WITH nominations now open for this year's Airbus/Leader Community Awards, the Leader caught up with last year's winner to find out what impact the funds had.

In 2019, Chirk Community Forum was declared the winner - receiving £7,000 from the scheme.

The forum was looking to build a disability inclusive swing for less able children from Chirk.

Chair Cllr Jackie Allen said: "When we went in for the award we were just starting the fundraising to put the swing in place and we needed £15,000.

"So the money we had from the award was a really good kickstart.

"When we put in for it we said that we didn't know when we would be able to deliver because of the extra funds we needed.

"But we managed to get the funding together by September last year and it is now installed.

"We have had bad weather but people have been using it. "We won't be able to measure the full impact until we get better weather but from the forum's point of view it's a tremendous success."

Cllr Allen explained the swing has potentially marked the start of an ongoing scheme to improve facilities not only for those with disabilities, but for the whole community.

"This has highlighted the need for inclusive recreational play activities," she said. "Everyone should be able to participate at some level and be included.

"There should be no social exclusion on any grounds, whatsoever.

"We are looking at fundraising now for an all inclusive play wall, an enclosed space where you can safely kick a ball, and we also believe we should be more proactive in providing adult outdoor gyms for the wellbeing of our future generations."

Asked what she'd tell other organisations who are considering applying for Airbus funding, she added: "Don't hesitate - go for it. "You've only got to see the light in someone's eyes when they realise they can do something and it makes it all worthwhile.

"We'd like to say a big thanks to the organisations which have supported us.

"Airbus provided half of the pot, but we couldn't have done this without Tesco and Kronospan as well. "We'd also like to say a big thanks to Chirk Town Council - the scheme was delivered in partnership with the town council and it has gone on one of their play areas - and to everyone who contributed and fundraised."

How to apply this year

Projects must be with an 20-mile radius of the Airbus Broughton site (CH4 0DR).

Projects can be submitted from charities or community groups.

Projects must be focused on the areas of youth, education, environment and inclusion.

Preference will be given to applications that have not previously benefited from this fund.

We'll be sharing the prize money as follows:

First Prize - £7,000

Second Prize - £4,000

Third Prize - £2,000

Seven runners up will each receive £1,000

Application forms and full entry criteria can be obtained by calling 01352 707707, e-mailing promotions@nwn.co.uk or writing to Airbus Community Awards, The Leader, Mold Business Park, Wrexham Road, Mold, CH7 1XY.

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS should be returned to promotions@nwn.co.uk (enter "AIRBUS Community Awards Application" in the subject line) or sent to Airbus Community Awards, The Leader, Mold Business Park, Wrexham Road, Mold, CH7 1XY.

The deadline for entries is midnight, Friday February 21, 2020.