Fantastic response from readers for £££s for People campaign
A not-for-profit group which provides days out to remember for disabled people has secured the top spot in our £££s for People campaign.
The Ask4All group in South East Cornwall received 8,140 votes from readers, who were asked to vote for their favourite group to receive money from our £20,000 prize pot for grassroots good causes.
Theresa Burt, who runs the group on a shoestring from her home in Landrake, said the support from readers was "totally amazing".
The group receives £2,133 from a £20,000 prize pot put forward by the Western Morning News with Devon Community Foundation and Cornwall Community Foundation, in association with Cornwall Glass and Glazing.
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The money will help pay for days out for disabled children and adults and their carers.
Among trips in the pipeline are a water skiing day, with specialist instructor and equipment, and a day out by coach to the Madagascar Live! show at Westpoint arena near Exeter.
"The only funds we have our from our own fundraising and donations, so to have this support is absolutely fantastic," said Theresa. "I'm speechless. Our group has grown over the last year because we opened up to adults as well as children, so we have a larger number of people we are trying to help."
Altogether, we had a fantastic response to our campaign, with 55,087 votes cast in support of the shortlist of 60 community groups doing vital work across Devon and Cornwall.
Each group was guaranteed a minimum of £100, with the rest divided according to the votes they received – and we are printing the fabulous totals today.
Some groups in particular really captured the imagination of people in their communities.
Securing the top slot in Devon was Erme Valley Riding for the Disabled, which offers disabled people the chance to experience the delicious freedom of life on horseback. The group received 3,946 votes. And people in the Cornish village of Pensilva near Callington rallied behind the campaign, casting 3,802 votes in support of a new play area for children and young people on the village recreation ground.
Martha Wilkinson, chief executive of the Devon Community Foundation, said: "The Western Morning News readers really got behind this campaign and we have been able to allocate substantial funds to these incredible community groups. All of these groups are so important to help create the thriving local communities of Devon and Cornwall."
And Carolyn Boyce, from Cornwall Community Foundation, added: "£££s for People has been a great way to hear from groups making a real impact in the community and the lives of people in Cornwall. We received nominations from a diverse range of groups and it has been fascinating to see who received the most votes in the final round."