Lottery grant boosts new hall floor fundsBy Caroline Cook
September 14, 2010
Fundraisers hoping to collect enough money to refurbish a Finchampstead community hall have an extra spring in their step after being awarded an £8,635 grant from the National Lottery.
The California Association has been fundraising for nine months to buy a new sprung floor for the California Ratepayers Hall in Finchampstead Road, Finchampstead, and the grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All Scheme has bounced them closer to their £17,500 target.
Finchampstead south councillor Steve Bromley, who is secretary of the California Association, said: “We sat down about six months ago and applied for various grants and the Lottery grant was the one that got back to us.
“We are absolutely delighted as we have worked so hard for it and it is one big step closer to our target.
“Due to legislation, any new flooring which will be used for physical activity has to have this sprung floor. As we have the dance classes and yoga and things like that, it means it is a requirement for us too.
“With the opening of the Finchampstead Baptist Centre, which has the sprung floor, we were worried we would lose our clubs to the better facility so we decided it was a good time to look into a new floor.”
Association members have been hard at work organising various fundraising events such as a car wash in May, which raised £230, and a sponsored tap session run by the Knight School of Dance in April where dancers tapped their toes to raise £860.
The community also rallied together for a fundraising garden party in July, which raised £700 towards the target.
Cllr Bromley said: “Everyone really got together for the garden party. We had the gardening club with a stall and people from St Mary and St John who sold cakes. It was a great event and a large number of people got involved.”
The bumper Lottery grant was awarded to the association in July but members had to keep their excitement under wraps until it was formally announced by the National Lottery.
Cllr Bromley said: “It has been a long process. It’s all picking up speed but it’s been an awful lot of hard work. We are getting excited as it comes nearer to the end.
“The rate it was going it would have been a long time but the grant has helped tremendously. We are over the moon. We would really like to get the floor in this year.”
The association has £11,761 in the pot, which is just over two thirds of the final total.
Members are continuing their fundraising effort with a quiz night to be held at 7.15pm on Saturday at the Ratepayers Hall.