A RANGE of organisations in the borough have benefited from the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane’s community chest – which has handed out thousands in grants.

Groups such as Basingstoke Counselling Service (BCS), YPI Counselling, Basingstoke Shed, Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) and Muffin’s Dream Foundation (MDF) were awarded sums of money from mayor Jane Frankum’s annual charity purse.

BCS, based at Goldings, Basingstoke, was “absolutely delighted” to receive a one-off grant of £984. The charity provides counselling to adults in the area, helping those in need from all walks of life.

It said: “This grant is so welcome, because it has helped us provide 41 counselling sessions for those on very low incomes at a time when there is an increasing need for the service we provide.

“We are grateful to the mayor and those involved in the community chest for recognising the importance of the work we do for the community.”

Younger counselling service YPI Counselling also benefited from a grant – this time receiving £500 to develop an accredited training workshop in support of young people with mental health needs.

Based at The Orchard, it helps youngsters from across the borough.

A £200 grant handed to Basingstoke Shed was used to buy a jigsaw and spindle sander, which will help the group make items for local children.

This includes wooden toys that they expect to make available for hire, to sell or to donate to other local groups.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Our members will make these and therefore they will be able to use their existing skills or for those less experienced, learn new ones.”

Another small contribution was made to the Volunteer Centre at BVA.

By awarding £260, the team were able to purchase a tablet with attachable keyboard for outreach events.

“This has been of particular use for our volunteers as they have been able to make referrals in front of the volunteer rather than sending the information to the office to be processed,” the organisation spokesman said, adding: “The small amount of money has made a significant improvement to the quality of our outreach.”

The final charity to benefit from the mayor’s community chest was MDF, which received £980 to deliver services to local families.

It is being used to run eight events up until July, 2017 at the Active Life Centre in Basingstoke and three outdoor activity days.

The events will help support children with long-term and life-limiting disabilities to take part in sporting activities, often more readily available for more able bodied children.

MDF said: “Often the children we support find it extremely difficult to undertake such activities.

“With the support of our trained leaders we work specifically with families to ensure each child benefits from the experience.”