Groundwork Medway Swale part of the national Groundwork Federation has been working in partnership with Swale Borough Council for nearly ten years. Groundwork's charitable status and strong community development ethos make it an ideal partner for the Council as it can work in flexible ways and seek partnerships across the public and private sectors. The Council has supported Groundwork by consistently championing the development of new projects, giving invaluable advice and providing 'start up' funding. Wise use of the funding provided by the Council means that Groundwork is very good value for money, demonstrated by the fact that for every £1 Swale Borough Council provides Groundwork has been able to increase this by up to £10.
Groundwork's approach to development and regeneration always starts with the community; it is a central belief that any project will work better if the people most affected are closely involved. Employing this philosophy successful projects have been delivered in virtually every corner of Swale ranging from Upchurch in the west of the Borough to Faversham in the east. Some of the most successful activities have started from very small beginnings; for example, it would have been hard to imagine that a project, which began with efforts to engage the local community centre at Rushenden in 1999, would still be developing new activities in 2004.
Over this time Groundwork Medway Swale has worked with Swale Borough Council on a long list of projects touching on themes as diverse as the creation of ball court play areas to the restoration of derelict footpaths. In the past two years some of these have been:
With the support of Swale Borough Council, Groundwork will continue to engage with communities, develop ideas and raise funds to improve the environment for all the people of Swale. The next two years include particularly exciting projects for the Council and Groundwork as 2004 will see the beginning of the creation of Oare Gunpowder Works Industrial Archaeological Museum, which has received £800,000 in lottery funding to help create a unique combination of an historical site and nature reserve. While, Church Marshes Country Park at Kemsley has used a partnership with a private company, Rural Arisings, together with funding from central government to deliver a project with a value of £3,000,000 at very little direct cost to the people of Swale.
Groundwork Medway Swale can be contacted at:
48 Canterbury Street