Projects get �400,000 boost to improve Stevenage life

OVER �400,000 has been awarded to four Stevenage community projects to improve the quality of life in the town.

Mind in Mid Herts, Stevenage Leisure, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the YMCA will share the government grant awarded by the SoStevenage Partnership – a council-led initiative to promote the town’s economic, social and environmental well-being.

Over half the money - �228,000 - went to Mind for a project based at Stevenage Wellbeing Centre to improve mental wellbeing among the town’s residents, particularly those who feel excluded from society because of their condition.

A high ropes park plan for Fairlands Valley received �132,000. The money will enable Stevenage Leisure to build a wooden climbing facility for all ages and abilities with ropes, balance beams, climbing wall, ladders and swings – the first of its kind in Herts.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Wild Stevenage scheme was awarded �25,000. The money, along with �50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable the trust to improve key wildlife habitats and raise awareness of the town’s natural heritage.

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The project will include the creation of a sanctuary for crickets at Shackledell Grassland in Fairlands Valley and a wild woodlands trail through Monks Wood and Whomerley Wood. Wildlife identification courses and an ‘adopt a pond’ programme enabling Stevenage residents to restore and look after community ponds will also be launched.

A YMCA project to transform the former Edward the Confessor pub in the town centre into a community caf� was also given �25,000. The aim of the scheme is to create a positive and safe drop-in space for young people.

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Cllr Sharon Taylor, chairman of SoStevenage, said the organisation had to choose from a number of deserving bids.

“We selected these four diverse projects as we feel that they will all add something to the quality of life in Stevenage. Over the course of time I am sure that we will see these projects making a real difference.”

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