The members of Pershore Duplicate Bridge Club are celebrating this week on having been awarded a grant in excess of £3,000 from the National Lottery, Awards for All scheme. Their application was to purchase an automated dealing machine enabling club members to play hands which have been pre-dealt and for which statistical and analytical reports can be made available after play. The picture shows (from the left) Pat Whitehurst, Neil Richardson, Alan Boyes and Maggie Davison with the dealing machine.
Commenting on the Award, Chairman Alan Boyes said "This is a tremendous breakthrough for bridge clubs. Bridge is extremely inexpensive and smaller clubs have therefore not previously had the funds to take advantage of the increasing use of technology in the bridge world. This will greatly benefit our members, and it's good to be one of the first to get an award."
Pershore DBC identified that the machine would also significantly aid their teaching programmes as well as being a major advantage for members who found shuffling and dealing cards physically difficult. The machine also enables more joint ventures to be held with other bridge clubs, as some types of event, for example Swiss events, have not been possible in the past due to the number of hands that have to be pre-prepared.
Alan paid tribute to Pershore Councillor Dave Shaw and English Bridge Union "Bridge for All" Manager, John Pain both of whom supported the club's application for Lottery funding.
Recognising the ground breaking nature of the club's achievement, Barry Capal General Manager of the EBU commented: "We congratulate Pershore on their success raising money from the Lottery and know their new machine will provide value added services to their members. This is the first such grant we know of awarded to bridge clubs and we hope it is the beginning of a new trend. We wish Pershore the very best of luck with their club in the future and thank them for their continued support of the EBU."
John Taylor, Big Lottery Fund Head for the West Midlands commented: "Awards for All is a great way of directing small Lottery grants to local groups. It just goes to show the breadth of different projects that these small grants can reach."
Pershore Duplicate Bridge Club meets at 7pm every Wednesday at Lower Moor and welcomes visitors. For more information see the club's web site www.pershorebridge.co.uk