Stortford MP Julie Marson MP celebrates donation to local charity

Charity / Fri 23rd Jun 2023 at 02:50pm

BISHOP’S Stortford-based charity, Grove Cottage, is set to benefit from a £50,000 donation from the London Stansted Airport Community Fund.

The flagship grant is the first since the Fund relaunched earlier this year and forms part of the £150,000 it will hand out to local charities and groups annually.

Grove Cottage, which helps people with learning disabilities of all ages, is rebuilding its ageing headquarters into a purpose-built facility.

The charity will use the £50,000 to purchase and install solar panels to generate electricity and a heat pump to provide heating and hot water.

This will result in long-term benefits for the centre and its patrons as well as reducing its carbon footprint and energy costs.

With the help of special guest Julie Marson MP and Community Fund representatives, the airport’s Managing Director, Gareth Powell, presented a cheque to the centre on Friday, June 16.

Gareth Powell, London Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, said:

“We are very proud to be part of the local community and delighted that the Community Fund is another way our neighbours can share in our success.

“It is an absolute pleasure to hand over the Fund’s first flagship award of £50,000 to Grove Cottage and I look forward to handing out many more grants like this to other wonderful local charities and community groups in the future.”

Speaking at the event, MP for Hertford and Stortford, Julie Marson, said:

“I welcome this donation made to Grove Cottage by the London Stansted Airport Community Fund.

“This charity does tremendous work providing a range of services and educational activities for people with learning disabilities and their families.

“The generous donation will help with their project to create a modern, environmentally friendly new building that will serve the needs of its members for many years to come.”

Garry Le Count, Chair of the London Stansted Community Fund, said:

“We are thrilled to announce Grove Cottage as the first community flagship award winner.

“Aside from their amazing work supporting people with learning disabilities, their application showed their commitment to preserving the environment with solar panels and a heat pump planned for their new headquarters, which the fund strongly supports.

“This wonderful project deserves our support, and we hope our donation will make a difference.”

He added:

“We have been blown away by the many wonderful responses to this initiative and look forward to judging many more applications in the coming months and years.

“We encourage organisations and charities who were not successful this time to reapply for the flagship award as you may be successful next time around.”

Kevin Davis, Chair of Trustees at Grove Cottage, said:

“Grove Cottage has been established for nearly 60 years serving the community in and around Bishops Stortford providing valuable services to our members and their families who have learning disabilities.

“We are embarking upon an ambitious plan to build a new bespoke centre here in London Road which will allow us to increase both the quantity and quality of provision hopefully for another 60 years.

“The sustainability of our services will be complimented by the unique and sustainable design of the new ‘Grove Cottage’.

“We are enormously grateful to the Stansted Airport Community Fund for the grant of £50,000 which will help us to install solar panels and an air source heat pump in the new building.”

London Stansted Community Fund’s judging panel reviewed a wide range of bids before selecting Grove Cottage as the winner.

It was important that the successful project demonstrated a link between community life, leisure activities, the environment and conservation, and bring lasting benefits to the communities surrounding the airport.

Over the next decade, the airport will contribute £1.5 million to the Fund, which will be topped up from fines levied against airlines who violate noise regulations.

Local charities and community groups can apply for grants of up to £5,000, with a flagship award of up to £50,000 being presented annually.

The fund has been operating since 2005 and is part of a section 106 planning requirement.

It has awarded over £1 million pounds worth of grants to hundreds of organisations within a 10-mile radius of the airport.

Following the airport’s successful planning application to serve up to 43 million passengers a year, it was relaunched in January 2023 to reinforce its ties and provide further support to the local community.

Both the Flagship award and the Community Award will re-open for applications on July 3, For more information visit https://www.stanstedairport.com/community/community-support/community-funds/ or email [email protected].

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