More than £1million awarded for Bedford community projects thanks to The Harpur Trust

The charity has funded grants to over 40 organisations since last summer
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The Harpur Trust has awarded more than £1million (£1,156,315) to local organisations to improve the lives of people in Bedford Borough over the last year.

Since last summer, the charity has funded grants to over 40 organisations for a wide variety of community projects.

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The Harpur Trust has been providing education and supporting the people of Bedford for more than 455 years.

An example of some of the Harpur Trust's grants which have been awarded to local projectsAn example of some of the Harpur Trust's grants which have been awarded to local projects
An example of some of the Harpur Trust's grants which have been awarded to local projects

Lucy Bardner, community programmes director, said: “Supporting the local community through our grants programme is a core part of what we do at The Harpur Trust. Our grants provide essential funding to a variety of diverse groups in the borough. We carry out rigorous assessments of the viability of the projects we fund, which focus on education, recreation and support for people facing hardship.

“We support a wide range of local residents in our grants programme, from people who are homeless, refugees and asylum seekers, to isolated older people living in local villages.”

Here is a full list of grant recipients and what the funding has provided:

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Amicus Trust – the charity’s mental health project which has been supporting homeless individuals in Bedford for six years.

Bedford Academy and Biddenham International School – counselling services in these schools through a partnership with Bedfordshire Open Door, to vulnerable students who need specialist therapeutic support.

Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society - support to improve the resilience, mental health and wellbeing of parent carers.

Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) - staffing costs to enable BCA to continue its work with disadvantaged neighbourhoods, communities, and children and young people.

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Bedford Disabled Horse-Riding Association - urgent replacement of the existing outdoor menage.

Bedfordshire Open Door - free, confidential counselling service to vulnerable young people, aged 13-25.

Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support – an Integration Officer and finance staff supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

Directional Training and Youth Services CIC – partnership work with various schools in Bedford to deliver a six-week project, called ‘Take the Lead’, to students who are dis-engaged with education or at risk of exclusion.

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Carlton Squash Club - the refurbishment of the squash club to encourage more members of the community, including people supported by EMMAUS to take up squash.

CHUMS CIC – support for the Bedfordshire Suicide Bereavement Service, which has seen an increase in demand, exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) Bedfordshire - advice, support and training to voluntary organisations in Bedford Borough.

Cruse Bereavement Support Bedfordshire – recruitment and training of new bereavement volunteers.

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Early Childhood Partnership – support for the Play Therapy Service to alleviate psychological and emotional conditions in children, as well as extend the service to survivors of sexual abuse.

Ethnic Foodbank – nutritionally balanced, familiar, and culturally appropriate emergency food parcels for those in financial hardship.

FACES Bedford and Link2Change - services for young people and their families who are at risk of, or have experienced, Child Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Violence and Child Criminal Exploitation.

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art - a bespoke dance project for pupils with a range of special educational needs at the Grange Academy, to improve the confidence and self-expression of children.

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Food Etc - cookery workshops for families at local schools to help to relieve poverty and promote nutrition, health and social improvement.

Friends For Life Bedfordshire – a general manager to strengthen and expand the work of the charity to reduce the social isolation of older residents in care homes.

Impakt Housing & Support – support for the Independent Living Programme for homeless individuals by employing a skills coach to organise and deliver tailored and bespoke courses/workshops/activities.

Just Us – help for people who are street homeless, or living in temporary or inadequate housing, to secure permanent, decent accommodation.

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Kempston Rovers Community Football Club - a new 5v5 3G pitch, with a specific focus on under-represented players including those with a disability, women and girls, ethnic minority groups and older people.

King's Arms Project – support for vulnerable migrants in Bedford who would otherwise be street homeless.

PBIC – a Listening Service Project Worker and an administrator to contribute to the charity’s You Are Valued project, to support migrants to settle, achieve and contribute.

Polish School – help for a group of Ukrainian professionals to set up Saturday School for the children of Ukrainian refugees living in Bedford.

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Priory Sailing Club - free experiences for children and their families in Queen’s Park to encourage sport participation.

Progressability.Org - a programme supporting disadvantaged girls aged 11 to18, to give them the practical and emotional skills to create their own positive futures.

Project 229 - the SPACE project which supports young people who have experienced domestic abuse.

Project 41 Woodside Church – the Befriending Service (known as Linking Lives), to help reduce loneliness and isolation for adults in Bedford Borough.

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Q:Alliance - the LGBTQ+ Youth Group in Bedford Borough for 13-19 year olds, to provide support on a whole range of issues for LGTBQ+ young people.

Ridgeway Special School - new iPads for the school, to aid the children in both their communication and learning.

Queen's Park Community Organisation - two part time intervention officers to carry on supporting individuals who are experiencing barriers to accessing services.

Samsons Academy – support for young people in Bedford from underserved communities and their parents around child exploitation, accessing education, accessing health services, mental health, financial insecurity and other issues around cost of living & poverty.

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Shortstown Rangers FC - access to floodlight football pitches over the winter months to enable the club to increase provision for 5 to 12-year-olds

SSG Celestials Football Club – a specialist football club for children and young people with additional needs.

Spiral Freerun CIC - parkour and free-running services to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Bedford Borough, promote positive mental health and tackle inclusion.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – support for a specialist Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide group in Bedford.

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The Salvation Army – support for a Debt Advice service open to all in Bedford Borough.

The Villager Minibus - a replacement bus for isolated individuals in north Bedford villages to travel to Bedford and use the shops and facilities.

Working Options in Education - key staff salaries to continue the Career Pathways Programme to transform the life chances of young people in Bedford.

Young Enterprise - delivery of programmes to help improve key employability skills for young people to succeed in life and raise aspirations.

For further information about the Harpur Trust’s grants and how we support the Bedford community visit