THE LOCAL FUND distributes £55,340 to 23 community groups across the Harrogate district

Supporting local people and communities

THE LOCAL FUND for the Harrogate District recently funded 23 charitable community organisations to enable them to continue to support local people all over the Harrogate district, with over £55,000 distributed.

Focusing on small organisations making a big difference, the grants will help older people have activities they enjoy, provide support and care for people in rural locations, address loneliness and isolation throughout the region and improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living in poverty.

Group of people in front of some trees

Lifeline in Harrogate are for their fortnightly lunch club which is an integral part of their charity, and has been since they were formed 10 years ago. Lifeline work with people experiencing homelessness and those who are vulnerably housed, providing supported accommodation in six 3-bedroomed houses in Harrogate.

The lunch club is open to current residents but is also attended by former residents who have moved onto independent living and employment and can therefore provide inspiration to those who may be struggling. Sharing food together and a game of pool, in a relaxed atmosphere enables some of the town’s most vulnerable people to discuss things they might otherwise feel they have to keep to themselves.

Group people having lunch around a table

Boroughbridge and District Community Care are using their £3,000 of funding to train befriending volunteers giving them the knowledge, skills and aptitude to befriend members of their community who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation. Some of those being befriended may be living with dementia, disabilities or experiencing a bereavement.

Jennyruth Workshops are buying branded t-shirts and fleeces so that their new workers with learning difficulties can represent the workshops when they are out and about and feel proud to do so.

Knaresborough Museum Association are funding information boards so they can ‘take the museum’ to people unable to visit the museum themselves. They are going to be doing community outreach in care homes, libraries and community centres taking different aspects of Knaresborough’s history, geology and archaeology out to the community.

This will extend their geographical reach while enabling people with access issues to learn more about their area’s unique heritage. At sheltered accommodation and residential homes they use the boards to spark memories and conversation and encourage social interaction amongst the most vulnerable and isolated. The project aims to encourage community engagement and to get people talking about their local heritage and sharing experiences. It will reduce social isolation and encourage community networking.

Open Country is using their funding for an allotment project where members get the opportunity to meet with a group of their peers in a safe and pleasant outdoor venue. Here they can learn new skills and benefit from being outdoors and can experience gardening in a safe environment and learn how to grow their own food – and enjoy cooking and eating it. They will also learn about wildlife through bird boxes, bat boxes, wildlife ponds, a minibeast hotel and a hedgehog house. The allotment site is an ideal venue for people living with poor mental health due to its peace and tranquillity, whilst still being part of the community.

Two people painting in an allotment

Taking Baby Steps are using their funding to pilot community drop-ins and peer support meetings in rural areas for parents experiencing pregnancy loss, baby loss and mental health problems associated with it. They hope that women and their partners will feel better supported knowing they have access to specialist, unbiased support which in turn will assist with overall emotional wellbeing and a more timely return to the workplace after sickness absence.

Sometime the funding from THE LOCAL FUND goes towards simple and practical things that have a lasting legacy. Village Voices in Killinghall are buying a keyboard and accessories with their grant to keep the village choir running for years to come.

Celia McKeon, Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said:

“Once again, a massive thank you to the council, and local businesses and individuals who generously donate to THE LOCAL FUND and everyone that plays THE LOCAL LOTTO to make the grant-making possible.

We are delighted that 23 small community groups benefit, because we know they make a huge impact on the wellbeing of local people all over the district.

This round of funding has been really interesting and far reaching, distributing grants to address rural isolation alongside activities and support in the local towns.

There is always room for new donors to get involved in THE LOCAL FUND and there is still the opportunity to match fund at THE LOCAL FUND, essentially doubling your giving.

If local people and businesses want their charitable giving to benefit the communities they live in, investing in THE LOCAL FUND is a great option.”

Katherine Odom the Grants Coordinator at Two Ridings, said:

“I love reading through all the applications we receive and preparing all the paperwork to give the panel a real insight into who requires funding. It’s always interesting going to a panel meeting and hearing how local people make decisions on what would work best for their local area.

We were delighted to be generously hosted by Ripon Walled Garden on this occasion and want to thank them very much for that.”

THE LOCAL FUND for the Harrogate District has been running since 2017 funding local community groups and charities across the district to improve the lives of local people. It is supported by a partnership of North Yorkshire Council, Harrogate & District Community Action and Two Ridings Community Foundation.

Even with changes to local government boundaries in 2023, THE LOCAL FUND is part of a legacy from Harrogate Borough Council and will continue always for the benefit of local people in the Harrogate District area.

As well as being a great fundraising opportunity for voluntary groups in the Harrogate district, THE LOCAL LOTTO also directly contributes to THE LOCAL FUND, with at least 10p from every ticket sale adding to the funds available and hence contributing towards a thriving community sector.

Applications for THE LOCAL FUND are currently closed, but to find out more about the fund and the grants made please visit


Groups supported by THE LOCAL FUND for the Harrogate District– September 2023

Community Group Project Description

Amount Awarded
Boroughbridge and District Community care Funding towards staff and room hire to train befriending volunteers for people experiencing bereavement, or living with dementia or disabilities, for recently recruited, existing and to-be recruited volunteers.


Lifeline Harrogate Funding for food and room hire for fortnightly lunch club, to support current and former residents of supported accommodation.

Knaresborough Museum Association Funding towards travel, overheads, and display stands to take displays to sheltered accommodation and residential homes to engage those who would not otherwise be able to visit the museum.

Ripon Disability Forum Funding to set up a website, particularly to create an interactive route mapping tool, that people with disabilities can design their own travel routes into and around Ripon and the surrounding area.

Taking Baby Steps CIC Funding for staff, travel expenses and sundries to be able to run community drop in groups as a pilot in rural areas, for parents facing pregnancy loss, baby loss, or peri- and post- natal mental health problems in more rural areas of the Harrogate district.

Harrogate & District Community Action Funding towards staff and room hire to support befriending and signposting services for older members of the community, particularly the weekly club and where some clients have more complex needs.

Open Country Funding for staff, volunteers, accessible minibus, and allotment rent to ensure members can access mixed gardening and outdoor activities for those with disabilities or with poor mental health.

The Wellness Gateway CIC Funding towards staffing, to set up trial Wellness Hub to offer mental health support and signposting in Ripon and surrounding areas.

Village Voices Killinghall Funding for keyboard and accessories to be able to keep rurally isolated village choir running for years to come.

Pinewoods Conservation Group Funding towards tools and PPE to create a new volunteer group to care for the woodland and to support volunteer’s health and wellbeing.

Wellspring Therapy & Training Funding towards volunteer travel expenses, to be able to offer more counselling sessions and reduce waiting times for people to support people with poor mental health, experiencing family problems and more.

Harlow Hill Community Centre Association Funding towards new doors to improve the carbon footprint and look of community building.

Knot Another Choir CIO Funding towards staging for local inclusive community choir, which will also raise income for the group by being hired out to other community groups.

Darley Playing Field Association (DPFA) Funding towards outdoor play equipment for children in rurally isolated village.

Samaritans of Harrogate and District Funding towards volunteer expenses, operational costs and overheads for organisation seeking to reduce the number of people dying by suicide.

Jenny Ruth Workshops Limited Funding towards Jennryruth branded t-shirts and fleeces to provide new workers with learning disabilities pride in their work, and being able to represent the organisation at events.

Dancing for Well Being Funding towards operational costs, including a Dance Movement Therapist, for a trial series of sessions to support those who care for family members with dementia, to support carer’s own needs.

Living Potential Care Farming Funding for tools, raised beds, compost and seeds to start therapeutic sessions in the walled garden for people living with mental health difficulties.

Claro Enterprises Funding towards staff, insurance and utilities to run community workshop to support people with mental health difficulties to improve their health and wellbeing.

Low Harrogate Crown Green Bowling Club Funding to buy bowls and equipment which will make the club more inclusive and to review the irrigation system.

Dales and Bowland CIC Funding towards running rural bus service on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Badapple Theatre Company Funding towards staff, hall hire, DBS checks and training to run youth session in the rural area of the Ure Valley, and to enable them to earn a recognised award.

Masham Community Office Funding towards final small shortfall to purchase the organisation’s premises to secure it as a community asset.

23 groups supported TOTAL distributed £55,340