Wombwell group to bid for cash – and your votes – in telly competition

Friends of Wombwell Cemetery outside the chapel they are hoping to restore. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

Friends of Wombwell Cemetery outside the chapel they are hoping to restore. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

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A BID for cash to benefit Wombwell will go live on television this week... and your help is needed!

The Friends of Wombwell Cemetery volunteer group will make their pitch for £42,000 to restore a Grade ll Listed burnt out chapel – on ITV’s Calendar, on June 28.

They are one of six bidding groups – of which four will receive the money they need to launch their community scheme.

Viewers will vote for the scheme on a number to be broadcast on the day, and it is these votes that will decide where cash allocations will go.

The Friends of Wombwell Cemetery evolved nine years ago, when volunteers decided to patrol the cemetery after an 87-year-old woman was mugged, while tending a grave.

Since then they have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for their work in improving the cemetery by installing railings, benches and memorials – not least to the unmarked graves of babies.

There are two listed chapels at the site. The one to be targeted by the Friends was built around 1870 but was partially destroyed by fire 20 years ago.

The Friends hope to restore it totally, and provide an entire wall for memorial plaques for the people of Wombwell.

Mike Bretton, Chairman of the ‘Friends’ said: “Along with work to the main fabric of the building to keep it intact, the chapel still has one tower and needs a new lightning conductor.

“Our idea is to put seating inside, with planters for flowers, along with the plaques.

“We’re asking everyone to get behind us. I understand each vote will cost just 11p, and that 10 calls can be made from any one telephone”.

The Friends currently have over 40 members, including a number of young volunteers.

The Jubilee People’s Millions is a Big Lottery Fund in partnership with ITV, approved by Buckingham Palace. The fund will make 60 awards of up to £60,000 to projects for 2012, to improve places or the lives of people in the community.