COMMUNITIES have been given a helping hand to enjoy the outdoors thanks to donations from a housing company to support their projects.

Funding was secured through Magna Housing Association’s Community Initiative Fund (CIF) so green-fingered residents at Broken Cross in Charminster could buy a new shed and people at Knapwater, Lower Bockhampton, could install a new communal patio area and bench.

The shed at Broken Cross allows somewhere for residents to store their tools.

Magna community investment officer Ken Bodycombe said: “Residents at Broken Cross had started a gardening club to care for their garden and wanted a shed to provide somewhere safe and dry to store their tools.

“We granted the funding and now have a happy group of gardeners.”

He added: “The CIF allocates £120,000 a year to things that will improve the areas where residents live.

“Anyone can ask for money from the fund if they think it will help Magna residents. “A group of our residents meets once a month and agrees which projects to support. “It doesn’t matter who put the project forward, what matters is it makes a difference to the places in which people live.”

Betty Scott, a resident at Broken Cross, said: “Before we had the shed, we had to leave our equipment outside, or store it in our homes somewhere.

“Now it’s much easier to access our tools and it keeps our homes tidier too.”

Meanwhile, residents at Lower Bockhampton are getting out and enjoying the sunshine thanks to funding for their new patio.

Doris Easter and Joyce Allison, residents at Knapwater, have been busy planting flowers in pots to decorate the new patio space.

Doris said: “We live in a very quiet and peaceful area and it’s lovely to be able to sit out here and enjoy it.”

Joyce said: “The patio is here for all the residents to use.”

If your community has an idea for a project or an area that could be improved, it may qualify for CIF funding. To find out more and get an application form, contact Ken Bodycombe, community investment officer at Magna, on 01305 216095 or email