Monday, 26 August 2019.

New Chairman of Workshop Trust appointed

19 December, 2018

County councillor for Aylesham and nearby villages, Steve Manion, became Chairman of the Aylesham & District Community Workshop Trust at its annual general meeting last week (12 December).

Steve takes over from Roy Cornelius after serving as a trustee, representing KCC, for the past six years. The trust extends its thanks to thank Roy, for the work he has done for the organisation.

Steve said after the meeting: “I feel it’s a great honour to be elected into this role and I would like to thank the other trustees for their help. I would also like to thank trust secretary Derek Garrity and his support team Lisa Pope and Keith Garrity for the fine work they do.

“I look forward to working with the other trustees to continue to deliver a high quality facility. I particularly enjoy the model of ploughing profits back into the communities of the former east Kent coalfield.

“The trust is a model for social enterprise in that it supports local employment in a sustainable fashion while bringing financial support to the voluntary sector.”

The trust has had a busy year and has granted a total of £11,500 to Aylesham dance group, Aylesham Ladies Choir, the Snowdown Welfare Male Voice Choir, Aylesham’s Roses Tea Room & Thrift shop, Aylesham Welfare& Leisure Centre, Elvington Welfare , Elvington Bowls Club, Betteshanger Welfare and  Betteshanger Bowls group.

The Aylesham Workshop Trust was also tasked by Peter McNestry, chair of the Coalfield Regeneration Trust, to distribute £30,000 to the former  Kent coalfield communities on its behalf.

The money was evenly distributed across the area, said Derek Garrity, with Elvington group receiving  £5,000 for a fire alarm system at  the village hall and a security system for its welfare centre. Betteshanger’s  brass band bought music and equipment while its youth football team purchased movable goals and the welfare club upgraded facilities.

Aylesham4Aylesham benefited with funding to hold events in the village, the welfare is building a 90th anniversary garden and other money will buy one defibrillator for the tearooms and another for the Snowdown Male Voice Choir. Each area also contributed to the Kent Miners’ Festival, held in August.

The Coalfield Regeneration Trust appointed Jim Davis, Gary Cox, Terry Harrison and Derek Garrity to make the awards on its behalf, the administration of the grant being managed by Lisa Pope.

The trust also invested £45,000 in refurbishing its facilities at the community workshop site in Ackholt Road along with upgrading fire alarms and security systems in 20 workshop units on the adjoining industrial park. The workshop trusts facilities are home to nearly 30 businesses and community based organisations employing over 200 people .

Derek said: “Every new year is a challenge and 2019 will be no different. Aylesham Workshop Trust is well placed because it has a proven track record, with a good plan delivered by great staff, supported by a board of motivated trustees.”