I just learned that Herne Bay has council funded reindeer.
Each area of Canterbury City Council has an Area Member Panel (AMP) Opportunity Fund. This allows councillors to give small grants to groups and individuals who come up with a plan to help their community or improve their town.
So someone in Herne Bay applied to the Herne Bay councillors to put reindeer at the end of the pier for Christmas. I think this is a mad, but lovely idea! It will give children in Herne Bay far more pleasure than the regular lights and tree. In fact I know I’ll be visiting Herne Bay with my kids to meet those pier reindeer.
Two years ago I applied to Whitstable councillors and received a grant from the WAMP opportunities fund. I wanted to put on a community event, I had plenty of ideas, a few people who would help, but no money. The councillors said yes and this meant the Museum of Fun was born.
I had never applied for a grant before in my life, but this was a simple one page application, and the councillors understand what I was attempting to do. So, if you live in Whitstable and have a seed of an idea I would urge you to put in an application to the Opportunity Fund.
It is a perfect opportunity for a few friends to get together and try to make a small difference. Maybe a Mums group needs new toys for its members? Or a street want to get together and create a shared vegetable garden? Or a group would like to put on a free show for their community..? There are very few rules and you can apply for as little as £50.
I’m sure the councillors would welcome new faces applying, and appreciate people who haven’t been much involved with community things applying for cash to try to start something up.
In its first year Museum of Fun was funded by WAMP, in its second year it was funded entirely by sponsorship and fundraisers. More that 50 amazing volunteers got involved to create a great event for our town. I will always be grateful to WAMP for getting this project off the ground, it’s grown into something I’m very proud of.
You can find the very simple WAMP application here, I’d be happy to advise if anyone has questions, or needs help filling in the form, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Spread the word, because I know Whitstable people are creative and care about their town.
Herne Bay has council funded reindeer, so what can Whitstable do?!