The Brighouse Arts Festival takes place every October in venues across the West Yorkshire town, attracting thousands of people from all over the UK.
The Festival is run by the charity, Arts for Brighouse, and it first took place in 2012. Completely volunteer run, the charity focuses on providing high quality, accessible arts entertainment which promotes the town on a national level and uses the arts as a catalyst for social cohesion and to bring people together from various communities.
The Festival attracts a number of high calibre performers, including actor Brian Blessed in 2018 and singers Lesley Garrett and Kiki Dee in 2019. Arts for Brighouse works hard to ensure that they provide free activities and performances so that the Festival engages with community members who might not generally get involved in the arts.
The Sir George Martin Trust gave grants of £1,500 in 2018 and 2019 towards the general running of the festival, including venue hire and volunteer expenses.
Bradford-based Emerge has delivered transformational youth work for 25 years in some of the most difficult and broken wards of the city. The charity’s goal is to reach the most marginalised and enable them to become a part of a community within which they can thrive, develop and reach their potential. However, in April during ‘lockdown’ the organisation knew it needed to try and help local communities in an even bigger way and so partnered with seven other BD4 voluntary and community groups to raise a total of £11,000 as part of a co-ordinated emergency response. The Sir George Martin Trust gave a grant of £1,000 to help kick-start the project which went towards food, delivery costs, activity packs and PPE and meal cartons. Thanks to Emerge and the other six organisations, an average of 1,341 people per week were supported by food parcel deliveries, over 6,000 meals were cooked and delivered in the three months of May to July and 1,900 activity packs were created and delivered to disadvantaged families over the same time period. The project helped to reduced hunger and family isolation, improved food education, reduced boredom and supported some families who were struggling with home schooling.
Holbeck Together (formerly Holbeck Elderly Aid) in Leeds provides a variety of services, activities and opportunities for people to get involved locally - some specifically for people in later years of living, others for younger people and some for all ages. Holbeck is one of the 0.2% poorest areas in England and suffers from high crime rates. The Sir George Martin Trust has supported the charity many times in recent years - a £1,500 grant for new tables and chairs for daily use in a range of activities and mealtimes and then for the last couple of years Holbeck Together has most needed funding to pay their cook more hours as demand for their healthy and hot meals provision is more needed than ever. Staff were working unpaid every Sunday and some evenings (in addition to their full time weekday hours) on food preparation and cooking for the charity’s popular Sunday lunch and supper clubs as the charity only had enough funding to pay the chef 9.5 hours a week. Following a visit by the Trust a grant of £5,000 was awarded so the chef could be contracted for a minimum of 18 hours a week which had a very positive impact on the staff team and the charity overall.
LWCA addresses disabled children and teenagers’ need for opportunities to socialise and have fun. The charity does this by delivering social clubs that provide a safe and inclusive space where children’s individual needs are supported by an experienced team of care workers. The impact of providing these opportunities is reduced isolation for children and improved wellbeing and confidence. The Sir George Martin Trust first gave a grant to LWCA in 2019 and then in Summer 2020 gave £2,000 to cover running costs for all three of their projects between October 2020 and March 2021. LWCA said: “This grant has been very helpful to our organisation and helped us to meet the cost of delivering our services at a time when many of our community fundraising activities were on hold or reduced in scale due to COVID-19 restrictions.” 128 disabled children and teenagers aged 5-18 from Leeds benefitted from the grant activity, along with their families who also benefitted from having a break from intensive caring responsibilities.
The Outlook Trust organises and provides activity and residential breaks for blind and partially sighted West Yorkshire youngsters. Formed in 1999, this small charity is run entirely by volunteers and all their funds raised go directly to the costs of the trips. Many of the children who take part have limited life experiences and a narrow understanding of the world due to their sensory impairment. They are often ostracised, bullied and do not have access to the same physical activities and team games as their peers. The Outlook Trust’s activities are fun, challenging and supported by a high level of experienced support. They also create special experiences and memories which develop confidence, self-esteem develop their independent skills and allow them to make new friends who are like them. During 2020 and early 2021, the charity found it very challenging to raise funds for the trips as many funders were focused on providing emergency Covid grants and the trips had to be put on hold. The Outlook Trust got in touch with the Sir George Martin Trust in Spring 2021 and secured a £2,000 grant which enabled them to take six youngsters to the Solent for a fantastic week of sailing.
St Stephen’s Church has been serving the diverse community of West Bowling in Bradford for over 160 years, most recently joining with Shine (West Bowling) in providing services such as a Pop-Up Pantry, advice on budgeting and benefits, parenting support and a variety of services to help with physical and mental health. It has a proven record of supporting those most vulnerable within its community and was open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic addressing both financial and mental health needs. The Sir George Martin Trust aims to be as flexible as possible with its funding and provide support where it is needed most, especially for "hard to fund projects". Sarah Hinton from St. Stephen’s and Shine said: “We are so grateful for the £3,000 which enabled us to complete a new toilet block within the church. Our space has been transformed from one old toilet where you had to pull a shower curtain across (!) to a modern block with three toilets (one accessible) and a good space for handwashing facilities. Not only does this give much improved facilities to our many users from the community, but it also opens up an ability to be able to rent out the space and therefore bring in some income. It is always difficult to find funding for such a project in a listed building and we are very grateful for the Sir George Martin Trust’s help with it.”