Ribble Valley-based community group the Gazegill Education Project is celebrating after discovering it is one of Skipton Building Society’s Big 160 award winners.
The project, based at Gazegill Organics in Rimington, has won a £500 grant from the building society, awarded as part of its 160th birthday celebrations.
To mark the special anniversary the building society decided to give away 160 cash prizes of £500 to good causes nationwide, first seeking nominations and then asking the public to vote for their favourites online.
The Gazegill project, together with the other winners in the Grassroots Giving initiative, beat off tough competition from more than 1,000 applicants across the country.
The Gazegill Education Project provides education and employment skills to schools and adults with learning difficulties in the community. The group’s volunteers offer workplace experience and training at the Rimington farm. Members develop essential life and employability skills through working there.
Currently, the group is hoping to begin a new project, allowing school children to visit the farm and take part in the training.
Ian O’Reilly, of Gazegill Organics, said: “The local community would benefit from schools in a wide catchment being given the opportunity to visit the project and farm, free of charge, and a number of individuals would benefit from learning the life skills under our care farm umbrella. This funding has come at a really excellent time, giving us the opportunity to do this.”
David Cutter, Skipton’s group chief executive said: “Everyone at Skipton Building Society has thoroughly enjoyed running this programme, which has brought out of the woodwork so many hard working local community groups, which we would never otherwise have known of. It is these kind of groups that make communities and neighbourhoods stronger, and we’re delighted to have been able to showcase some of the unsung heroes across the UK who are really going the extra mile to make life better for everyone.”