GreenSquare has been awarded an additional £25,860 (to spend by 31 March 2021) from The National Lottery Community Fund, to provide extra support for its Rose Hill Regeneration project (in Oxford), in response to the coronavirus crisis.
A long-term project of GreenSquare's, the Rose Hill regeneration project began in 2011 to tackle the historically deprived area, and has received significant funding over the years from The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund).
Fran Gardner, GreenSquare’s community worker for Rose Hill, explained: “There were many families already struggling at Rose Hill before the pandemic, with 52% of children living in poverty. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has only seen an increase in the numbers of people struggling to cope financially and emotionally in the current climate.
“This extra grant from The National Lottery Community Fund is wonderful news and will help us to target two specific areas of concern. Firstly, we will be partnering with the Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre to help more people access financial advice and support; and, secondly, we will be working with Rose Hill Primary School to provide short programmes of therapeutic support for vulnerable children and young people, and enable access to longer-term help.”
Sue Vermes, Head Teacher at Rose Hill Primary School, added: “We are excited to be receiving this grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. It will support a range of activities, from extended play opportunities and one-to-one mentoring and creative therapy, to planting a sensory community garden. The activities it will fund would otherwise be beyond our means and are exactly what our children need as we return to school full-time. Many thanks to GreenSquare, and especially to Fran, for their support.”
The grant will also help to continue to deliver and build upon the project’s valuable work at the Rose Hill Junior Youth Club (JYC), where children living in Rose Hill are given increasingly vital opportunities for safe play and activities.
Rebecca Mather, Chair of Trustees Rose Hill JYC, said: “We are delighted that Rose Hill has received such a significant grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. This ensures that JYC can build on, and sustain the services that we are currently delivering to children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding ensures our innovative small group activities, family work and one-to-one mentoring will continue.”
Since the Covid-19 crisis, Fran and the project team have worked closely with a number of local partner agencies on a community food distribution service, having mobilised quickly to meet urgent food needs in partnership with local agencies.
They have also developed activity packs for primary-age children, which are delivered weekly and have been a lifeline for families – particularly those living in flats with multiple children, who struggle with no safe outside play space, and no resources for home education.