CHARITY groups have been boosted with more than £100,000 of grants from the Wiltshire Community Foundation.

Among the recipients of the latest round of foundation grants is Cedar Court Day Centre in Bradford on Avon, which for almost 20 years has provided companionship, fun and a healthy lunch for dozens of elderly people.

“A lot of the people who come live on their own, so they really appreciate the chance to get out,” said trustee Pat Woolford, who was one of the group’s founders.

The group has been given £5,000 towards transport costs. “We use specialised transport with a lift because many of our members have mobility problems. We pick them up from Bradford and Winsley and some of the villages,” said Mrs Woolford.

The group meets every Monday from 10am to 3pm at the Cedar Court community room in Berryfield Road. Members enjoy crafts and games as well as a healthy hot lunch.

“Because any of them are on their own or have mobility problems they can be quite lonely, so this is a chance for them to meet with friends and enjoy themselves,” said Mrs Woolford. “The grant will help us keep going so it is very much appreciated.”

Pound Arts Centre in Corsham has been given £2,000 for its Dancing Through Time project, which provides fitness and friendship for up to 30 elderly people from the town every week.

Led by a professional dance coach, the chair-based dance sessions promote balance, wellbeing and flexibility but, said the centres deputy programme director Martin Campbell, it prevents those living on their own becoming lonely and isolated.

“They have a great time here and have made lots of friends, so the social side is just as important as the exercise. They all feel very comfortable here and come to other things we put on, like 11am films.

“We are so grateful for the grant because we just wouldn’t be able to run this project without it.”

The Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Centre, based in Warminster, has been given £5,000 towards instructor and equipment costs. The centre provides outdoor activities such a tree climbing, kayaking and laser tag, for young people from all over the county who are struggling at school or at home.

Homeless group Doorway, based at Foghamshire in Chippenham, has received £10,000 over two years towards the cost of employing a support services manager. The charity, which helped 214 people in 2019, opens two days a week and offers food, somewhere to wash clothes, a place to chat and support and advice from experts on housing and health.

The support manager works with partner agencies such as Wiltshire Council and the NHs to make sure the vulnerable guests, who often struggle with mental health issues, drug or alcohol addiction or have criminal records, get as much support as possible to get into permanent housing or stay there.

The Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon has been given £5,000 for its Zone Club, a monthly music and singing club for 40 learning disabled young adults, aged 16 and over and young adults with disabilities.

Last year the Wiltshire Community Foundation gave £1.1 million in grants to group and individuals in Wiltshire and Swindon. Chief Executive Rosemary Macdonald said: “I am so pleased with the diverse range of groups we’ve been able to fund and the wide range of needs they are tackling, from young and older people to those with disabilities and real challenges in their lives.

“We exist to be a means of funding for groups making a real difference to people in Wiltshire and these grants show that we are fulfilling our mission.”