Golden Hill community voted into final stage of £25,000 grant contest

December 20 2016

All fingers are crossed for Golden Hill Sports and Social Club who have been selected as finalists in this year’s Aviva Community Fund.

golden hill vote

All fingers are crossed for Golden Hill Sports and Social Club who have been selected as finalists in this year’s Aviva Community Fund. 

The community group have been getting their friends, family and colleagues to vote for them to win a £25,000 award and clocked up a magnificent tally of 26,589 votes.

The Golden Hill committee were clearly delighted at the news commenting: “We all have every right to be proud of what’s been achieved - regardless of what the judges ultimately determine, we have demonstrated categorically that as a community we more than care and are prepared to come together and give it our all.

“Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to vote for our project and who also persuaded your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. Little old GHS has taken on and beaten multi-million pound entities with huge social media networks and massive databases. And it’s also worth noting that the best-performing project last year amassed around 13,000 votes – we doubled that.”

Golden Hill’s plans will be judged by the Aviva panel and the winning project will be announced on January 10.

Committee member Chris Drew said: “Since 2007 when the charity was formed the priority of our fundraising efforts has been to repay the loan we took out to complete the purchase of the sports ground. 

“The pavilion at the ground is 50 years old and now in real need of upgrading and this is the next project for which we aim to raise funds once the loan is paid off. 

'Winning the Aviva award would allow us to get this work off to a flying start by refurbishing the balcony to the benefit of everyone that uses and visits the ground to play sport and attend community events.”

In 2006 Golden Hill Playing Fields almost fell into the hands of developers. The reason they didn't was because the local community rallied round and battled hard to preserve this valuable recreational space.

The community has backed this success up with its regular use of the facilities by young and old at social events and the annual Party in the Park, and the activities on offer range from cricket and football to bridge clubs and arts and crafts. The facility serves a catchment of 25,000 people, and between 8,000-10,000 have passed through the gates this year alone.

While the focus has been on servicing very significant loan repayment commitments over this period, it has left minimal funds for general maintenance and refurbishment of the facilities. In particular, the clubhouse balcony has fallen into disrepair such that it is now actually dangerous and deemed unfit for use. The balcony also serves as the clubhouse fire exit route, so this represents a serious and immediate threat to the progress and development of the facility and all its activities.

The upper-level kitchen, bar and community room areas are all currently compromised by the unfit state of the balcony, and future plans for indoor-based activities such as 'Parent & Toddler' groups are on hold until the area is made secure.

Aviva funding for a replacement balcony would instantly have a huge and lasting impact - it would immediately reinvigorate the facility and would make it safe again for everyone.