Bodster CIC is calling for your vote to secure £50K of National Lottery funding as part of this year’s People’s Projects. Bodster is based in Sandford and works to support the Island people with dementia. Bodster is one of five groups in ITV Meridian West in the running for a share of up to £150,000 of funding. Only three groups will be allocated the funding based on highest number of votes received. “Whispering Ponies” is the only Island project.

On Friday 20th April, BODSTER CIC will showcase its project, “WHISPERING PONIES” on MERIDIAN WEST ITV regional news at 6pm. Voting is open now at

If successful, Bodster CIC will use the grant to offer equine therapy sessions for older people in residential homes and day care centres. The project will work with people with dementia and those who are socially isolated to encourage interaction with their ponies. Bodster also wants to invite local schools along, when appropriate in order to encourage their understanding of dementia. The project aims to stimulate social interaction and improve wellbeing for everyone involved.

Part of the £50,000 would enable Bodster to buy its own small horsebox so we would not need to borrow or rent and consequently we would visit more residences and develop new visits such as to Macmillan cancer hospice and other community facilities. We would use some funds for staffing costs and to train more volunteers. We would also buy equipment ( such as a portable printer and laminator) to produce individual memory photographic sheets for each client visited, making these visits more personal and giving them immediate feedback to keep.

Jo Boddington of Bodster CIC, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and support for our work and, with your help, to secure further much-needed funding. We urge local Island people to get behind us. If successful, our project will make a real difference to our local community and by visiting more homes we will be able to expand our reach and respond to the community’s requests. We will integrate people through more volunteers coming on visits. We want to develop intergenerational activities by engaging younger volunteers and school children who come to general sessions in being involved with people with Dementia. We want to break down barriers using their common love of the ponies.”

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we are proud to support grassroots groups that are using the vision, determination and drive of local people to strengthen communities. The People’s Projects showcases the best of these and is a chance for you to have your say on how National Lottery funding can benefit your local community.”

Now in its 13th year, the Big Lottery Fund, Meridian ITV and The National Lottery are teaming up to give the public a chance to decide how National Lottery funding should be put to good use in their local area.

Designed to celebrate some of the incredible projects the Big Lottery Fund has supported over the past year, 95 community-based schemes are now shortlisted across the UK. In each region, the three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000. This will help them to continue their work to improve local people’s lives. The entire amount up for grabs across the UK is a life-changing £3 million.

Since 2005, around £39 million has been awarded through the Big Lottery Fund, National Lottery and ITV/STV partnership to 865 Good Causes across the UK.

Voting closes at midday on Monday 30 April 2018. People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote**. To support the “WHISPERING PONIES” PROJECT and for Ts & Cs please visit

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