Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) have presented eight prestigious awards to charities, businesses and volunteers who have made a huge local impact since the beginning of the pandemic.
The awards were presented by David Briggs, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire at Cheshire Community Foundation’s President’s Awards at Arley Hall and Gardens. The event was sponsored by Rathbones Plc, and attended by the Duke of Westminster, who has continued to provide generous support through the Westminster Foundation since CCF was set up in 2011. The Duke spoke of a longstanding shared commitment to the voluntary sector in Cheshire, set to continue into the future.
2021 marks 10 years of operation for Cheshire Community Foundation, and David Briggs spoke about forming the initial network of vital supporters, many of whom attended the ceremony. Guests included Cheshire Community Foundation’s generous donors, trustees, local stakeholders and of course the charity and volunteer award winners. Guests heard about the decade of fundraising and grant making by the foundation, for projects which have touched the lives of 1 in 10 people in Cheshire. They report having already awarded £1 million in grants this year, bringing their total to over £9 million since the Foundation began.
Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation said:
The charity awards were presented to:
Blooming Art, which runs community art classes for health and wellbeing in
The Lighthouse Centre, providing emergency support to homeless people in Crewe.
Stick’n’Step in Cheshire West, who support children with cerebral palsy and their families.
The charities have all received grants from Cheshire Community Foundation during the pandemic and the judging panel were impressed by the enormous impact of their work, changing and indeed saving lives. Blooming Art presented a story of a participant whose mental health was transformed by the nurturing and therapeutic environment of their art classes. The Lighthouse Centre had a testimonial from a client whose life was saved by their intervention, which begins simply with a cup of tea and a hot meal, leading to a safe place to sleep, emotional support and a community that cares. Stick’n’Step were described by David Briggs as an “incredible charity”, as he told the story of a child whose mobility was transformed from using a wheelchair, to playing football, by Stick’n’Step’s therapy and inspiring encouragement.
Angela Richardson, Grants Director at CCF said:
“In 2020 we provided three times our typical number of grants thanks to our generous donors. We are now seeing incredible project outcomes achieved by charities for people affected by the pandemic. We wanted to celebrate and recognise the amazing success of Cheshire and Warrington charities, under such extraordinary circumstances.
Stick’n’Step demonstrated how a project can impact not just the direct beneficiaries but their families and community too, by providing emotional and practical support. The Lighthouse Centre in Crewe have literally turned lives around, and their video evidence was tremendously moving to watch. Blooming Art have demonstrated excellent mental health and wellbeing outcomes, which has been so important for us all this year. We’re immensely proud to be associated with such wonderful organisations.”
Awards for Business were presented to two corporate partners:
European Metal Recycling (EMR)
in recognition of generous pro bono support to Cheshire Community Foundation over many years.
Volunteer awards were received by:
Aimee Sutton, who assists CCF with grants monitoring,
Rob McKay, who chairs the Cheshire West and Chester Impact Group for CCF,
Chris Purslow, who chairs the Warrington Impact Group for CCF,
in recognition of their outstanding contribution.
CCF were delighted to be able to hold an in-person event in accordance with current restrictions and guidelines and appreciative that guests were also able to enjoy tours of Arley’s beautiful gardens led by Lord Ashbrook and the Head Gardener.
Rowland Flower, Investment Director at Rathbone Investment Management comments: “We were delighted to once again sponsor the President’s Awards and celebrate the work of the exceptional organisations and individuals throughout Cheshire that do so much to help our community.
The last year really highlighted the importance of community at a time when people were forced to stay at home. It is thanks to the organisations and individuals honoured at the awards that many in our area felt supported. To celebrate all together in Arley’s beautiful gardens was the icing on the cake!”
High Sheriff of Cheshire, Robert Mee and his wife Hayley were in attendance, continuing his mission to use his year in post as one of recognition for the vital work of Cheshire’s voluntary sector.