Tuesday, 01 December 2020

But voluntary and community groups could get pay-out

HENLEY Town Council is set to give more than £8,000 in grants to community groups and charities, writes Connor McLoughlin.

Riverside Counselling Service, based at the Friends Meetings House in Northfield End, was recommended to get £5,000 a year for the next three years.

Hilary Arthur and Teresa Johnstone, who work for the charity, said it had more than 40 volunteer counsellors and helped about 80 young people a month.

The charity provides affordable counselling and psychotherapy to adults and young people in Henley and Wallingford and is expanding its services to Didcot and Berinsfield with the help of a grant from South Oxfordshire District Council.

The committee also agreed to work with Laura Reineke, of Berkshire Road, Henley, to award a grant to Henley Music School, which she runs.

She had applied for £10,000 for the next three years but the committee deferred the decision as they want more information. 

Mrs Reineke founded the school in 2010 and it provides music education to children regardless of age, ability, background or means. It loans instruments for free, provides group coaching and curriculum support to schools and gives bursaries, ranging from 20 per cent to 100 per cent. It costs about £50,000 a year to run. 

Be Free Young Carers, which supports young carers across Oxfordshire, is set to receive £3,000 over the next three years. This will fund the charity’s work to help with training and respite trips for young people.

Community groups that are in line for funding are as follows: Henley U3A (£300), Henley Choral Society (£500), Aliquando choir (£300) and the Henley Air Cadets (£500). The committee also recommended to give more than £1,200 worth of free use of council buildings to Henley Rotary Club, Chiltern Arts and Jeux D’Esprit, a light and sound production charity. 

Henley Fire Station, in West Street, had applied for £2,000 to pay for fitness equipment but the committee turned this down. It said it should ask Oxfordshire County Council, which funds the fire service.

A final decision on all the grants will be made at the full town council meeting on October 10.

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