Charity shortlisted for Jubilee funding

A SMALL Dales charity which runs activities for older people is one of six community initiatives in the running for grants of up to £60,000.

First Taste, based in South Darley, has been shortlisted for Big Lottery Funding ahead of next June’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Projects from across the region will be competing for a share of the Lottery’s royal roll-out as part of a televised competition to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Iris Wagstaffe, founding trustee and voluntary secretary for First Taste, said she was delighted the charity’s VOYAGE project – Valuing of Youth and Age – was in the running for the grant.

If the project comes out on top it will run interactive workshops between Matlock Highfields School students and elderly residents from Tansley House.

Mrs Wagstaffe added: “It is fantastic that we have got down to the final six.

“We are urging everyone to support First Taste’s work with frail older people with dementia in care homes and vote for the project.”

The charity will also produce a DVD which will feature music and life through the decades from 1952 to 2012, to tie in with the Diamond Jubilee, and the project will culminate with a musical production.

The Jubilee People’s Millions will be broadcast on ITV Central evening regional news from June 27 to June 30.

Each night two groups will appeal for viewers’ support with the public voting by phone to decide who wins the prize and becomes the jewel in the crown of their community.

VOYAGE will be featured on the programme on Tuesday, June 28.

Graham Hunt, public relations officer for the charity, said the DVD would also aid care staff in their understanding of the life and times of the past 60 years.

He added: “First Taste is a unique charity. It has carried out ground-breaking work in care homes.

“The project is very exciting and unusual to have teenagers interacting with elderly people. The DVD will show what interaction people with dementia can have and how this can be done.”

Television crews are set to film Tansley House residents and Highfields students next week.

The telephone number to vote for VOYAGE will not be announced until June 28 when the project’s promotional film will be screened.