Samaritans volunteers Chris Young and David Hughes with Sharon Sandercock from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company

Local projects and good causes are being encouraged to apply for a share of the final pot of money to be given away in 2019 by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s Community Fund, which opens today (Oct 1).

Since it was launched three years ago, the Community Fund has donated more than £72k to 47 different community projects and charities based in mid and west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Entries for the final round of 2019 are being accepted from today, with the closing date for applications set as December 30.

This year has seen two of the Community Fund’s biggest donations yet – to Cornwall Samaritans and Clean Ocean Sailing – who shared almost £7k between them.

Now the Community Fund is inviting applications for further grants, with a potential top gift of £10k.

Sam Hicks, chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s Community Fund, said: “It’s wonderful to hear of the success stories from groups we have supported and I hope it helped them sustain and grow the good work they were already doing.

“Many people are unaware that we have this pot of money to give away as part of an estimated £1 million the Steamship Group returns to the community ever year through subsidised travel for islanders, NHS flights, sponsorships and charitable donations.

“I’d like to invite organisations to apply for round nine of the Community Fund and look forward to reading the applications.”

In 2018 alone the fund donated in excess of £23,000 to 12 different projects. It was praised as “a force for good” by TV presenter and bushcraft expert Ray Mears, after he visited several island beneficiaries earlier in the year.

Full details, eligibility criteria and application forms are now available from the Steamship Group’s website.