A Birmingham bingo club which lost its regular home is aiming for a full house now, thanks to a kind couple and a grant for nearly £2000 from IM Properties’ Peddimore Community Fund.
Husband and wife team, Steven and Karen Priestley, who run St Wilfrid’s Community Centre, stepped into save the club and applied for a grant for £1917 to secure its future.
Now the weekly social bingo club has funding for the next 12 months and hopes to encourage the wider community to join in and meet up, to help reduce isolation and loneliness.
Steven Priestley explained: “We’ve been volunteers working at St Wilfrids for seven years, hiring out the hall at weekends to fund events and activities for the local community as part of the Hodge Hill Community Venture. When we heard about the bingo club we said – come here, we’ll sort it.
“It’s important to the old people. They get to visit the centre, have a chat, play bingo and have a brew and a biscuit. Some of them say they don’t know what they’d do without it.
“Others tell us how the bingo keeps their minds active and gets them out of the house, giving them a chance to meet new friends and enjoy new activities even when they are on a low income. It’s really rewarding and working within the community gives us all a real purpose.”
Grants from the Peddimore Community Fund are coordinated by the Heart of England Community Foundation and are available for up to £2000 to local projects and organisations surrounding IM Properties’ Peddimore manufacturing and logistics scheme in Minworth.
Kerry Amory from IM Properties who sits on the funding panels added: “It’s really heart-warming to hear how the grants are helping volunteers within the community make a real difference to people’s lives.
“I saw lots of smiling faces when I went to one of the bingo sessions and the work that Steven and Karen do all for free is just fantastic. They are so welcoming we hope the funding will enable them to attract many more people to the centre.”
Tina Costello, CEO of Heart of England Community Foundation said: “We’re thrilled to be working with IM Properties to deliver the Peddimore Community Fund. Hodge Hill Community Venture is just one example of the massive impact a small grant can have on a grassroots organisation and we can’t wait to support even more.”
The bingo runs from 12.30pm to 3.30pm every Monday, with a range of other activities from a kid’s disco to a computer club also available at the centre. For details visit www.stwilfridscommunitycentre.co.uk
Further information on the grants is available at https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/peddimore-community-fund