Council funding has had a real impact on community projects

HAREGATE Community Centre In Leek, is one of 60 local community projects having a real impact on people's lives thanks to £400 funding from Staffordshire County Council.

The money helped run the centre's Family Cookery programme, allowing local families get hands on with cooking and learning about healthy eating. Local families joined professional cooks for fun sessions , focusing on nutrition, healthy living and how to make healthy eating affordable.

The 2019/20 People Helping People Fund saw £2500 allocated to each county councillor, to invest in projects that help keep people independent, healthy and supported within the places they live.

A total of £86,127 was awarded to projects with a further £276,035 being raised in match funding or other resources.

Victoria Wilson, cabinet member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “This fund was a new approach for us and was all about giving the community a chance to take the lead on the projects that matter to them most.

“We’re really pleased with the success of the fund and how the relatively small amounts of funding have helped make a difference to so many people’s lives. Local county councillors know their communities best and we’ve seen some great projects funded, from promoting healthy and active lifestyles, bringing communities together to providing extra services for young people.

“Community and voluntary groups and their projects have a huge role to play here in Staffordshire and providing the funding has help get many projects off the ground or helped them continue. They can also help fill in any gaps where support is not available as well as helping to complement existing county council services.”

Laura Cottingham, manager at Haregate Community Centre said: “We were all excited when we got news of the funding. We were able to put on five cookery sessions teaching families how to cook healthy, nutritious and fun meals using fresh produce from the community cupboard. We even managed to get all the children involved.

“Not only did it give families a better understanding of cooking healthily on a budget but also highlighted the benefits of batch cooking to help save even more money. Running the project also encouraged new families to visit the centre where we got the chance to introduce them to other services.”

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