More than £800k helps community thanks to Harpur Trust awards

Priory Sailing Club.
Priory Sailing Club.
Share this article

More than £800,000 was awarded in grants to groups and individuals around Bedford borough by The Harpur Trust, bringing the total in cash aid to over £9million in the last 10 years.

A key part of the Bedford community for almost 450 years - the Trust celebrates this milestone anniversary in 2016 - The Harpur Trust has published its latest Annual Report of Trustees and Accounts.

Last year the Trust awarded £824,855 in community grants to groups and individuals within the Borough of Bedford.

David Russell, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we are able to continue to support so many local organisations and such a diverse range of groups every year, some of whom, without our help, would find it increasingly difficult to survive in the current economic climate.”

Last year 57 local projects received support from the Trust’s grants programme, which is funded from the income earned from the endowment given by Sir William Harpur in 1566.

Last year’s beneficiaries include:

£41,800 to Mark Rutherford Upper School to help develop their Nightingale Autistic Unit which specialises in offering children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders the opportunity to join in classes and activities with non-disabled peers but also the reassurance of specially structured activities and trained staff;

£4,900 to the Kempston Net Charitable Trust for their project ‘The Net’ – a project aimed at supporting very isolated and vulnerable people who have fallen through the gaps in services, gently encouraging them to take an active part in community life;

£12,400 to Priory Sailing Club’s Getting Bedford on Board windsurfing project. A project aimed at giving people in the local community a chance to try activities that many perceive to be ‘elite’. The grant helped the club to buy equipment.