Venus shines brightly after funding boost

A charity which has been supporting and empowering women for more than a quarter of a century has been able to continue its work after receiving emergency funding.

Venus originally started working with young women facing challenges in their lives but has expanded its services to include the whole community.

The Bootle-based charity is the heartbeat of the local community and offers support on everything from family support, housing and accommodation to mental health and wellbeing.

However Covid-19 meant they didn’t have enough money to help all the people they wanted to so applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund and were awarded £15,400.

Nikki Thomas, Hub service leader at Venus Charity, said: “The grant has enabled us to continue to make a big difference in the community. We’re sending out food parcels, essential items and activities for young people.

“We know a lot of people in the charity sector who have benefited from the Steve Morgan Foundation. We see Steve Morgan as the champion of the voluntary sector.”

Venus was launched 26 years ago to support girls in their late teens and early 20s via a peer support programme.

Nikki said: “We moved from just helping teenage women to families but always with the focus on women. We’ve evolved as a service and through identifying the need in the community we are involved in a number of projects such as debt and money management advice

“A lot of the people we work with are on benefits or low incomes and may have debts. The current circumstances and pressures can make things even more difficult for them so this grant helps us to support people through it.”

Venus is based in offices in Linacre Lane, Bootle, where it runs an open access drop-in service.

“Anyone can walk through the door without an appointment,” said Nikki. “It could be someone with a bailiff’s letter or someone who has experienced a relationship breakdown on that particular day. It’s a safe space for people. We’ve supported a lot of people to change their lives.

“When Covid-19 struck we had to stop the majority of our face-to-face work except for our supported housing accommodation. Every single project is still running but in a creative way such as using Zoom and video calls. There’s still a need for our services.”   

Steve Morgan, founder of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “The services that Venus provide are vital in places like Bootle. They’ve been in existence for 26 years and it’s essential they continue to help the vulnerable, which is why we stepped in.”

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