Four charities in running for a Gannett grant

Dorset Echo: HOPEFUL: Jenny Savage and Westfield pupils with their playground HOPEFUL: Jenny Savage and Westfield pupils with their playground

THE Dorset Echo shortlisted charities for the Gannett Foundation Grant have been revealed.

Four local charities have been shortlisted for a grant from the charitable arm of the US media firm Gannett, owner of Newsquest media and publisher of the Dorset Echo.

Last year, charities Weymouth Rowing Club, the Friends of the MV Freedom and Allsorts pre-school and clubs all benefitted from a Gannett grant, receiving thousands of pounds towards their ongoing good works.

This year the shortlisted charities are the Jurassic Coast Trust, Westfield Arts College, Portland Gig Rowing Club and SafeWise, which is based at Weymouth Community Fire Station.

School business manager for Westfield Jenny Savage said the staff and students were excited to be one of the shortlisted charities.

The school wants to put grant money towards enriching the playground environment and making playtime more exciting for the children.

At present, Mrs Savage said, the area was very boring.

She said: “It’s brilliant news, we are really excited and pleased to be put through. We hope we will be successful, it will make such a difference to our children.”

Portland Gig Rowing Club formed in 2009 and has been fundraising for a new wooden gig so members can compete.

The club wants to buy new oars and fittings including a radio and seat covers for the boat with the grant.

Alyson Brinsley from the club said: “It’s fantastic news – brilliant.

“We are lucky to have been able to fundraise for a new boat but we need the bits that go in it. We can’t row it without oars.”

SafeWise, at Weymouth Comm-unity Fire Station, aims to educate people about being ‘fire wise’.

Money received will be used to buy a new projector and interactive white board to help with teaching.

Andy Fowler, Weymouth Comm-unity Safety Centre co-ordinator, said: “We are really pleased. If we are successful in receiving some grant money it will go towards enhancing the teaching facilities for children and adults and making them safer in the home.”

The final charity shortlisted for the Gannett Grant is the Jurassic Coast Trust. It wants to create 10 fossil boxes to take into schools throughout Dorset to educate youngsters about the Jurassic Coast.

The four charities will now be looked at by a panel of judges and the nominations for the awards will take place on Wednesday.

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