Rural community art project on the brink of winter closure is reaping the rewards of grant funding
3rd October 2023
Rural Art Hub, a Shropshire-based community project that provides creative activities, was at risk of closure over the winter until Severn Trent’s Community Fund provided a lifeline.
The hub, which is based in Welshampton and provides free and affordable creative activities for people of all ages, needed to insulate its Mother Shippon studio AND if that didn’t happen, it would have been unsuitable for use during the colder months.
After a grant application to get the work done was submitted to Severn Trent’s Community Fund, £8,467 was awarded in October 2022 and the project is already reaping the rewards.
The hub’s electricity bill was just £176 between December and June but there have been a lot more than just money saving benefits, including making improvements to the space for wheelchair users, building new furniture and installing a sink.
Joseph Schneider, Director at Rural Art Hub, said: “Unless we insulated our Mother Shippon studio we would have had to shut down for the winter. Closing during this time would have been a sad loss for the many people who regularly use our services, often weekly or more, and increasing isolation for our elderly users.
“However, the project has been much more than just having a money saving outcome. We have created a landmark cultural space that is unique to the area and attracts a vast range of participants including many who experience rural isolation, declining mental or physical health and disabilities.”
The hub runs a range of free and affordable creative activities for people of all ages in the community to get involved in. They support skill-building and relieve isolation, helping participants and volunteers gain confidence and improve their wellbeing.
It is also registered for social prescribing and have several established workshops and projects, with free and low-cost options, including a weekly club for children.
Jade Gough, Severn Trent Community Fund Officer, said: “Rural Art Hub and the services it provides are such a wonderful resource for the community. It makes an impact on the lives of such a broad range of people, so to lose it for so many months would have been a huge blow to everyone it supports.
“I am so pleased that our Community Fund was able to provide the funding so that this unique community project could continue to do its fantastic work and support so many people dealing with issues like isolation.”
For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit stwater.co.uk/communityfund.