‘And it’s Live’…

A charity in Chester which provides high quality learning and recreation activities for people with disabilities has been supported by the Steve Morgan Foundation.

A three-year grant potentially to the tune of £70,208 has been awarded to Live!, based at New Scene Centre in Chester, which serves people throughout Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales.

The funding will be used to fund the role of a Senior Co-Ordinator.

Debi Whittaker, Senior Co-ordinator, at Live!, says: “Our mission is to provide high quality learning and recreation activities, which are accessible and responsive to the needs of children, young people and adults with disabilities. 

“We promote integration, celebrate peoples’ differences and recognise and implement equal opportunities throughout the organisation.

“We are a vibrant independent charity that provides a varied programme of fully inclusive and accessible clubs and social activities for disabled people, who come from throughout West Cheshire to take part, make friends and have fun.

“Whilst doing so they develop their self-esteem and confidence, improve their physical well-being and develop social, vocational and independent living skills.

“As a charity our role is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of those taking part, challenge disadvantage and promote choice and inclusion.

“First established in 1993 as a small community group, we have grown and developed to the point where we now run an average of 72 activity sessions every month.

“In the 12 months to August 2018 our clubs and activities were attended by 275 people, and back in 2011 we were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“We are the only organisation in our area that provides a wide range of clubs and activities designed to break down the barriers that lead to the exclusion of disabled children, young people and adults.”

A variety of sessions on offer include MIMO and Mini MIMO (Miss It Miss Out), offering a range of activities after school for young people, The Next Event, a weekly independent living and social skills group for people aged 17 to 25, and 50 Days of Fun, a school holiday activity programme.

Sport, the performing arts, gardening, music, a community café, offering business advice, the Duke of Edinburgh award…the long list goes on of activities which are available to those who access Live!

Only recently, in conjunction with Disability Africa, a Young Persons Disability Awareness project saw several young people visit the Gunjur Project in the Gambia to promote disability awareness.

Clearly with so many different activities put on, the role of the Senior Co-Ordinator, which the Steve Morgan Foundation is now contributing to, is vital.

“It will enable the position to stand alone and we won’t have to take a percentage from our other projects to cover wages for the position,” added Debi.

And that will help Live! continue to develop in the future.

“All those taking part in the activities improve their self-esteem and confidence, communication skills, physical wellbeing, friendships, mental health, social, vocational and independent living skills and happiness,” added Debi.

“It also reduces social isolation and people become more engaged.

“We ensure that everyone is involved and absolutely no one is excluded.”

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