Grants galore for good Sidmouth causes thanks to town council

Friends of the Byes volunteers young and old gave up their time to make the bee hotel which has won

Friends of the Byes volunteers young and old gave up their time to make the bee hotel which has won a prize. - Credit: Archant

More than £16,000 has been given to 19 different good causes in Sidmouth, the biggest amount of money the town council has ever handed out.

Three of the selected few gave special presentations at the authority’s annual meeting, which was held on Monday (April 15) at St Francis Hall in Woolbrook.

The first talk was given by Norma Self, of the Sidmouth and East Devon Walking Festival - which received a grant of £1,000.

The eight-day event, which is now in its sixth year, will take place between September 21 and 27. It offers a choice of free inland and coastal walks every day and celebrates East Devon’s scenic views. Norma said: “It gets bigger and better every day. We bring in visitors from all over the countryside and we also have had people from as far as Australia and Canada. It really does bring in people from everywhere. We just love showing people our wonderful countryside.”

Louise Cole was the next person to give a presentation on Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub (Seafest 2019) - which received a grant of £750. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 18, and celebrates everything in, on and from the sea. The 2019 Seafest will have a special focus on promoting difference, inclusion, environmentalism and sustainable development through music, art, food, singing, crafts and coastal heritage.

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Louise said: “This will be our sixth Sidmouth Seafest. We run it completely voluntarily.

“Our vision is about connecting people with the coast and to enjoy the sea carefully together. It is about celebrating our coastal location, picking up all the issues around us, in a beautiful environmental location.”

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The last presentation was given by Monica Matthews from the Friends of The Byes (FOTB) - which received a £280 grant.

She said: “This lovely area is quite unique.

“FOTB was set up in 2010 with money from the lottery and the idea was to improve the biodiversity of The Byes to make it an education resource for people in the town and over the years a lot has happened.”

Over the years, FOTB’s work has included planting a community orchid which also now has picnic tables, a herb garden and soft fruit.

Children have also used it to learn about the environment and some have built bug hotels.

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