50k National Lottery grant to help rebuild North Staffordshire communities after lockdown

A social enterprise has been awarded £50,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to help rebuild and connect communities in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire to not just survive but thrive after lockdown.

Counter Community is an online network that brings together voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises, local businesses, and individuals, to work together for social change and to boost the local economy. 

The £50,000 of National Lottery funding will allow the team behind Counter Community to engage with more organisations; to help them connect with each other and develop their online community network.

This will include the development of an app with Connected Thought Ltd, to share expert knowledge, measure their impact in the community, and recruit and retain volunteers. 

Mike Riddell, Director of Counter Community, said: “Counter Community is a movement that aims to shine a big, bright light on the good things that are happening in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, and connect them with each other so they can work together. 

“Whether it is a local business, individual, social enterprise or traditional voluntary organisation that wants to become a part of our network, what unites all of us is our core belief that when we work together for the interest of our community – and not ourselves – then anything is possible.” 

While in lockdown Counter Community is working with the 25 community organisations, individuals and businesses that are already signed up to develop the app and online network – to work best for future sign ups. 

Mike added: “Now more than ever is a time for us to come together for the good of our communities, supporting them to thrive, whether that be socially, environmentally or financially.

“Community spirit is at the heart of what we do and once we are out of these strange times, we want to build a community that is stronger than ever.” 

So far, Counter Community has 25 members – organisations and individuals – and 489 people have given their time to help the community from; volunteering in foodbanks to fixing bikes and administration work, creating a total of 27,024 volunteer hours. For more information on Counter Community and how you can get involved go to: https://www.countercommunity.com/

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