Leap Of Faith

A community organisation which offers a range of help to local people in Whitchurch has thanked the Steve Morgan Foundation for taking a “leap of faith” in the charity with a three-year grant.

The Whitchurch Community Services association, based at Beechtree Community Centre, has just come to the end of a three-year grant of £70,812 from the Foundation which helped with its costs.

The charity operates a ‘Health and Wellbeing’ Centre with its core activities tailored for people of all ages including older people who are disadvantaged through isolation or poor physical or mental health, younger people who can benefit from developing their social skills and confidence, and unemployed people with additional disadvantages including homelessness, disabilities or learning difficulties.

“We continue to work with people that live in the most deprived areas of the town,” says Chief Officer Penny Beddoes.

“Our centre is situated on the edge of a number of these areas, and this is where a large number of our service users come from.

“Our project focuses on addressing health inequalities and and improving wellbeing for the community, and we also continue to strengthen pathways to other organisations and groups to create a wider support network for both staff and participants.

“As an independent organisation we also have the flexibility to respond and adapt quickly to the ever-changing needs of the community.

“With this grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation, I have been able to develop the vision and values of the Centre which underpin our services and activities.

“We have also been able to develop and promote a culture across the organisation which fosters commitment, high performance and involvement.”

Numbers accessing the Centre have increased during the time covered by the Steve Morgan Foundation grant, from 10,999 in 2016 to 16,025 last year.

‘You have inspired me to give it a try,’ wrote one service user in a monitoring report.

‘It is a little oasis of calm amongst my hectic life.’

“We would like to thank the trustees of the Steve Morgan Foundation for taking a ‘leap of faith’ in the centre,” added Penny.

“Around the start of the grant we were struggling to secure adequate funding and felt that no one had confidence in us or the work that we were doing.

“However, with this funding and the knowledge that it was secure, we were successful with applications to the Big Lottery and Children In Need.

“The grant gave the Centre stability, and helped me to work with the Board of Trustees and operational staff to search for further funding to sustain the Centre.”

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