TWO community organisations in Melksham are celebrating after being awarded a total of more than £15,000 from National Lottery funds.

The 2385 (Melksham) Squadron Air Training Corps has received £10,000 to buy a new minibus to allow cadets to take part in activities and support community events.

The Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Gregory McKay, said: “2385 Squadron is really looking forward to being able to replace our aged current minibus.

“This new bus, part-sponsored by the National Lottery, will enable our work in the community and cadet activities to continue and develop.

“The squadron is now in its 57th year and has grown over the past 12 months to 43 cadets. Any individuals or businesses interested in supporting the work of the squadron can contact the Commanding Officer at”

The Melksham-based Wiltshire Mind charity has also received £5,451.55 to set up a one-to-one counselling service for people from the Polish community with mental health problems.

The project aims to provide wellbeing support and help people to address these issues at the earliest possible stage.

Chief executive Carolyn Beale said: “We’re very pleased we can continue to provide this valued service in Trowbridge. We want to be able to help everyone in our community who is being affected by poor mental health.

“This funding allows us to support the Polish community who would otherwise not be able to access Polish support easily in Wiltshire.”

She added: “Wiltshire Mind is a local charity, led by local need. We are not funded by national Mind or the local statutory authorities, which means we rely on the generosity of the local community/fundraisers and grant awards to continue our much-needed work in Wiltshire.”

The National Lottery has awarded £122,000 in funding to 13 community projects across Wiltshire for the quarter. The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Key towns and cities to receive funding include Chippenham, Devizes, Salisbury and Swindon.

James Harcourt, England grant-making director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Whether in a village, town or city, National Lottery funding is helping to make a difference, bringing communities together to help people lead happier and healthier lives.”

Wiltshire isn’t alone in enjoying the good news – the South West as a whole is receiving £4.6 million, which is being distributed across 249 community projects and organisations. Nationally, £45 million has been awarded.

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded almost £713 million and supported almost 14,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

The total pot being made available to groups across England this quarter is £45 million.

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