Community groups to receive thousands in grant funding

There were some very tough choices for the panel selecting the successful applications for this year’s Blue Heart Community Fund, after they received requests for funding almost five times the available budget of £20,750.
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The Blue Heart project, funded by DEFRA, is focused on reducing the impact of flooding and improving community resilience in Eastbourne and southern Wealden.

Their Community Fund is one of the ways they are supporting communities to take action themselves to address the impacts of climate change (including flooding ), protect the environment, and be better prepared for emergencies.

Seven projects were successful:

Tree planting at Ocklynge Junior School with Treebourne.Tree planting at Ocklynge Junior School with Treebourne.
Tree planting at Ocklynge Junior School with Treebourne.
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Printers Playhouse - to develop a flood plan and deliver community engagement activities around flooding.

English in the Community, based at Community Wise - to develop learning resources for ESOL students around water, flooding and emergencies.

Live Wires Youth Club - to create a sustainable, water-friendly garden as part of youth club evening activities.

Polegate and District Model Engineering Club - to manage flooding on their site in Wealden by planting water-loving shrubs and trees.

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Eastbourne Seniors Forumto host anOlder People’s Day event and create opportunities to help potentially vulnerable older people be prepared for flooding and other emergencies.

The Trees Community Association - to support volunteer involvement and family activities relating to their toddler allotment at Willingdon Trees Community Centre.

Treebourne - to continue their school-focussed planting of native trees and wild flowers to support biodiversity, provide shade in the summer, and help manage surface water flooding.

Blue Heart Project Manager for East Sussex County Council, Anna Hastings, said: “I’m very pleased to announce this year’s successful applicants. All these projects will help reduce the impact of climate change, like flash flooding, encourage greater awareness across generations, and build more resilient communities. I can’t wait to see how these projects progress and make an impact."

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A spokesperson from Printers Playhouse added: “The funding from Blue Heart will help us to both ensure our venue is prepared and protected from the risks of future flooding, as well as engaging our creative groups in an awareness and engagement creative project responding to the theme of ‘Modern Flood Myths’.”

The Blue Heart project is exploring innovative ways to predict and mitigate the impact of flooding in Eastbourne and southern Wealden, bringing benefit to local people, businesses and the environment. For more information about Blue Heart and to find out how you can get involved, visit: www.blueheart.org.uk