Gallery: Hilton in the Community Foundation winners announced

THERE was plenty to cheer about at the Hilton London Stansted as charitable organisations and school representatives came together for the announcement of our charity giveaway. Hilton in the Community Foundation

THERE was plenty to cheer about at the Hilton London Stansted as charitable organisations and school representatives came together for the announcement of our charity giveaway.

Hilton in the Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Reporter and sister paper, the Dunmow Broadcast, dished out �3000 to local bodies that help children in the areas of education or health.

This year's scheme received over 50 applications - each one a worthy cause - and some �70,000 in funding requests.

The cash was split between five winners, who were selected on strict criteria by a panel of judges - including a representative from the Reporter - and presented with a cheque at a stylish ceremony at the hotel on Monday.

The winners were:

Felsted Playing Field Project: As part of the village's ongoing work to provide adults and children with a modern, safe and central place to socialise, the project was awarded �1000 to go towards the picnic area and seating in the children's playground.

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Project volunteer Catherine Gould said: "We're delighted. The community as a whole has been involved in the fundraising and planning of the playground and we are now �1000 closer to our �90,000 target."

There will be an open day at Memorial Hall, Felsted on November 21 - from 10am to 4pm - to give people the chance to see the children's playground plans and give their views. For more information visit www.felstedplayground.co.uk

BUDS Special Needs Playscheme: An Ofsted registered charity which provides respite care provision for children aged four to 13 with special or additional needs, was awarded �600 to buy new fold-away child-sized tables.

Chairman Linda Turner said: "The current tables are old and tatty and there wasn't funding available to purchase new ones. Other things were higher priority so we're absolutely delighted to be given this extra funding to provide much-needed facilities. It will make a big difference to both children and staff."

For more information on BUDS call 01371 810542.

Dunmow & District branch of the National Childbirth Trust: The branch was awarded �500 to help with the purchase of new mats for use by babies and young parents at its Bumps and Babes group.

Chairman Lou Painter said: "We almost closed down last year due to a lack of volunteers but thanks to the dedication of four committee members we have revitalised the branch and are now seeing renewed interested from the local community.

"This funding will help us provide a safe area for babies and toddlers, as well as our antenatal classes, and reach more young parents to develop social networks."

For more information call Lou on 01371 821171 or visit www.nct.org.uk/dunmow

Stebbing Primary School: Awarded �700 to purchase a greenhouse. The school council is aiming to make the school more sustainable and develop its grounds. They are now working towards the national Eco-bronze award.

Key Stage 2 teacher, Camilla Bonham, said: "We were surprised to win but very happy - we're hoping to get our bronze status and this will definitely help us on our way.

"The flower and vegetable beds we have are for the spring and summer, but with the greenhouse the children will be able to grow their own produce throughout the year.

"It fits in with our healthy school approach and will help the children to develop a responsible and caring attitude and improve life learning skills."

Daddy & Me: Awarded �200 to purchase new toys for a father and toddler group for Henham, Elsenham and Ugley residents.

Dub Gannon, assistant minister of St Mary's Church where the group is held, said: "There are plenty of mother and toddler groups where many fathers would feel out of place.

"This funding will really help us to build up the necessary means for fathers to come together and spend quality time with their children."

Daddy & Me runs on the third Saturday of every month from 9am to 10.30am. For more information contact 01279 850805.

Team members at the hotel have raised thousands of pounds for the foundation over the last few years from activities such as a sponsored fitness challenge, raffles, marathon runs and skydives

Hilton London Stansted general manager, Tom McDermott, said: "My team have worked extremely hard over the years raising over �70,000 for the Hilton in the Community Foundation. In the past year alone they have raised over �6000 through a variety of activities."

He added: "We received a huge response to our search and unfortunately we were unable to help everyone.

"The team and I were amazed how much fantastic work is going on in the surrounding area every day, led by many dedicated people.

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