Latest Awards

Some examples of recent grants that have been awarded to organisations. Many grants have also been made to individuals, whose privacy is respected.


Key Trust puts money in bank

July/August 2021

When the pond was dug in Barton in the 1700s, it was functional only, being used as a watering hole by the local farmers for their animals. Nowadays, it is very much a recreational amenity used by village residents for fishing, wildlife watching and teddy bear terrorising. As such, it needs to be kept safe and clean. It was the smell that drew the attention of the ’fish pond councillor’ Jeanette Taylor. Upon investigation it was discovered that the old railway sleepers that had been used to shore up part of the bank over 40 years ago were crumbling and blocking the drain from the pond to the brook.

Jeanette headed a campaign to raise money to remove the poplar trees, whose roots were damaging the bank, and make the bank safe for pedestrians again. The Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were approached and were happy to approve a grant of £10,000 which, along with funds raised from other sources, meant the work was able to start quickly. The Key Trust also covered a shortfall of £1500 when extra work was required.

Gabions (metal cages) have been filled with rocks to stop the bank from slipping again, with ready-planted coir rolls placed in front to give a quick start to plant growth at the edge of the pond. Native trees (oak, alder and rowan) have been planted and wildflower seeds sown on the bank around the trees. Thanks to the hard work from everyone involved, it should look good and last another 40 years or more.

New doors for a new start

June 2021

The Methodist Church at the top of Crowberry Lane was built in 1828 and has had several alterations in that time. A porch was added, the balcony was removed, extra rooms were added at the back of the church, the pulpit and communion rail were removed, the porch was replaced, a vestry added and a lovely modern kitchen was added.

If you’ve parked at the village hall car park then you will have driven past the Methodist Church and seen its most recent addition in the form of a striking oak extension.

This forms a porch to take you straight into the Church rooms. Users of the church with wheelchairs or pushchairs will no longer have to negotiate the tight turns previously required. Extra storage space has been created by the building work too. This work was only made possible by the generous grant of £15000 from the Key Trust, with other funds coming from the local Methodist Circuit, donations from church members and church funds. Reverend Helen Harrell said “We are looking forward to welcoming our congregation and other church users back to the buildings as soon as it’s safe to do so. This new extension demonstrates our keenness to make the church as friendly and welcoming as possible for all users.”

This sporting life!

April 2021

Barton under Needwood is unusual in having a multi-sport club right in the centre of the village. Many local villages have a football club or tennis club or cricket club, each with their own grounds. In Barton, these three sports joined together in 1963 to form Holland Sports Club. The club was officially opened in 1965 by a member of the Holland family, Mr Sadler, on land given to Barton Parish Council by Mr W N Holland who had inherited the Holland estate upon the death of Miss Holland in 1961. Other sports have affiliated to HSC since then, including hockey, tug of war, netball, rugby, pigeon flying, walking football and touch rugby.

The HSC committee have been successful in developing the use of its facilities for members and the wider community but this results in the current lounge becoming crowded on occasions, with the kitchen area pushed to its limits. The answer has now arrived in the form of a modular building with a catering kitchen able to host members’ activities and be a source of revenue in the future. The trustees of the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were proud to support this application with £30,000, to add to the monies from club savings. This function room is sure to become a welcome asset to the HSC and a valuable addition to the facilities of the village. .

Who is my neighbour?

December 2020

You will remember that during the first lockdown that started in March there was a large group of volunteers helping the isolated and vulnerable in the village. As the Parish councillors returned to their regular duties at the end of lockdown, the same group of volunteers decided to continue the work done by BVN (Barton Volunteer Network) and created a charity called Barton Neighbourhood Volunteers. This group managed by Jane, Lesley, Sue, Fran, Sally and Kay will continue to offer support in the form of shopping, prescription collections, information about hot meal deliveries and phone buddies. To get a solid start they applied for and received a grant of £1000 to enable them to purchase a laptop, phone line, insurance and DBS checks.

If you would like to join as a volunteer or if you need help of any kind, then you can ring 01283 296229.

Dunstall in contact

October 2020

Can you imagine having to go through the pandemic lockdown without a decent internet connection? That is nearly what happened to the residents of Dunstall when British Telecom left the village out of their plans for an upgrade of 95% of the country to SuperFast Broadband. BT said it would be unlikely that Dunstall would receive and upgrade for ten to fifteen years.

In 2018 the newly formed ‘Dunstall Community Broadband Partnership’ started negotiations with BT to create a partnership scheme to deliver the required infrastructure. After a huge amount of hard work, as well as generous donations from Simon Clarke and South Staffs SuperFast Broadband, the scheme asked the villagers of Dunstall for a donation, and sought other sources of funding such as councillor’s funds and the Key Trust.

The Trustees of the Key Trust were delighted to contribute £10,000 to help get the project going, and now Dunstall receives the same quality of broadband access as the rest of us. Without a decent internet connection the Dunstall Parish representative on the Key Trust would not have been able to join in the Zoom meetings that have had to take place instead of face-to-face meetings (see photo). Well done to everyone who worked to make this project successful.

Digital Rainbows

April 2020

1st Barton Rainbows is the youngest section of Girlguiding in Barton with 14 5-7 year girls in the unit. Two Leaders run the Rainbows, Gemma Elkin and Emma Forsyth, ably assisted by two fabulous Young Leaders and supported by Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. Since most administration, record keeping and programme planning assistance is online after the recent implementation of a new Girlguiding programme, it’s become more important to have good IT to cope.

The trustees of the Key Trust were delighted to award a grant to cover the purchase of a laptop and printer for the unit. This means that they are able to access the internet reliably, create better documents and print straight away without relying on the support of others. They also hope to become more paper-free as they use group emails to contact parents, share their newsletter via social media, and make better use of Girlguiding resources that are online. It’s expected that this will enhance the activities that the Rainbows can take part in, and will improve their experience during the meetings.

Gemma and Emma (seen in the photograph with trustee Jim Black) said ‘Thank for the donation. It is appreciated and will support us for years to come.’ You’re welcome, Rainbows!

Do your legs fold?

January 2020

The Trustees of the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust were delighted to present a cheque to St James PCC to cover the cost of renewing the old tables in the church hall on St James Road. If you’ve ever been to the hall then you’ll remember the tables as being heavy to move and lift and, because they didn’t fold, they also took up a lot of space when stored. The new tables are lightweight, and the legs are easy to fold down, making them much more user friendly. Storage is no longer a problem as they have their own wheeled trolleys. It’s hoped that all who use the newly renovated facilities at St James Hall will find setting up and clearing away to be a quicker, easier job now. Trustee David Okoye is seen in the photograph presenting a cheque to Mrs Sue Ives, Secretary of the PCC, with Mr and Mrs Wildgoose, the caretakers. 

A breath of fresh air

November 2019

The pupils at Thomas Russell Infant School (TRIS) are now able to access an outdoor teaching area in the school playground, thanks to a grant from the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust. A sheltered classroom has been created with a substantial canopy to protect the pupils from rain or shine, while learning and during break times. Co-head teacher Suzy Burton said ‘It’s a wonderful extra which will add greatly to the school environment and the learning and social experiences of the children.’ Pictured with Suzy is Trustee Suzanne van Daesdonk and two of the pupils at TRIS.

Barton Mews Key Trust Award

September 2019

The Trustees were delighted to be able to make a grant to the Barton Mews Residents Association as resident Mr Bill Steward applied for help to provide a digital piano. Since moving in Bill has successfully arranged some social events and concerts for all residents but had to resort to borrowing a ‘digit piano’ from wherever he could for artists to perform.

Now thanks to the Barton and Dunstall Key Trust they have their own, available for both residents and any visiting, performing artists in the Mews. Bill says that with their own piano they will more easily be able to arrange entertainment for the enjoyment of all In the photo with Bill and Trust chairman Jacqui Jones is pianist Svetlana Cope (Lana). 

Lana performed the first concert with the new piano and said that it was ideal, just what was needed.   Lana graduated as concert pianist and composer from the Ural's State Conservatoire in Ekaterinburg, Russia.  Since 2002 she has lived and worked as a pianist and piano teacher in England.

For the concert Lana played some popular classical pieces including "For Elize" by Beethoven, "Turkish Rondo" by Mozart, "Serenade" by Schubert and   various pieces  by Chopin,  Brahms, Tchaikovsky and  Rachmaninoff to name a few. It was a great selection with all of us delighting in the familiar and the not so familiar.

The concert was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by the residents (and some of the Trustees!). The afternoon was a great success and the first of many.

£5,000 Grant for Junior School Quiet Area

July 2019

Thomas Russell Junior School now has a new Quiet Area calm space for children who want to avoid the noise and busyness of the playground thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Key Trust towards the £12,500 cost funded substantially by the Friends of TRJS together with a small grant from Punch Taverns.  It replaces the original Quiet Area installed more than sixteen years ago that was no longer safe to use.

Head teacher, Mrs Shelley Sharpe said "Thanks to the Key Trust's splendid support we've created a calm and welcoming play area space including bench seating, sensory planters, all weather traditional board games and musical chimes that enhance facilities for our children in school and visitors that come to support village events".  

"We now have a quality product fit and safe for purpose that will withstand up to 250 children using it on a daily basis!" she added.

Children seen at the grant presentation with Mrs Shelley Sharpe & Trustee Mrs Julie Skinner from the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust commented on the new area:  Jessica 'I like spending time with my friends in the sensory garden, my favourite plant is the mint'.  'Flags and spinners make it look really pretty' Harry.  'Its quite peaceful, a good place to go when you want to be calm away from the playground' said Thomas.

Barton Guides Supported to Represent Staffordshire at International Camp

June 2019

Lucy Williams, Libby Hudson and Emily Tricker all Girl Guides from Barton have learnt new skills, developed their confidence and communication skills and discovered new cultures at an international camp in Switzerland this year thanks to grants from the Barton & Dunstall Key Trust to top up the funds each have raised for their travel, accommodation and trip fees of £1,000.

Libby Hudson, has been involved with girl guiding since she was five - in Rainbows, Brownies and now as a Guides leader at Brownies whilst Emily Tricker has volunteered at Barton's Rainbow unit as part of her Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award.  Both  worked as part of a team preparing meals and keeping the Guides house in Switzerland  in order. Lucy Williams, who is studying French & German at school, was also able to practice her language skills and all three girls made many new international friends.

Also pictured at the grant cheques presentation by Jacqui Jones, Key Trust chairman, was Sophie Williams who was assisted by the Trust to attend a similar Swiss camp in 2017. 'I had an amazing time learning about Swiss culture, visiting traditional Swiss towns and making many new friends.  Most memorable was visiting the Guides 'Our Chalet' established in 1932 by the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts in a beautiful valley on the outskirts of Adelboden in the Bernese Oberland' said Sophie.