A much needed community project that tackles loneliness and social isolation has been made possible thanks to the support of Bentley Motors.
The luxury motor company funded a community garden space at Barnies, which is based at St Barnabas Church Hall in Crewe.
Barnies is run by the Enterprising Enterprise Alliance, a not-for-profit social enterprise.
EEA applied to Cheshire Community Foundation for a £5,000 grant to pay for a garden project leader to oversee the community space at Barnies.
The majority of the funding came from Bentley with additional support from motor dealership Swansway. Both companies are headquartered in Crewe.
Lesley Christianson, the EEA’s Project Development Manager, said: “The support of Bentley and Swansway has been invaluable in making the community garden space a reality.
“People at Barnies have faced many challenges in their lives and issues include isolation, low self-esteem, loneliness, ill health, lack of qualifications and poor reading and writing skills.
“The project is situated in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Crewe.
“Over 110 people are now able to take part in horticultural activities as well as taking home produce they have grown themselves, helping to alleviate food poverty.
“Any surplus produce is sold at a nominal price to the wider community, generating income for further seeds and seedlings, encouraging access to fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Sally Hepton, Bentley’s Director of Government Relations and CSR, said: “We are delighted to support this wonderful project so close to our headquarters in Crewe.
“The project is already paying dividends on a number of levels including helping to combat social isolation and food poverty.”
In addition to the funding, around 30 employees at Bentley have helped to set up a Memory Café at Barnies for people with dementia in the Crewe area.
Support included painting and decorating the café and also setting up a memory box which included photographs and other memorabilia connected to the history of car manufacturing at Bentley’s Pyms Lane HQ.
Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation, said: “This is a terrific example of CCF in action, helping to bring together worthy causes with organisations and individuals keen to make a difference in their local community.”