Thank You Wall

thank you wall. lots of hands holding hearts

Thank you. No, thank you!

When we entered the national lockdown on 23 March due to COVID-19, many volunteer groups and charities pulled together offering help and support to the residents of Ashford. Many took advantage of the emergency grant scheme Ashford Borough Council was responsible for managing to support our communities and groups.

We greatly appreciate the help and assistance these groups have offered, and continue to offer, to local residents during the ongoing pandemic.

As we are remembering our war heroes this month, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate our local current day heroes too. We have received a range of positive reactions and quotes from the many organisations we have provided support to and thought it a good idea to share their feedback with you. We have now created this ‘Thank You Wall’ to do just that. View their feedback by clicking on the groups below.

+ ASD Ashford Autism Support Group

"The coronavirus (grant) literally get a roof over our head this year, with all our fundraising events wiped out for the year really, there was real worry that we would be able to meet our rent payments. Its meant we could keep going and bought is much needed time to reassess our working to be able to meet the needs of families in the new normal."

Further information about this group visit the ASD Ashford Autism Support Group web page.

+ Ashford BME Association

"We are profoundly grateful for the Ashford Borough Council's Coronavirus Emergency Grant as it supported our charity to continue to provide services during this time of the pandemic. We were able to adapt and create new projects that engaged the community, reduce social isolation and support vulnerable families in need."

Further information about this group visit the Ashford BME Association website.

+ Ashford Counselling Service

"The grant received from Ashford Borough Council helped us to continue to provide clinical supervision to our volunteer counsellors and to provide counselling to those who would otherwise not have been able to afford it."

Further information about this group visit the Ashford Counselling Service website.

+ Ashford Mediation Service

"Whilst ABC's COVID-19 funding provided AMS with breathing space to respond flexibly to Ashford residents' changing needs; it also ensured we could continue to partner, collaborate, and learn from others, and be ready for the big challenges that lie ahead for people post-COVID."

Further information about this group visit the Ashford Mediation Service website.

+ Ashford Rail Bowls Club

"The coronavirus (Covid-19) grant meant a lot to us at Ashford Rail Bowls Club. As we were getting no income, from matches and friendlies with other clubs throughout 2020. But we still needed to pay for the Green maintenance at the end of the summer season. (Scarifying and top dressing etc.) So the Green will be at its best for 2021."

Further information about this group visit the Ashford Rail Bowls Club website.

+ Ashford Volunteer Centre

"We are very grateful to Ashford Borough Council for its support during an unprecedented time of difficulty for residents, communities and the voluntary sector. By bring awarded a coronavirus emergency grant from the Council, this timely grant, allowed our organisation to provide the support that voluntary groups needed in a timely manner and to be in a financial position to help new people in the borough wanting to volunteer."

Further information about this group visit the Ashford Volunteer Centre website.

+ Biddenden Juniors FC

"Firstly many thanks for the grant. The grant has enabled the club to buy vital equipment in the preparation for the return of grassroots football. We have put in place hand sanitizer stations at the venue and all managers now carry hand sanitiser for players at away games. We all carry wipes for cleaning of match balls and protective gloves for cleaning of equipment. The home ground has had a risk assessment carried out and we have implemented the cleaning of all equipment after training and games. This has all been possible due to the grant we received from yourselves. This will enable us to continue to deliver the correct requirements for the safety and protection of our clubs players parents and coaches. Again many thanks for your continued support."

Further information about this group visit their page on the Kent FA website.

+ Branch and Brush CIC

"Without this amazing grant from Ashford Borough Council I wouldn't have been able to afford a new computer and the necessary equipment including a subscription for zoom to enable adapting my service. I am still delivering free online art clubs. I was actually on BBC Radio Kent last night talking being interviewed about it, and I gave ABC a big up!!"

Further information about this group visit the Branch & Brush page on the Made in Ashford website.

+ Centre for Independent Living Kent

"Thanks to Ashford Borough Council Covid funding we have increased our capacity through a project lead and local volunteer team. We are reaching out and supporting disabled people in the Ashford area. Identifying and linking them to the great network of services that exist in the region."

Further information about this group visit the Centre for Independent Living Kent's website.

+ High Halden Covid19 Community Group

"This will help the “High Halden Covid19 Community Group” volunteers in their support of the most vulnerable in our community. Very much appreciate the very quick and positive response."

Further information about this group visit the High Halden Covid19 Community Group website.

+ Hypo Hounds

"The Ashford Borough grant enabled Hypo Hounds to continue to offer its life saving service to its clients throughout the pandemic. Without funding our trainers who are all self employed would not have been able to continue to train our amazing assistance dogs. We continue to offer virtual training to our clients who are still self isolating and are slowly beginning to open our doors and trying to get back to a sense of normality again, this would not have been possible without your assistance at a much needed time."

Further information about this group visit the Hypo Hounds website.

+ Jasmin Vardimon Education Charity

"The support enabled us to continue to provide creative offers and engage with the Ashford community. It helped towards keeping local people active and creatively engaged amid the difficult circumstances of lockdown alongside additional benefits of engaging with dancers across the globe with participants joining from Ashford to Australia!"

Further information about this group visit the Jasmin Vardimon Education Charity website.

+ KATFM

"Ashford Borough Council was extremely proactive in meeting the needs of our arts and education charity. The small grants we received from the council definitely helped to keep the lives of several young people on track. The larger grant made it possible to drill down the things that were working and to take our digital environment to a sustainable level. We had offices in three locations across Kent, but Ashford was by far the most proactive and effective for us."

Further information about this group visit the KATFM website.

+ Kent Association for the Blind

"Technology Support has been one of KAB’s most crucial offers to Sight Impaired people during Covid-19. Technology is a lifeline, enabling independence to shop, manage finances and communicate – and now more essential due to the isolation of the pandemic. Support from Ashford Borough Council to diversify this service was vital.’ Katherine Barr, Head of Client Services, Kent Association for the Blind (KAB)."

Further information about this group visit the Kent Association for the Blind's website.

+ Kent Search and Rescue

Receiving the kind donation from Ashford Borough Council has helped Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR) to continue operations, finding and rescuing high-risk vulnerable missing people across Kent. In these extremely difficult times, your grant funding has helped save lives throughout the area and neighbouring regions.

Further information about this group visit the Kent Search and Rescue website.

+ Pilgrims Hospices

"Thank you ever so much for your wonderful gift. This will help Pilgrims to support end-of-life care during these challenging times. I cannot thank you enough for your ongoing and incredible support. This will go a long way to helping us care for those that need us and a patient’s care at one of our inpatient units for 24 hours is £800. The council’s ongoing support it very much appreciated."

Further information about this group visit the Pilgrims Hospices' website.

+ Primal Roots

"We like to thank and congratulate Ashford Borough Council for the manner in which they managed and distributed the coronavirus emergency fund. The process, while extremely well thought through and conscientious in its objectives, was speedy enough for us to start delivering when people needed it most. Hope you and your team are doing well and thanks again for your excellent support. It really is appreciated."

Further information about this group visit the Primal Roots website.

+ Tenterden Folk Day Trust

"ABC’s coronavirus emergency grant was a lifeline and helped ensure that Tenterden Folk Festival could survive with no income from activities for the duration of the restrictions. We still do not know when we events can resume but hope that the 28th Tenterden Folk Festival can return bigger and better."

Further information about this group visit the Tenterden Folk Festival website.

+ Wye Community Farm

"Thanks to the ABC grant, Wye Community Farm was able to cover enough of the income lost during lockdown to keep feeding and caring for our herd of beautiful British White cows and rare-breed sheep.

After running for 14 years, there had been a real risk to our non profit-making community training farm, especially around the expensive time of lambing and calving.

We’ve now resumed our popular weekly Farm Club. Our volunteers - and many happy lambs and calves - are extremely grateful."

Further information about this group visit the Wye Community Farm website.