The awards are organised by Crown Paints, the town’s biggest employer, in conjunction with Darwen Town Council, and seek to give charities and not-for-profit organisations in the local area much-needed funding to help with a wide range of activities, from upgrading facilities to organising community events.
This year, the recipients of the awards included Bold Venture Scout Group, Darwen Heritage Centre, the Darwen branch of the Royal British Legion, elderly care specialist Derwent Hall, Friends of Square Meadow, and Hoddlesden Village Bowling Club.
The £2,000 donation made through the scheme to the Bold Venture Scout Group will go towards a replacement minibus for the group – essential for members to be able to get to events and activities. The minibus is a vital resource for the children in the group, many of whom have parents on supported income or who are asylum seekers, or who have no access to a vehicle.
Both Hoddlesden Bowling Club and Friends of Square Meadow will put their funds towards upgraded facilities: in the case of the bowing club, that means a new fridge for the clubhouse kitchen, and for Friends of Square Meadow, the £725 donation will go towards the building of a new secure garage facility. The garage will allow the group to store equipment safely, freeing up space withing the clubhouse and playing field for sports and activities.
Meanwhile, both the Darwen branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the Darwen Heritage Centre will celebrate the region’s past, with the RBL using the £1,000 award to go towards celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the charity’s Darwen branch in 2021. The Darwen Heritage Centre’s £1,200 grant will support a new exhibition which looks back on ‘A Century of Darwen Weddings’, as well as a Darwen trams exhibition, and ‘100 Years of Darwen Music’.
Lastly, elderly care specialist Derwent Hall will use the £763 donation to help purchase a vital piece of equipment – an Able Assist Adjustable Transfer Aid. The equipment will help those elderly who are capable of moving from a seated to a standing position to maintain their dignity and improve their muscle strength by allowing them to assist their carers in moving them from one room to another.