Round Table bid to give away thousands of pounds

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GENEROUS Hucknall Round Table has launched a renewed search for community groups and projects that desperately need a financial boost during the tough economic climate.

The town’s Round Table has forged a strong reputation for backing charities and local good causes in recent years and now wants to hear from deserving organisations that need support.

Already this year, it has presented a cheque for £578 to the SkillForce educational charity, which is currently working with 14 teenagers at Holgate Comprehensive School in Hucknall.

SkillForce, which is based in Edwinstowe, predominantly employs ex-service personnel to work with hard-to-reach young people. It inspires them through learning in the classroom and outdoor activities.

In total, Hucknall Round Table (HRT) has more than £10,000 to give away, including the remainder of the £4,100 it collected during its annual Santa’s Sleigh initiative in the run-up to last Christmas.

Lee Freeley is the current vice-chairman of HRT and will take the helm as chairman in April.

He says that offering funding to groups is part of a “vision for the coming year to raise the public and community profile” of the organisation and to “make a telling difference”.

Ash Ankrett, who is in charge of public relations for HRT, says all local organisations are invited to bid for funding. All applications would be judged on their merits.

Other projects supported by HRT recently include the charity Shine, which works with Nottinghamshire families of those with spina bifida (£578); Children Today, which provides equipment for disabled youngsters (£578); and the 504 (County Of Nottingham) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force towards a memorial in Hucknall (£1,000).

Any groups interested in applying for funding can do so by logging on at www.hucknallroundtable.co.uk.

HRT is also planning a sponsored rally challenge to the world-famous Nurburgring in Germany in June.

Money raised from this will go towards refurbishing the family unit at the adult intensive care unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

A ‘swap shop’ will also be launched whereby a simple item will be swapped for more valuable items throughout the year in a bid to earn more cash that can be handed out to worthy causes.

Members of HRT are determined to make 2012/13 one of its most successful years since it was formed in 1957.

Based on an ethos of fun and fellowship, the group meets every other week and organises activities and outings. Its main base is Bestwood Lodge Hotel at Arnold.

Although Santa’s Sleigh is its main fundraising initiative, the group also backs the BBC TV Children In Need appeal and last year raised £2,500 for that cause.