Catherine Best, dedicated volunteer in Bridlington, recognised a need within her community related to the limited availability of netball coaches. In her pursuit to address this issue, Catherine embarked on a mission to secure funding for a Level 2 England Netball coaching course.

Bridlington Walking Netball

Catherine, a local walking netball coach volunteer, identified a vulnerability in the netball coaching infrastructure of Bridlington. With only one active coach (Sarah Porritt), the community faced the risk of cancelled sessions in the absence of this individual. This sparked Catherine’s determination to broaden the pool of coaches, ensuring continuity and accessibility for all interested participants.

On 12th June, Catherine reached out to the Smile office, seeking guidance on how to secure funding for the netball coaching course. Recognising the alignment of her initiative with the East Riding Community Action Grant’s objectives, (enabling healthier and active communities, valuing, and supporting volunteers and promoting awareness and access to local social groups) Gareth from the community development team provided valuable insight on the grant’s guidance and suggested Catherine collaborated with an established sports group who could hold funds on her behalf if an application were successful.

Understanding the importance of collaboration, Catherine approached a constituted group she volunteered with. Sarah Porritt from Bridlington Walking Netball Club stepped forward, registered on Beecan, and created a profile from the club, demonstrating a collective commitment to community improvement.

Following the establishment of the Beecan profile, Catherine and Sarah received detailed instructions from Amelia in the community development team on how to upload relevant documents and step-by-step guidance on finding the grant and addressing specific questions within each section.

To strengthen Catherine’s grant application, Catherine was advised to address specific questions:

• What will the qualification enable you to do?

• Why is this needed?

• What will the positive impact be for Bridlington and for the participants?

Catherine also received relevant materials evidencing health challenges in Bridlington to fortify her grant application.

On 10th November, the grant panel reviewed applications and Catherine’s submission was successful. The panel recognised her application as a commendable example of social action and expressed optimism about the prospect of a qualified coach enhancing the skills of future volunteers. This success was a testament to Catherine’s dedication, thorough preparation, and the merit of her community-driven initiative.

Catherine, expressing her gratitude, sent a heartfelt email to Gareth and Amelia on November 13th, acknowledging the support that played a pivotal role in securing funding.

“I wanted to say a big thank you to you and Amelia for the support you provided for me and Sarah to ensure we had a good chance of securing funding for the Level 2 Netball Coaching Course. I am so pleased to hear we have been successful.”

In January 2024, Gareth saw Catherine at an Active Communities event and she had this to say about the difference the funding has made:

“Everybody is welcome. What we’re really trying to do it have fun. The funding has been absolutely amazing. Its opened up new doors for me. Being able to coach at a level 2 it gives me a really good step up in terms of being able to work with the community. I work with Hornsea, I’m going to be working with Withernsea, I’m at Driffield and Bridlington and I’m working with Hull as well. I work with Olivia whose part of England Netball who runs our area so we’re liaising really well to get this up off the grant. There’s a huge amount of opportunity now for walking netball.”

The success of Catherine’s application marks a significant step towards creating a sustainable and skilled netball coaching network in Bridlington, contributing to the overall health, wellbeing, and sense of community among its residents.

Community Action Grants

The final round of Community Action Grants closes Friday 9th February - so still some time for individuals and groups to apply. Find out more about the grant and how to apply  here.


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