Bolton’s Festive Fund: Christmas cheer for volunteer heroes

Dozens of charities across Bolton have received a combined £14,000 to help them say a festive "thank you" to their volunteers and staff for all their hard work this year.

The money was distributed by Bolton’s Fund thanks to a generous donation from the company MBDA.

The grants are a small gesture of appreciation for the army of volunteers, group members and charity workers who have gone above and beyond in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In total, 75 charities and other voluntary groups received grants of up to £200 for everything from small gifts to virtual Christmas parties.

  • Community mental health service BAND has been helping residents cope with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic and social isolation. The group received a £200 grant to fund activities designed to help both volunteers and service users feel connected over the difficult Christmas period.
  • The hardworking volunteers from Bag the Bug helped manufacture and distribute 20,000 PPE washbags to our vital frontline workers. They used their grant to send a thank you message and Christmas card to the army of people who help thread, sew, cut and deliver the bags.
  • Bolton Station Community Partnership match funded the grant they received and donated 20 festive gift bags to families who use the foodbank operated by Bolton Nice.
  • Over Hulton community group bought 50 tubs of chocolates: Roses for gardeners and Quality Street for litter pickers.
  • New Bury Vision group delivered vouchers to 10 hard-working local volunteers.
  • The VI Dream Team community group supports families with children with a visual impairment in Bolton, who have found it difficult to access sensory resources during the pandemic. They used their £200 grant to put together packs of sensory resources which can be used at home.
  • The Reach Family Project hosted a virtual Zoom bingo and used the grant for prizes – many of the volunteers met for the first time.
  • Bolton Mandhata Youth treated their young members to gingerbread house kits and selection boxes.

Organisations were also invited to join Local Charities Day 2020, a virtual event celebrating all the remarkable things Bolton’s coluntary, community and social enterprise sector has achieved in this most challenging of years.

Councillor Nadim Muslim, Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for stronger communities, said: "Local Charities Day and the Festive Fund grants were a small gesture of appreciation for the invaluable work our many charities and volunteer groups have done this year.

“I want to once again say a heartfelt 'thank you' to everyone involve and wish everyone a peaceful and relaxing Christmas period.

"I am sure the new year will bring fresh challenges but I’m confident that Bolton’s unrivalled volunteer sector will once again rise to the occasion."

Bolton’s Fund is a voluntary sector grants programme delivered by Bolton Council, NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton at Home and Bolton CVS (Community and Voluntary Services).

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