The Tower Fund, set up by Tower Colliery and Hargreaves Services in February 2012, has offered part-time employment to one of its grant team volunteers, to help process and manage the huge demand in applications for grants.
James Gough, 28, from Aberdare originally joined The Tower Fund as a volunteer in 2013. In July 2015 he was appointed as Grant Administrator and will work 16 hours per week.
The newly created role involves all administration duties for the fund and the projects that the team deals with. James is also tasked with training new volunteers on the Tower Fund volunteer programme, project work and community work.
James is managed by Tower Fund and RCT Homes Grant Manager, Hayley Teague. Hayley also manages RCT Homes’ own grants – Community Chest and EEIP.
For every tonne of coal produced through the open cast mining at Tower Colliery, 44p is put into the fund, which is then spent in the communities of Hirwaun, Penderyn, Penywaun and Rhigos. There is also a smaller pot called The Common Fund, which is available to groups operating in South Wales for projects that will benefit the community.
The Tower Fund is administered by Meadow Prospect, the charity set up by housing organisation RCT Homes and has helped fund and support over 140 projects.
Nearly £350,000 has been paid out to projects by the fund itself and, with match funding from business opportunities of over £680,000, an estimated total value of over £1 million has been spent on community benefit projects in these areas.
James said “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity for paid work in the job I really enjoyed as a volunteer. Hayley’s encouragement has really helped me turn my voluntary work into paid work and I’m looking forward to working closely with her”.
Hayley Teague said: “I’m very pleased that James has joined The Tower Fund on a permanent basis, having already supported us on a voluntary basis. His commitment to and enthusiasm for the project has been magnificent and he has already helped many groups and individuals turn their ideas into reality”.
In July 2015 The Tower Fund was recognised and rewarded at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s ‘Love Where You Live Awards’. The project picked up the ‘Best Environmental Partnership Initiative’ award and was highly commended in the ‘Community Environmental Champion’ category for its outstanding volunteer work within the community.
The Tower Fund Volunteer Scheme is a 6-week programme that consists of work experience with the Tower Fund and RCT Homes’ grants team, where participants can learn administration, investigation and research skills.
The Tower Fund Volunteers have supported over two hundred projects within Rhondda Cynon Taf. The scheme helps get more people into work and has a 95% success rate of getting volunteers into paid work.
The Tower Fund is currently recruiting new volunteers on the Tower Fund Volunteer programme. For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any groups in Hirwaun, Penderyn, Penywaun and Rhigos can apply for a grant from the Tower Fund and grants are available to support all sorts of community projects of any size – from social enterprises and ‘green’ energy schemes to training opportunities and youth projects and much more.
For further information about The Tower Fund go to: http://www.towerfund.co.uk