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Knowsley Better Together gets initiatives off the ground

by Gemma Melling

A total of 44 projects will benefit from the next round of Knowsley Better Together funding – an initiative launched by Knowsley Council which brings people and organisations together for the benefit of Knowsley and its residents.

The second funding window opened in March and 52 applications were received from community groups and organisations. They related to projects that help improve educational outcomes for the borough’s children and young people, support residents with adult social care needs, promote the health and wellbeing of residents or grow the local economy, including with jobs and housing.

Bids of up to £10,000 were invited and in particular, groups who would benefit from funding of £2,000 to £3,000 to help their initiative get off the ground were encouraged to apply.

The £700,000 Knowsley Better Together fund has already allocated £242,000 to groups last year including Sight and Mind (dementia support), Listen Up (addressing mental health and wellbeing issues in children and young people), It’s your child’s life (enhancing a child’s learning environment at home), Swanside community centre project (offering IT and homework clubs, bringing different ages of the local community together to learn from each other).

This year, projects to benefit include:

The Young Apprentice – raising the aspirations of pupils in the Tower Hill area of Kirkby, working alongside the education sector and with the support from a local business MJ Quinn, to help them explore employment opportunities through apprenticeships.

Let’s kick it – football training sessions for men and women run by [me]united in the Swanside area of Huyton and Halewood addressing the important issue of mental health by encouraging team work.  Research shows that regular exercise can boost your health and wellbeing, as well as helping you to keep active.

Residents Against Isolation and Social Exclusion (RAISE) will run coffee mornings and therapy sessions over an 18 month period in Stockbridge Village to address a number of issues that have been raised by the local community, including mental health and social isolation. The sessions will be supported by the Carers Centre and Healthwatch Knowsley and will encourage residents to socialise and address common issues together, as well as a programme of activities including aroma touch, meditation and tai chi.

Knowsley Care Leavers Bridge Loan Fund, run by Enterprise Credit Union, will work with care leavers across the borough (young adults who have previously been in the care of the council) to equip them with the financial skills in order to lead independent lives.  Support will include budgeting skills to help them run and furnish a household and setting up a bank / savings account.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said “The applications we received highlighted the commitment, talent and innovation across our borough – they were truly inspiring.

“It’s great that so many people, groups and organisations want to get involved in helping residents and making our borough the best that it can be.  I look forward to seeing the projects develop and hearing about the outcomes they are delivering in our communities.”