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Funding to make Ellesmere Port and Neston community activities Covid-secure

Funding from Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner will enable two groups to start Covid-secure activities for vulnerable members of the community in Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Bridge Community Farm based in Ellesmere Port and Retain Wellbeing from Neston were both successful in securing funding from the commissioner’s Community Police Fund to make a difference in their local community.

Bridge Community Farm is a local charity which works to provide a therapeutic and caring environment for people with lifelong disability and mental health issues. 

The charity will use the funding to purchase new equipment for their new log cabins.  The cabins will enable a wide range of activities to be delivered in a Covid-secure way when restrictions ease.  Activities will include arts, crafts, painting and woodwork and will be delivered by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Retain wellbeing is not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) who run the GIFT café in Puddington, Neston.  The café is dementia friendly and runs a number of outreach sessions including memory groups, singing and Spanish sessions.

The group work closely with local organisations including Plessington Court Care Home, offering valuable dementia-friendly sessions for individuals and their carers before the pandemic stopped face-to-face sessions.

Retain Wellbeing will use their funding to pay for a large marquee, outside heaters and other equipment to enable sessions to be delivered safely, when outside activities can resume.

Both groups received a £1,000 grant from the Commissioner. They worked with their local policing teams to submit applications.

The fund has been developed using money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) 2002. It also links directly to the recently launched initiative to increase police visibility in every community by providing a dedicated Police Constable and PCSO for all 122 areas.

PCC David Keane said: “Both of these groups are working incredibly hard to make plans to resume activity for our vulnerable communities when restrictions allow. 

“The lockdown restrictions have heightened feelings of loneliness, depression and increased the level of vulnerability our communities are facing.

“Organisations like these are able have a positive impact to the lives of so many and will provide the support they need in a safe environment.

“I’m so pleased to enable these groups to ensure their activities can be delivered safely and ensure our vulnerable communities can re-connect after what has been a very challenging year.”

Clair Johnson, from Bridge Community Farm, added: “We are overjoyed to be awarded this funding.  It will enable us to help so many people.”

Caroline Hutton, from Retain Wellbeing, said “This is absolutely fantastic news and we are really excited to have such a great project to work on ready for when people can meet up again.”

Pictured - Local residents taking part in Covid-secure activities with Retain Wellbeing last summer.

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