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Young Enterprise helps make Stratford a Million Times Better

A GROW-your-own scheme and a dementia respite hotel are among ideas looking to make Stratford a million times better.

Stratford Town Trust launched its Million Pound Challenge – offering a share of a £1 million pot to schemes aimed at providing a lasting legacy for the town – at the start of the year, and received over 70 applications, which have now been whittled down to a final 11.

They include:

Stratford Growing Together (Transition Stratford) – To set up an inclusive community food-growing scheme in or near Stratford, on around ten acres of land.

Stratford Athletics Track Community Centre (Stratford Athletics Club) – To build and develop a community centre at the athletics track at Stratford School for use by the club, local schools and local clubs and organisations

A 48 hour respite hotel for dementia (Springfield Mind) – To develop a new centre in Stratford, offering high quality respite facilities, at affordable costs.

Stratford cycling facility (Stratford Cycling Club) – To design, build and manage a purpose-made cycling facility behind Stratford Leisure Centre, providing opportunities for healthy activities for people of all ages and abilities.

Supporting the Town Together (Stratford Samaritans) – To provide a suitably equipped central charities hub, operating from a single location in the town centre and offering a wide range of support to vulnerable members of the community.

Stratford Schools Community Young Enterprise HQ: a Million Opportunities (Stratford Schools Cluster Project) – To create a site for pop-up shops and young enterprise initiatives where pupils can gain knowledge about setting-up and running business ventures from local business experts.

Stepping Forwards (Heart of England Mencap) – To provide a new comprehensive support service for young people with learning difficulties.

Escape Slaughter House Arts and Heritage Centre (Escape Community Arts) – To renovate and restore the old Slaughter House in central Stratford, transforming it into an urban gallery and heritage arts centre, celebrating the site’s history.

Community Kitchen (Emma Bond) – To establish a community “kitchen” providing nourishment in the form of knowledge and which empowers the community through skills sharing.

Stratford Community Space (Josefa MacKinnon) – To create a community enterprise – complete with kitsch 50’s style pantry café – echoing the days when all families ate together and the kitchen was the heart of the home.

In Harmony Stratford (Orchestra of the Swan) – To add significant value to Stratford’s schools’ music provision by using music to bring positive change to children, parents and carers.

Stratford Town Trust Chief Executive Helen Munro said: “We were very impressed with the variety of the 70 ideas that came forward for consideration. It was not easy to select which ones to take forward into the next stage of the £1 million challenge.

“However, we have made our decision, and over the next few months we will be working closely will the chosen groups and individuals to develop their ideas into detailed applications.

“From young families to the elderly, from those active in the arts to active on their bikes, we can really get cracking on helping these groups turn an idea into a detailed bid.”

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