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Stoke on Trent City Council’s community investment fund shares over one million pounds with 53 projects

Fifty-three community projects shared £1.2m from Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s community investment fund.

Grants from £2,800 to £50,000 have been given to organisations to make a positive difference to the lives of 1000s of residents.

Two of the projects who successfully applied for funding are:

  • Approach Dementia Support- £15,500. They will build pop-up memory pods and recreate familiar environments like a cafe and the seaside in their centre to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia.
  • St John’s Centre in Trent Vale- £19,500. They will buy and install a new lift so people with mobility users can use the training room on the first floor. The room is also for debt and budgeting advice sessions.

Paul Webster, from Approach Dementia Support, said: “The grant is going to make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia. The pods will help unlock and stimulate their memories in a safe space where they can relax. An added bonus is that the pods are portable so we can move them around and make sure we reach more people in the City.”

Reverend Michael Bridgewater from St John’s Centre, said: “The lift to our first floor does not work and this has had a huge impact on the number of groups who have been able to use our training room.

“In a typical week we have so many groups who use the centre including health, genealogy, fitness and a disability dance group. The training room is also used for debt management, training and volunteering.

“The centre is crucial in this area for giving people new skills and opportunities. We need to be able to use the whole of this building and thanks to this grant we will soon be fully accessible to everyone.”

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health, said: “I was absolutely thrilled to see so many strong bids come forward once again for the community investment fund. The bids that came forward were of such a high calibre that this is the first time that we have funded more than £1m worth of projects across Stoke-on-Trent in one tranche.

“These projects support communities groups and organisations who just need a helping hand to get their projects underway which in turn make our communities stronger, more successful and more resilient.

“We are supporting a wide range of organisations in so many different ways including building repairs, launching new services and buying equipment. The teams who run them know how to get the most out of every pound they have been given so the difference this £1.2m will make is going to be huge.”

Council leader Abi Brown said: “One of the best parts of this role is getting out and about to meet the people behind these projects and those they help.

“They covers all aspects of life in our city, from the Beth Johnson Foundation (£6,800) reducing isolation among older people, to Walk Talk Action (£5,864) to get more people walking and enjoying our wonderful city, and the Birches Head Get Growing project (£50,000) who will improve outdoor spaces with several projects including a sensory garden, community garden and a memorial garden.

“Since the start of the pandemic community groups in Stoke-on-Trent have played a vital role for our residents to keep them connected, healthy and supported.

“It’s been a tough time for them and I’m proud that our community investment fund is able to give support once again.”

Since the council’s fund was launched in 2017 it has shared £3.6m of grants with 181 projects.

Priority is given to projects that:

  • Transform outcomes for children and young people in the city
  • Improve education and skill levels for residents of all ages
  • Protect and improve mental and physical health and wellbeing
  • Work with residents and partners to make our communities safer, cleaner and heathier
  • Celebrate and promote Stoke-on-Trent as a destination for business, heritage and culture.

Visit the www.stoke.gov.uk/cif to find out more about the fund. The next round of grants will be open for applications during Autumn 2022. A total of £483,089 will be available for applicants.

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