TWO charity groups in Swindon have received grants to help develop community projects. T

he Community Cafe in Toothill has received £10,700 to provide transport for elderly and isolated people to and from the weekly lunch club at the Toothill Community Centre.

Tina Mackie from the Toothill Cafe, which is open 9am to 1.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, applied for the grant to try to encourage more elderly people in Toothill to get out of their homes.

She said: “I want the grant to pay for transport to take the older people so they can come out and come to the lunch club and socialise.

“We went door to door to ask why more people didn’t come to the lunch club and many people said that it was because they weren’t on the bus route or they couldn’t walk. The minibus will go to the end of their road and pick them up.”

Tina has decided to charge £1 for using the minibus in order to build up a reserve for when the grant money runs out.

She said: “The grant money comes in four instalments over two years, so I thought we’d start off by charging just a little bit so when the money runs out we still have enough to carry on. Now we just need more people to use it.”

Swindon Walcot and Parks Community Group in partnership with Swindon Council also received a grant of around £16,600 to deliver an 18-month programme of community activities for people living in Parks and Walcot.

The grants came from the People’s Health Trust through Active Communities, a funding programme which invests in local people and groups, from money raised by the HealthTotal Community Interest Company and the Health Lottery.

Chris Lunn, director of HealthTotal CIC, said: “The projects are extremely valuable to a wide range of individuals across this region; we look forward to hearing more about how these initiatives are enabling people to live longer healthier lives.”

HealthTotal CIC has raised £824,130, through The Health Lottery, for health-related good causes in Swindon and Gloucestershire. Active Communities is for community groups and not-for-profit organisations with an income of less than £350,000 a year that are seeking investment of between £5,000 and £50,000 a year, for projects lasting up to two years. For more information visit

Dinners with the lunch club cost £3.50 and includes a dessert. To find out more about the Toothill cafe, visit or email or call 07944 349 159.