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Community cafe, meals on wheels and scout hall awarded cash by Surrey leader

Surrey leader David Hodge at the community shop in Strood Green with Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games Helyn Clack (far right)

A community cafe, a meals on wheels service and a scout hall are among the projects awarded cash by Surrey County Council’s leader.

They were on a list of 17 schemes announced by David Hodge as the first to get a share of a £750,000 pot of cash.

Strood Green Shop Association won £50,000 for its shop and cafe set up and run by the community. The money will go towards enlarging the cafe, which features free wi-fi and internet access on computers, and converting disused rooms into an affordable home for a local family.

First Weybridge Scout Group received £21,280 to help renovate its hall and the Friends of St Andrew’s Box Hill Jubilee Kitchen Extension got £12,675 towards delivering more meals to older people at home.

Other schemes Mr Hodge confirmed will get funding included a skate park, an outdoor gym and a basketball court.

The Surrey leader created the Community Improvements Fund to support projects that make a difference in local areas.

It is part of the county council’s Love Where You Live campaign, which aims to encourage residents to volunteer and play a more active role to improve their communities.

Mr Hodge said: “These projects are great examples of the county council and residents joining together to make Surrey an even better place to live.

“All these groups are improving local areas, making a real difference to people’s lives and strengthening the ability of residents to independently enhance where they live and I applaud them.”

Helen Melia, a founder member of the Strood Green Shop Association, said: “This is absolutely stunning news. The money means the shop and cafe can be used more, which is great because the cafe is ridiculously popular.”

Heather Rhoden, a fundraising co-ordinator for First Weybridge Scouts, said: It’s amazing news. We’d raised 40% of the money we needed for the refurbishment and this means we can accelerate it. It would have taken years, now it’ll take months. Once it’s up and running we can welcome the community.”

Schemes were recommended by a panel chaired by Nick Skellett.

For more information about the fund, follow this link.

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