Warwick mayor Moira-Ann Grainger called for imaginative bids from those hoping for a share in the 1100 Fund she set up to mark the town’s 1100th anniversary.
And that’s exactly what she got with requests to buy 1,100 bricks towards the Sea Scouts new headquarters and 1,100 hot meals for senior citizens who use The Gap community centre.
Before she relinquishes her chain of office next month, Cllr Grainger arranged to meet up with several recipients of her funds at the Saltisford Canal Trust headquarters, which will also benefit.
She explained that when she became mayor last May she suspected Warwick would have a bumper fund-raising year, so instead of selecting just one or two charities to support, she decided to help as wide a variety of home-grown projects as possible.
And the great news was that she’s raised more than £15,500 – almost £5,000 above her original £11,000 target.
Cllr Grainger said: “The 1100 theme inspired not only the groups and charities who applied for funding but also helped raise just that little bit more at many of the events I attended as mayor.
“That’s been wonderful and just what I’d hoped when I set up the fund.”
As well as bricks for the Sea Scouts and lunches for pensioners, the mayor has also donated 11 starter packs to victims of domestic abuse who are ready to leave a women’s refuge to begin new lives with their children.
On a lighter note, there’s also been funding for 11 members of St Mary’s Choir in Warwick to go on a singing trip to Germany and money towards an activity holiday for the town’s Brownies and 1st Warwick Guides.
Then there’s a day out for 11 families with severely disabled children given by the charity Rufus Friends, which also offers holidays.
On the practical side, Cllr Grainger is also buying 110 “eco-grid” paving sections for a new multi-purpose room at the Saltisford Canal Trust centre and paying for 1,100 sections of path edging for the Guy’s Cliffe Walled Garden project.
Another recipient was the Warwick-based Push Project founded by Daniel Browne, who earlier this month won a Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Award for his work on behalf of young people unsure about their sexuality.
Daniel’s Push Project offers advice to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ) young people and a donation from the 1100 Fund will help to establish a temporary wall at the next Pride event on which they can share their feelings and read the thoughts of others.
Cllr Grainger said: “I will be annoucing my final donations in the next few weeks but do know that more than £15,500 was raised, including £1,100 for Myton Hospice following a successful luncheon held at the town’s Hilton Hotel.
“Then there was a winter dinner event at the castle, a fashion show, Christmas fayre, the Mop Lunch and a concert, plus support from the Rotary, Lions and Court Leet, as well as so many personal donations.”