THE world's first mixed-ability rowing project is being funded with a grant from the Telegraph & Argus.

Bradford Rowing Club is one of four organisations to receive a share of almost £16,000 in the latest round of grants from the Gannett Foundation - the T&A's parent company.

The rowing club, based on the River Aire at Shipley, was awarded £5,000 to buy two stable sculling boats for rowers with special needs.

The boats will allow less able-bodied people to safely take part in the sport alongside able-bodied people.

Celia Hickson, the club’s president, said it was “amazing news” to receive the grant.

“I got a bit tearful when I found out the wonderful news, I’m really chuffed.

“The money will make a massive difference, it is a really hard environment for community groups everywhere to fundraise.

“To have someone listen to your story and buy into it and give you support, it’s like having a fairy godmother.

“We have operated without support for a long time and we don’t have a lot of modern luxuries, so we are delighted to get this money to give our members some new equipment.”

In the 2015 Boxing Day floods, the club’s weir was damaged by the water, and much of the last year was spent fundraising to repair the weir, which Dr Hickson said, was now almost complete.

“After that we were delighted to get some good news and look forward to getting our new mixed ability boats,” she added.

Artworks Creative Communities, based at the Delius Arts and Cultural Centre in Great Horton Road, received a grant of £4,730.

The money will help the charity invest in a community garden featuring two small greenhouses, a cultivation cave, a fridge freezer for food produce storage and cooking sessions, herb drying racks, two gazebos, outdoor safety lighting, CCTV cameras and a monitor.

Ged Walker of Artworks, said the grant will be a great help.

He said: “It is brilliant news, it is going to help a lot.

“A lot of our groups to get involved with the charity and will create a nice peaceful space for everyone to make friends and feel safe.

“We’ve got an underused outdoor space at the moment, and the grant will allow us to make it more secure, welcoming, and brighter public space so people can enjoy it and can plant and grow their own plants and food.

“This space will be really valuable, people will be able to do things they don’t get to do at home; it will be great for the community.”

Bradford Toy Library was awarded £3,450 to buy a new mobile hoist to help children with severe physical disabilities.

The charity, based in St Luke’s Hospital, will be able to rent out the hoist to families which use the service when they go on holidays.

Susan Blissett, who volunteers at the Toy Library after previously using the service with her daughter, said everyone was “over the moon” when they found out they had been awarded a grant.

She said: “We just want to say a massive thank you for the support.

“The hoist will help our families with less able bodied children, it means they will be able to borrow it to go on holidays and their children may need help getting into beds.

“We can also use it for activities in the community as well as renting it out when needed.”

The Toy Library celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015 and has a long-standing link with the T&A, including a campaign started in 2003 to save the service.

Sandale Community Development Trust in Buttershaw received a £2,780 grant.

The money will pay for a Sunday roast dinner club for the next 12 months for 40 people, arts and crafts, and meals on wheels.

The trust provides lunch clubs, bingo sessions, a community kitchen and a charity shop for local people, based at Sandale Community Centre in Sandale Walk, Buttershaw.

Shannon Worsley, of the trust, said: “It will give us something for the older people to help them to stop being isolated.

“We can set up the lunch club and friendship groups so they don’t feel lonely.

“The new clubs will keep them socialising and I think they will be happy to hear we have got the grant.”

T&A editor Perry Austin-Clarke, who presented cheques to each of the recipients, said: “We receive between 60 and 70 applications each year from the Bradford district alone and it’s always a real challenge to choose a shortlist to put forward to the Trustees for consideration.

“There are very many good causes and brilliant projects taking place across the district and the four groups who have received grants this year are all doing fantastic work with genuine long-term benefits for people in their communities.

“We’re really pleased that the efforts of so many local groups nominated by the T&A have been helped and we look forward to reporting on their progress in the year ahead.”