Further Funding for Folkestone Town Sprucer
The organisers of the Town Sprucer Team in Folkestone have announced that the future of the scheme is secure well into 2017, thanks to an £8,000 donation from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust. The Trust has increased its support for the coming year in the light of the scheme’s expansion from Folkestone to cover the whole of the Shepway district.
Headquartered at Sunflower House, the Sprucer was launched in 2013 by The Bradstone Association residents’ group. In 2015, the scheme came under the charitable umbrella of Sunflower House, whose Chairman David Taylor said: “This is wonderful support from Sir Roger and his fellow trustees. All of us – Sprucer Peter Phillips, my wife Raili, myself and the scores of job-seekers and volunteers involved – appreciate this practical backing for a service that enhances our civic surrounds and gets people back to work.”
The Sprucer scheme costs in the region of £22,500 per annum. As well as the major contribution from the RDHCT, grants have recently come from the Henry Smith Charity (£5,000) and a total of £5000 from Kent County Councillors Frank McKenna, Hod Birkby, Bob Neaves, Carole Waters and Martin Whybrow. Other donations have come from Folkestone Festivals, Folkestone Silver Screen and Frizbee Print and Embroidery, with the Sprucer Team’s work van donated by Wilmoths Citroen Folkestone.
The scheme’s remit is to improve the environment, mainly through litter-picking, graffiti removal and the clearing of public spaces, whilst helping to encourage long-term unemployed people back into full-time work. In the past 18 months, some 15 job seekers have re-entered the work force in this way, helping boost their confidence and strengthen their CVs. Members of the public have also been very appreciative of the service provided.