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On November 14 the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme, in which we award small pots of up to £500 and £2000 to local groups and individuals, will reopen for applications. In this blog series, Charlotte Tomlinson sits down with successful grantees from the last round of funding, to share their experiences, highlights, and top tips on applying for round two. Here she chats to Keith Thompson, who delivered a Community Grant project in 2022.

First things first – tell us a bit about you and your organisation.

My Name is Keith Thompson, Chairperson of the charity Norland Crew CIO. Our charity cares for veterans in our city of Kingston upon Hull.

Great! And what did you do for your community grant project?

Celebrating the Falklands 40th anniversary for the Hull Task Force, we contacted ScrapStore to help us put an event together using the community grant, for the children, which would be educational, creative and fun, on a Falkland's theme of the wildlife and the Falkland's children.

That sounds like loads of fun. What impact did your activity have for members of our local communities?

It was a major event in the centre of the city, at Queens Gardens and Ferens Art Gallery, and ScrapStore had two more events added in Queens Gardens - one marquee for children's face painting and another marquee for a children's artwork shop. We used Falkland's themes, for example two hundred and fifty-five balloons were used for the children to work with, each balloon representing a fallen loved one from the conflict. This was escalated by two robots turning up to support the event, which the children loved.

The event made a huge impact to the Hull community, children know more about the wildlife, about the Falklands, and children's lives in the Falklands. And a better acknowledgement to the Hull Merchant Navy Task Force 82 too.

Brilliant. Can you tell us about one highlight of the project/activity/event?

To see families enjoying the events, watching balloons pass by with penguins and other decorations on the balloons. Children running about with the robots and the event full of laughter, this was so well received by the armed forces and veterans.

Sounds great, very heart-warming and moving. More hopeful groups and individuals will be applying to our Community Grant Scheme again this November. What one tip can you give them for applying?

If you want to do a project, think how it will help your community and your group. Put your ideas to the group and look at events which haven't been done yet. Be creative and show how this project will benefit others in your community.

I wish you all good luck with your projects and success.

Keith Thompson MNM

Thanks for chatting to us Keith and sharing your experiences of Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme.

Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme reopens on November 14 and applications will be accepted until Friday 6 January.

To find out more and to apply for the scheme, click here. For more top tips for applying, see this blog post.