Amazing Support

A Birkenhead-based charity which carries out a variety of roles in the local community has praised the “amazing support” received from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The Neo Community charity, founded in 2013, provides a huge level of support including food assistance, community events and many other services to the benefit of local people.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has provided funding of £76,142 over three years to the core costs of the charity, which is continuing to make substantial progress.

“The funding has helped me to concentrate on building the project and making our charity a sustainable offer for the families who rely on our services,” says Ema Wilkes, CEO of Neo Community.

“Neo has become a registered charity in its own right this year and has grown a strong and robust team of volunteers, staff and trustees. 

“We have expanded our support now having a mini set-up within Woodlands Primary School in Birkenhead and another bi-weekly project supported for Veterans in North Wales. 

“We have been able to add to our Community House timetable which is almost full now with just two evenings a week without services, and we have opened a second community-led cafe, with function room facilities which allows local people to have family and community events at the best standards at reduced and affordable rates.

“The community house has seen wellbeing Tuesday and Wednesday begin, and we are now looking for a third day as there is  sadly a waiting list for these sessions or one-to-one support in wellbeing and mindfulness and group work. 

“We have extended our children’s work to also operate in partnership with the local refuge to allow more families to access the service in a safe and controlled way on a Tuesday evening, delivering some vital training to these families whilst ensuring they are getting to know the local residents for when they are ready to leave the refuge.

“We already have friendly faces and a support network set up, and this has given a safe youth provision for an extra 30 children each week. 

“We have been able to take and collect even more food to distribute across our working area and we have linked in the young Chamber of Commerce to empower and encourage more young people to get involved in social action. 

“We have supported even more crisis than ever before this year but what has been really important is the wraparound support for new families in crisis who now know not to wait until there is nothing and access services all the time rather than when there is nothing.”

The incredible progress made by Neo meant that not only were they asked to deliver a presentation about the importance of volunteering at the Steve Morgan Foundation Annual Conference back in October, they also won the award for Charity or Social Enterprise making the greatest local impact.

“We were obviously very proud to be awarded the Steve Morgan Award for community impact and that award again helped us deliver even more fun to our community,” added Ema.

“We are exceptionally lucky to have such support from the community in helping us to design and deliver our services which in turn ensures the benefit is much greater as it is what our community wants and needs.

“We have some amazing support from the Steve Morgan Foundation not only supporting a salary post within Neo but also providing a ‘Chiller Van’ to increase our food pick-ups and distribution to a larger area. 

“We very proudly had that opportunity to run sessions at the Steve Morgan Foundation conference on volunteering and speak about our project and to our utter disbelief the day was topped off with receiving the award for Community Impact. 

“None of the work our community business does would be possible without our amazing committed team of community champions and our small staff team. 

“I would like to thank the trustees of the Steve Morgan Foundation for seeing our vision to grow and support us more right from the first meeting and always being so available for support and thinking about us. 

“Thank you also to the Foundation for having one of the most supportive and welcoming teams we have ever had the joy to work with and for giving myself and Neo a platform to talk from and encourage so many more to be involved in not just our work, but others too.”

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