Deadline looms for charity grant vote

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The deadline is looming to help a Halifax homeless charity scoop a grant to extend the invaluable work it does in Calderdale.

Happy Days Cycles is one of five projects in Yorkshire to be shortlisted to take part in a TV competition, where the three with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000.

The Big Lottery Fund wanted to celebrate some of the incredible projects it has funded and has worked with ITV to showcase 95 projects across the UK.

But the deadline - March 12 - is looming and Happy Days has been out and about in Sowerby Bridge and Halifax, wearing fox heads, urging people to vote.

The fox, often a misunderstood creature, is Happy Days’ mascot. Happy Days Cycles in Sowerby Bridge opened on February 20, 2016, and is one of three social enterprise companies working hard to make the HappyDays charity sustainable in the future.

It provides training in cycle maintenance for people who are at risk of, or who have experienced, homelessness.

This means they will be able to refurbish pre-owned bikes, offer bike rides and hold pop-up shops offering affordable and well maintained bikes for Calderdale. It’s hoped this will boost employment prospects for homeless people and encourage more people to take up cycling, improving their physical and mental health as well as providing social opportunities.

Charity founder David Fawcett said: “We are thrilled to be through to the last five charities for this ITV bid. The funds will help us survive in this tough climate and help our newly opened HappyDays Cycle Shop and Café in Sowerby Bridge which provides reconditioned and new cycles, cycling clothes and accessories.

People can only vote once per region and you will need an email address to vote. Visit www.thepeoplesprojects.co.uk for - voting closes at midday on Sunday, March 12.