract more young members. They wanted to buy a lightweight air rifle in order to teach new members how to shoot and how to treat air weapons and firearms safely and with respect. Having seen the expertise on offer at the club I was more than happy to support them.

If your organisation could do with help, email me at and I will send you the forms you need to complete to gain Cornwall Council approval.

This is the press release put out by Launceston Rifle and Pistol Club:

Launceston Rifle and Pistol Club is welcoming more young members after a council grant helped fund a new lightweight air rifle.

Under Cornwall Council’s community chest scheme, each councillor is allocated £2,195 each year to support local projects run by voluntary and community groups, some of which goes to help young people’s leisure activities.

Launceston Rifle and Pistol Club (LRPC) invited Launceston Central Councillor Alex Folkes to visit the club and learn about its work with young people. He agreed to allocate £395 from his community chest for a lightweight Air Arms S200 air rifle to allow more youngsters to take
part in the sport, and was so impressed he even decided to join the club himself.

Councillor Folkes said: “The community chest scheme is a very valuable way for councillors to support local groups and projects in their area. I'm very glad to have been able to support such a wide range of projects over the past two and a half years.

"Launceston Rifle and Pistol Club is a long-established and dedicated group seeking to bring in more young members. I was happy to be able to support them with a grant.

"In a rural area, many young people have access to air weapons and firearms. Teaching them how to use them safely as well as storing them securely is a vital lesson to learn and the club does a great job, all under the auspices of local police checks and registration."

LRPC is the home of 18-year-old Sam Hooper who learned to shoot at the club and came top of the South West Smallbore Rifle Youth Championship in 2011.

The club was established around 75 years ago and moved to its current location in a disused quarry in 1961. It offers the chance to shoot air rifles and air pistols, as well as .22 rimfire rifles.

Secretary Alan Savory said: “We’re very grateful to Cornwall Council and Alex Folkes for this grant which will allow the club to accept and train more young members.

“The only way the club is going to carry on is by getting the younger generation involved. I’ve been shooting since the early 1970s and it’s given me tremendous satisfaction and pleasure over those years. I’ve always been one of the top club shooters but I look forward to a time when some of the youngsters come and knock me off my perch.

“I’m prepared to give as much time as I can to the younger generation to encourage them.”

LRPC made the news last year when member Dave Wood was awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Trophy for his hard work and dedication to the club.

Club Chairman Bernie Masters said shooting was inexpensive as the club could help newcomers with the kit they needed.

“Shooting offers young and old, men and women, boys and girls all a chance to compete with each other on equal terms in a sport that demands discipline, team work, self-control and respect for others,” he said.

Since receiving the rifle, the club has been able to accept two new teenage members who are coached at the club with their parents present. To join the club, which is open to everyone aged 14 and over, call Secretary Alan Savory on 01566 785244 or email


Stephen Richardson said...

Hi Alex - just wondering - is this several years worth of grants? It adds up to a lot more than £2195.

Alex Folkes said...

Yep - that's the total of grants since I was elected - so just over two years worth. I haven't allocated my total amount but it's a lot more than some.