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Three local charities win 100,000 at Pitch to the Panel 2019

Following months of promoting their projects and pitch rehearsals, Greenham Trust’s six shortlisted Pitch to the Panel finalists took to the stage on Wednesday 8 May for the event finale, in the hope of winning £100,000. After a tense interval, the panel of judges awarded three projects a share of the funding that will have significant impact on many.



As well as raising awareness, Pitch to the Panel celebrates the inspiring work carried out by those in our local community and gives charitable causes a rare opportunity to access £100,000 of funding. As well as raising awareness, Pitch to the Panel celebrates the inspiring work carried out by those in our local community and gives charitable causes a rare opportunity to access £100,000 of funding.As well as raising awareness, Pitch to the Panel celebrates the inspiring work carried out by those in our local community and gives charitable causes a rare opportunity to access £100,000 of funding. As well as raising awareness, Pitch to the Panel celebrates the inspiring work carried out by those in our local community and gives charitable causes a rare opportunity to access £100,000 of funding.


Roland Gardner, chief executive of Newbury Building Society was amongst this year’s panel of ‘dragons’ as well as Dr Abid Irfan, Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group chair and locality lead (Newbury and District); Gerry Lejeune, chief executive, Berkshire Community Foundation and Jayne Woodley, chief executive, Oxfordshire Community Foundation.


Friends of Castle School received £30,000 for its all-weather outdoor sports track for children with complex learning difficulties.



Headteacher, Jon Hewitt said: “We are absolutely thrilled that we were successful pitching to the panel for funding. The track will not only benefit the children at our school, but also children in our wider community too and so we’re keen to see the sports track in action as soon as possible. It will make such a difference to our pupils; we will be able to introduce the Daily Mile initiative and provide a safe space for children to learn cycling skills. This event has surpassed our expectations and has meant that this life-changing project, has now moved from a possibility to a reality. A huge thank you to Greenham Trust."



Age Concern Newbury & District (Fair Close Centre) were also awarded £30,000 towards the lease and costs of a driver for a new minibus. Josie Reed, chair commented, “We are really thrilled to have been awarded £30,000 by Greenham Trust at Pitch to the Panel 2019.


It was a nail-biting affair and the competition was hot, so we are very happy to share the funding with two other great charities. The money will enable us to lease a new minibus so we can extend our reach into rural areas and give lonely senior citizens the chance to enjoy all the facilities The Fair Close Centre provides.”


West Berkshire League of Friends received £40,000 towards a new portable liver scanner for the Community Hospital that will allow assessment of patients who are at risk of liver cirrhosis. Stuart Stephens said, “Pitch the Panel has helped to raise the profile of our charity and reach new audiences via social media. It also offers a unique opportunity to access substantial funds that would otherwise take a very long time to fundraise independently. We can now buy an urgently needed liver scanning machine, benefitting the local community and possibly saving lives. We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received and would like to thank everyone who voted for us.”


As the judges deliberated on the successful finalists, the audience were treated to live music from vocalist Nicole Johnson. During the evening, Greenham Trust’s golden ticket also made its debut where a member of the audience won £5,000 to donate to a project of their choice within Greenham Trust’s area of operation on The Good Exchange.


Chris Boulton, chief executive for Greenham Trust said: “We are thrilled for the three winning projects, the dragons had a really tough decision this year as all the projects were extremely deserving of the funding.”


If you would like to find out more about Greenham Trust’s funding schemes and how to apply for support, visit www.greenhamtrust.com/our-funding/.

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