Nine community groups and projects in Widnes given funding boost
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More than 100 people attended a participatory budget event in Widnes and voted on how they wanted £15,000 to be spent.
After the votes were collated, the Home Office funding was shared between nine community groups and projects.
The other groups/projects which pitched for votes at Parklands Sports Club on Saturday 7 March have been signposted to alternative funding streams.
Superintendent Laura Marler, who oversees policing in Widnes, said: “Since funding from the Home Office was secured, we have been working with partner agencies and members of the Widnes community on how to best spend the money.
“Who better to decide on where the money should go than the Widnes residents it will benefit?
“A wide range of community groups and projects applied for up to £2,000 for ways to help unite the people of Widnes and make the town a better and safer place to live, work and visit.
“At the participatory budget event, 15 groups and projects delivered short presentations detailing how they would utilise funding to benefit the Widnes community.
“They also spoke directly to the Widnes residents who turned out to learn about each of the funding bids and then vote on their top three.
“The event went extremely well. More than 100 people attended, there was a good community spirit throughout and the standard of the groups/projects that received the most votes – and subsequently a slice of the funding – were extremely high.
“Those nine groups/projects received all or part of the funding they applied for.
“I am confident that they will all put the money to good use for the benefit of the Widnes community.”
The community groups/projects that have shared the £15,000 funding pot are:
Bleeding Control Kits for the Community: The money will be used to fund 20 of the life-saving kits and training on how to use them. The kits will be located at public buildings and pubs in Widnes to enable members of the public to prevent knife crime victims from bleeding to death.
A Better Tomorrow: A football team for asylum seekers and refugees has been set up and plans are afoot for sides from Widnes to be invited to take part in a football tournament, funded by the money received.
Widnes Foodbank: The funding will enable the food bank to buy new equipment and recruit more staff to give emergency food and support to people in crisis.
St Michael with St Thomas C of E Church: A youth and hub space will be created with the funding to enable young people and other community groups to meet up regularly.
The Great Get Together: The money will pay for an event at Victoria Park in Widnes. Artwork created by members of the community will be paraded and there will be music and refreshments for visitors to enjoy.
Keep Widnes Tidy: The volunteer group will buy new equipment and pay for promotional material to recruit more members to help clean up Widnes by organising and carrying out litter picks.
St Bede’s Jubilee Club: The funding will be used to celebrate St Bede’s Social Club’s 20th anniversary. Various community groups and schools will be involved, with refreshments and entertainment provided as the club continues to alleviate loneliness in Widnes.
Halton Farnworth Hornets ARLFC: The long-standing rugby league club will utilise the funding to improve its facilities and create a kitchen/eating area for players, supporters and everyone else connected to the club to enjoy.
Young Addaction Halton: Camping and sports equipment will be bought for the Mayor’s Awards groups based in Widnes – at St John’s Church on Greenway Road and Upton Community Centre.
Participatory budgeting directly involves local people in making decisions on the spending and priorities for a defined public budget.
It also provides residents with information that enables them to be a part of prioritising the needs of their community.
Supt Marler added: “The event at Parklands Sports Club was an opportunity for Widnes residents to find out about extremely good work that is taking place in the town.
“There are some fantastic community groups and projects in Widnes, with the participatory budgeting event showcasing just some of them.”
Halton Borough Council representatives and members of Cheshire Constabulary’s Community Engagement Team and Widnes Local Policing Unit attended the event.
Drinks, biscuits and other refreshments were provided by Marks and Spencer at the event.