Merton Council backs voluntary groups

Merton Council has offered a boost to the local area, with the news that almost £10 million of funding is to be made available to local organisations, including charities and a variety of projects.

The pledge to provide £9.9 million during 2018/19 was announced in the Voluntary Sector Funding Database, an annual publication that outlines cash grants and other forms of funding that are made available by the Council.

This represents an increase of £220,000 in comparison to the previous year, meaning that the Council has provided more than £60 million worth of funding to the voluntary sector in the past five years. Though this may represent a relatively small proportion of overall funding in the sector, there is a hope that this will ensure that there is a significant local impact.

That funding has been put to good use, with those assisted including:

Polka Theatre

The Polka Theatre is children-dedicated theatre, which was established in Wimbledon back in 1979. More than 90,000 children visit the theatre each year, with many of them experiencing a live show for the first time. It’s a key aim for the theatre to provide a warm and inviting experience, helping to spark the imagination.

Within the theatre environment there is a wide range of facilities, including a popular playground, café and reception area, where children can enjoy colouring in, or dressing up.

The theatre provides a location in which to be entertained, to socialise with others and to experience the theatre in an accessible form.

Attic Theatre Company

This touring theatre company was originally founded in the upstairs room of the New Wimbledon Theatre by two actor friends, Colin Haigh and Jenny Lee. They continue to aim to create world-class performance, in both traditional and non-traditional touring locations.

Funding for the company, as well as being provided by Merton Council, comes from a disparate range of sources, including the Wimbledon Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Councillor Edith Macauley was quoted as saying that “Voluntary organisations and volunteers are the bedrock of our community” and it’s certain that many local residents will agree with that sentiment.