Following two successful years of the Mayor’s Community Weekend, communities across the West Midlands are being given £100,000 to host celebrations this summer. This is thanks to a partnership between the West Midlands Combined Authority and The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
This year, the Mayor’s Community Weekend will take place on Saturday 4 July and Sunday 5 July 2020, with £100,000 of National Lottery funding up for grabs for communities to hold over 200 celebratory events across the West Midlands.
Thousands of people have enjoyed hundreds of events to celebrate their community for the Mayor’s Community Weekend over the past two years. Festivities have included a dog show in Stoke-on-Trent, cardboard box wars in Birmingham city centre and ceilidh dancing in rural Herefordshire.
Joe Andrew, chair of Hartshill and Harpfields Occasions, said: “It was fantastic to receive National Lottery funding last year so that we could bring people and dogs together to spend an afternoon of fun outdoors. Our dog show, Canine Capers, has been running for many years and is a really uplifting event for local people with similar interests to build friendships and connections, reducing loneliness and isolation. Hartshill Park is a great wild space to make the most of and it was great to see the local community coming along to get involved or just enjoy spectating.”
Grants of up to £500 will be on offer to groups across the region including Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.
The aim of the Mayor’s Community Weekend is to bring people and communities together, to celebrate the experiences they share and make new memories. It will encourage people from all walks of life to build stronger community bonds and embrace community spirit by holding events such as a street party, a sports festival or a picnic in the park.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Community Weekend has been a real highlight of my mayoralty and I am delighted that we have secured significant National Lottery funding for the third year in a row to keep this great event going.
“From street parties to pop-up sports games, neighbourhoods across the region always take full advantage of the Mayor’s Community Weekend, and I believe it is a great example of the creativity and togetherness that the West Midlands possesses.
“I would encourage new groups to come forward to organise an event for 2020, making our third Community Weekend the biggest and best yet.”
Nicola Thurbon, senior head of regional funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re really excited to be part of the Mayor’s Community Weekend for a third year. Thanks to National Lottery players, we’ll be bringing people together again to celebrate being part of their community and make something amazing happen on their doorstep.
“This initiative is fantastic as it allows communities to get creative, whether it’s an established organisation or a group of neighbours planning an event together for the first time. We’re sure the weekend will continue to be a success across the West Midlands, creating memorable experiences, boosting wellbeing and sparking new friendships.”
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £1.4 million a day on average to projects that help people and communities thrive. 90% of the grants it makes are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.
Communities can apply for funding from 9am on Monday 24 February 2020 to hold an event during the Mayor’s Community Weekend.
Applications close at 9pm on Sunday 22 March 2020.
To find out more visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/mayors-community-weekend and www.wmca.org.uk/MCW
Caption: Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street is pictured serving ice cream during last year's Mayor's Community Weekend