The Trust is pleased to provide support for a wide range of charitable projects and organisations in Hythe, New Romney and other parts of the Romney Marsh.
Arts, Creativity, Events and Festivals
The landscapes and buildings in the area provide both the inspiration and locations for creative work and performances. Organisations supported by the Trust include IMOS Foundation, a charitable organisation set up in 2013 by Briony Kapoor to commission and install artworks in New Romney and nearby villages. The artworks are often inspired by local influences or respond to places and people of the Romney Marsh and activity associated with them. RDHCT has supported projects that led to installation of murals in various locations in and around New Romney, the creation of a Marsh tapestry, portraits representing the various nations of Europe and the establishing of an art park on the site of Hope All Saints which is set in an isolated location near Ivychurch and Old Romney. You can find out more about this project at http://imosfoundation.org/imosinaction.html
JAM on the Marsh began in 2013, bringing a new festival of music, dramatic art, exhibitions and poetry to audiences across the Marsh, from Hythe to Lydd. The aim was to celebrate the artistic output of the creative community of the area whilst introducing performances by celebrated visiting performers, many taking place in venues that have major historical significance. In its relatively short history the ten day Festival has become firmly established as a prestigious fixture in the arts calendar, supported by a range of funders, including Arts Council England and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.
Art In Romney Marsh organises a regular Visual Arts Festival and also works with local community groups across the Romney Marsh to develop Heritage Projects. AiRM has delivered a varied programme of exhibitions centred on 8 medieval churches located on Denge and Walland Marsh. Art in Romney Marsh also encourages artists to experiment and make site-specific work and since 2011 it has delivered a wide range of learning programmes that engage community groups with their local heritage and history. RDHCT’s support has helped AiRM in its work in bringing creative, partnership and educational opportunities to isolated rural marsh communities.
RDHCT has also made grants on several occasions to the organising bodies of Hythe Venetian Fete and Hythe Festival, which take place in alternate years. These festivals offer complimentary events that provide focal points in the cultural life of the town. Hythe Venetian Fete is a well-established one-day event that draws people from a wide area of the south east to view an impressive water-borne pageant on a section of the Hythe Military Canal. Hythe Festival is a multi-arts festival that includes concerts, exhibitions, walks and dramatic performances, generally over a nine-day period. Both events depend heavily on contributions from large numbers of volunteers. The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust helps by providing funding for some of the unavoidable costs of staging such large-scale events.
The Trust has also provided support to organisers of concerts, performances and other events in the area, including the Day of Syn and Turn the Tide in Dymchurch, various concerts at St Leonard’s Church in Hythe, to Hythe Town Concert Band (for a new pavilion)
Playgrounds and Recreation Areas
Helping to support play areas for young people has been a continuing theme of the Trust’s support for young people in recent years. Fairfield Road Adventure Playground in New Romney, Dymchurch Recreation Ground, Grange Road playpark in Saltwood, New Romney skate park, play equipment at Newchurch village park, new play equipment at the Rype in Lydd and a recreation area that includes an outdoor gym at The Greens, Littlestone.
Community and Well Being
There are many groups and organisations in Hythe and across the Romney Marsh that provide amenities, care, support, training and development for people in different age groups. The Trust has welcomed applications from a wide variety of these organisations, including youth organisations such as scouts and sea cadets.
RDHCT has also made grants to charities that provide specialist services that benefit people in the area, including Age UK, Marie Curie, Samaritans, and other causes that provide support for lonely people, those with disabilities or specific medical conditions, including dementia, and advice and support counselling services for bereavement, mental health, well-being, mediation and abuse. cases of
The Trust has also supported work to improve and repair churches and halls that play an important role in community life, including: repairs and refurbishment at St Stephen’s Church Lympne; restoration of the organ at St Leonard’s (Hythe); new toilets at St Peter and St Paul (Newchurch); creation of disabled facilities at St Nicholas (New Romney); repairs to the bell tower at St Peter and St Paul (Saltwood); installation of new toilets at Methodist Church (Lydd) and improvements and repairs to village halls in Saltwood and Lympne.
Since 2013 The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has provided major funding to establish The Shepway Sports Trust (SST), an independent sports charity set up to promulgate the Olympic legacy of London 2012. SST works to promote participation and excellence in sport across the whole Folkestone and Hythe District, including Romney Marsh, building close partnerships with schools and sports clubs. One of SST’s key objectives is to improve access to coaching and amenities for people of all ages who may not otherwise be able to take part in sports activities. SST has established key partnerships with many sports clubs and organisations across Romney Marsh, and RDHCT has provided direct support to many of these over and above its funding for SST.
One such organisation is The Varne Watersports Club, which offers a range of activities for members and to the wider community, including fishing, personal watercraft, powerboat & water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, SUP and land yachting. It a long-established club whose location provides easy access to the relatively sheltered waters at the western end of Hythe Bay. RDHCT has provided grants to create a new ramp/slipway and to extend training sessions for young people who might otherwise be unable to afford them.
Other projects in the area that have received grants include a £30,000 contribution to the Hythe Town Council’s appeal to improve South Road Recreation Ground, £10,000 to help Hythe Lawn Tennis Club to renovate courts, grants totalling £33,000 towards maintenance equipment, replacement of nets and renovation of the pitch at Hythe Cricket and Squash Club and smaller grants to Saltwood Cricket Club, Seapoint Canoe Club, Hythe Aqua Swimming Club, Hythe Green Cricket, Club, and Hythe Table Tennis Club.