On Thursday 16 May 2019, Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) held an awards event and lunch to celebrate the outstanding contribution of incredible local charities, generous donors, CCF volunteers and corporate partners.

In the beautiful setting of Walton Hall, the Foundation shared some successes from the previous 12 months and some of the amazing stories of lives that have been changed by our wide-ranging community of donors, volunteers and charities.

CCF would like to say another huge congratulations to the award winners:

Innovation Award – The Rossendale Trust

Based in Macclesfield, the Trust provides accommodation and high quality, person-centred care and support for adults with learning disabilities.

The project is the WorkTaste project  – a dynamic ‘in-house’ supported employment project,  working with local employers and community project partners to provide real employment experience for the organisation’s tenants and the wider learning-disabled community. The grant funded WorkTaste coaches to support 32 work placements, over a 12-week period and also some additional resources to support the project.

Whole communities can be seen to benefit in multiple ways by working in partnership with WorkTaste. Individuals in the community had their lives enriched by the experience of meeting the WorkTaste participant, prejudices were challenged, and friendships were made on both sides. The infectious enthusiasm of the WorkTaste participants was hard to ignore!

The Rossendale Trust was awarded a grant of £9,500.

Impact Award – Passion for Learning  

This project aims to embed volunteering and social action into the lives of young people.

Passion for Learning’s mission is to support and inspire vulnerable children from the most needy families to learn, achieve and become literate. The children that Passion for Learning work with are typically not making progress at school.   Their volunteers work 1:1 with these children during the school day and via after-school Enrichment Clubs.

This particular project gave 28 older children age 17-18 the experience of volunteering themselves, to help over 75 younger children age 10-11 by attending primary schools where Passion for Learning hold Learning Enrichment Clubs.

The grant of £5000 was used to develop and deliver a bespoke training day for the young volunteers, and ongoing coaching once they are volunteering. The grant has made a very positive difference to the wider community, not least in providing enriching experiences to children at primary schools which are in the top 10% and 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in Cheshire including Westminster and Wolverham Primaries in Ellesmere Port, as well as Highfield and JH Godwin Primary schools in Blacon – and St Clare’s Catholic Primary in Lache.

The opportunity for the younger people to interact with the older volunteers at the Clubs each week was also highly valuable, enabling barriers to be broken down and longer-term aspirations to be raised.

This project was delivered via the #iwill grants programme, kindly supported by ForHousing.

Inclusion Award – JUMP Children’s Charity

JUMP provides a unique service to children with life limiting illnesses and their families, by arranging professional photographers to capture special moments that are presented in beautiful and personal Memory Books and Films.

The charity identified a need to expand their work with Hospices/Hospitals in order to reach more children, by employing a sessional worker to develop the relationship with these organisations to work more closely in partnership and also to work more closely with families to plan their special memories. With long stays in hospital for treatment, some families are uprooted and live in hospital accommodation to be close to their child. Isolation is very acute, both in the child who is poorly, and in the immediate family.

The inclusive nature of this project is outstanding.  The children take the lead. Children have been able to carve out what their memory session will look like, giving each child great opportunity to express themselves. From choosing what to have captured in their photos or film, through to the design of their memory book.  Siblings are included: Siblings often lose out on living life as a typical child, because their brother or sister is very poorly, or because they have very specific needs that often exclude them from everyday activities.  Brothers and sisters are actively involved in the production of the memory books.

This grant has also ensured that families have had the opportunities to meet and engage with one another. It’s created great opportunities for new friendships to be formed, for both children and their siblings and wider families.

This project was kindly supported Bill Holroyd with a grant of £12350

No celebration of the CCF’s support could be complete without a huge thank you to our Corporate Partner of the Year, the MBNA Charitable Foundation, and Cheshire Freemasons Charity who scooped our Community Fundraiser of the Year award.

The Awards event also provided the perfect opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to Joëlle Warren who has this year stepped down as Chair of the Foundation, a post she has held since the charity was set up in 2011.  Heading up our Board of Trustees and working closely with our Chief Executive, Joëlle’s hard work, professional integrity and warmth have been a tremendous asset to our team and she’ll be very much missed.