AVELEY VILLAGE COMMUNITY Forum (AVCF) were in celebratory mood this week after a double triumph.
Firstly, the Forum won the Community Award at the Thurrock Business Awards, then they were given a £50,000 grant over two years by the Tudor Trust followed by a £5,000 grant from the Essex Youth Trust.
And to top it all they have been given a Big Lottery grant of £290,000 over the next three years. This will help the work at the Aveley Youth & Community Centre continue and contribute to the development of the planned Aveley Community Hub.
Project Manager of AVCF, Ray Munro-Crump said: “These awards and grants are a fantastic gift for the future of Aveley. But is also an acknowledgment of what the Forum has done and is doing. Not many people know that there have been a group of about 15-20 people who have battled to get the best for Aveley.
For nearly 15 years, before the Community Forum even existed, these villagers have fought for the Village, ensuring that Aveley is not ignored. Most of these people are still working in the Forum. They have given time, skills and money to build up what the Forum has achieved. They have never claimed personal glory but have been happy to be known as the Forum.
In the last four years they have raised nearly £1.5 million. They run a Centre that has seen over 40,000 people use it in the last three years and has a Youth Membership of nearly 350 young people. In addition they have fought to ensure monies coming in from developments stay in the Village. This has already seen £1m committed to a new Community Hub.
The Forum members are exceedingly proud to have won the Business Award as it shows it has been worthwhile and it has given them the strength to continue. They would also like to thank all those people, groups and organisations that have worked in partnership alongside the Forum and helped to make this all happen.”