Countryside donates £10,000 to local charities!

Countryside donates £10,000 to local charities chosen by the Mayor of Dartford

Countryside, the UK’s leading mixed-tenure developer, has donated a total of £10,000 to two charities in the Ebbsfleet Garden City area, home to its recently launched development Ashmere, through its dedicated Communities Fund. This comprises £5,000 each in funding for Home Start North West Kent, a charity that supports families with pre-school children, and Arrow Riding Centre, a Dartford-based riding school for people with special needs.

Home Start North West Kent is a local community network comprised of trained volunteers offering confidential help to families with young children in difficult circumstances, which include domestic abuse, postnatal depression, social isolation, and more. Individuals who have benefitted from the charity often give back by becoming volunteers, helping maintain the sustainability of the organisation, which has been running for over 30 years.

In 2020, Home Start supported 56,000 children in 27,000 families in various locations across the country through its local branches. The charity is known for its work with people coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds and communities, creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

Arrow Riding Centre is a charity set up in 1982, which uses equine-assisted therapy to help children with special needs. Run by volunteers and a small group of qualified coaches, the centre offers tailor-made programmes which help children overcome physical and mental difficulties as well as developing a variety of vital skills. Arrow Riding Centre’s clients include athletes, such as Emma Kent, a national para-dressage champion who has been using the centre’s services since the age of five.

Ashmere is Countryside’s new community in the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City, delivered in partnership with Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing. Upon completion, it will comprise 2,600 mixed-tenure homes, of which 25% will be affordable, as well as a primary school and a village centre.

Countryside has previously supported a variety of charities and initiatives in Kent. Most recently, it committed to funding five other local projects together with Hyde, its joint venture partner on Rochester Riverside, an award-winning scheme in Medway. The funding’s beneficiaries will include Medway Fashion Week, the Hygiene Bank Medway, the Non-Visible Disability Initiative, young person’s arts club Wave, as well as St Margaret’s at Troy Town School.