Win a share of �5,500 for your community

AS the festive season approaches the Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays to relaunch the Christmas Cheer campaign which provides local charitable groups with some vital cash. In this special giveaway, charitable and voluntary groups from Camden, Haringey

AS the festive season approaches the Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays to relaunch the Christmas Cheer campaign which provides local charitable groups with some vital cash.

In this special giveaway, charitable and voluntary groups from Camden, Haringey and Westminster who are doing great things in the community will be eligible for �5,500 worth of grants to support them in their work.

We are currently inviting groups to apply for the cash awards, explaining the reasons why they are worthy.

One of last year's winners was the Sunnyside Community Garden on Hazellville Road in Archway.


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It was formed 30 years ago on a third of an acre of waste ground and has since been converted into a relaxing area for local people with two grassed patches, a wooded area and flower beds for disabled people.

It was awarded a grant of �1,000 which it spent on planting in the wooded area which was damaged during storms, laying hedges and chopping down dead trees.

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Pauline Finnegan said: "We can totally see the difference in the gardens and it is wonderful. We really rely on donations to keep us going and we would not be able to survive without grants like Christmas Cheer so we were delighted to have won.

"The gardens are open 24-7 to everybody and we have a lot of volunteers with special needs and mental health problems.

"We give them volunteering opportunities and members of the public can come in and use the gardens. We encourage other people to do eco-friendly things and recycling and we do our best to do lots of eco-friendly things."

Deserving groups will share a slice of the �5,500 Christmas Cheer cash fund. Up for grabs are three �1,000 cash prizes, three �500 prizes and four worth �250.

Applications have been flooding in for this year's awards which will be judged in December.

One organisation which has been nominated is the Hollickwood School gardening club in Muswell Hill.

Renowned gardener Susan Bennett nominated the primary school for an award after learning about its gardening club when the children visited her Muswell Hill garden.

She said: "I had heard vaguely about the school when it was saved from closure by parents a few years ago and then we got a letter asking if the children could visit.

"They did and I went to the school and I was amazed at how much garden space there was and what they had done with it.

"They have been growing fruit, vegetables and other plants but they did not have much equipment so we asked them to write a wish list.

"They asked for tools, a wheelbarrow, a shed, wellies and tree trunks as well as anything with which to build an unusual playground.

"The school serves an area where there are a lot of refugees and it is important to give these children a chance to experience outdoor space and gardening."

The school would spend a Christmas Cheer grant converting a large tarmac area into a playground and garden.

To apply for a grant, email editor@hamhigh.co.uk. The deadline for entries is November 27 and winners will be contacted later that week and invited to attend a special awards ceremony at a local branch of Barclays.

To be eligible your group must be a UK registered charity or a recognised not-for-profit community group.

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