Five local groups to receive £90,000 from new homes fund


Five local groups will receive grants totalling nearly £90,000 during the first round of awards from the New Homes Bonus Community Award for Wilmslow.

Cheshire East Council has set aside £2m over the next two years of its New Homes Bonus, which is a Government grant that has been paid to Cheshire East Council since 2011 based on the net annual increase in local homes.

The Member Award Group Panel for the Wilmslow area (which includes Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth) recommended five grants be awarded, totalling £89,136.53, which were approved by Portfolio Holder Cllr Paul Bates today (Monday 11th March).

The approved projects are:

Wilmslow Youth - amount requested £18,450

To build on their existing youth provision ensuring it is better equipped and resourced to meet the growing emotional health needs of our young beneficiaries whilst widening the offer to new young people who may be in need.

The 3 strands to ensure successful delivery:

1. Scope workshops : that helps young people grow their understanding of, and resilience to anxiety.

2. Free to access counselling service for 12 to 25 year olds.

3. Drop in space fro young people to socialise with peers, (ROC cafe).

This will fund staff, volunteer expenses, running costs and materials.

Wilmslow High School PTA - amount requested £21,466.32

The project proposal is for the two youth workers to be paid for 2 days each for a year, to provide a coordinated programme of support, training and education for students and staff and to provide students with a resource (workbook) called TRACE (Talk, Reflect, Act, Confidence, Excel) to work through. Additionally the project will support those with more complex needs and provide a qualified counsellor for one day a week to work with these young students and their families on a one-to-one basis. This project will form case links with Wilmslow Youth.

Macclesfield Live at Home Scheme - amount requested £17,222.40

They are proposing 4 new services in Wilmslow to address the needs/requests that have been generated from their consultation and conversations with residents of the local area as well as key referring agencies and local councillors that are struggling to find the services for some key recipient groups.

1. Telephone Befriending

2. Dementia Face to Face Befriending

3. Dementia Telephone Befriending

4. Telephone Prompting

This will fund staff, volunteer expenses, running costs and materials.

Wilmslow Guild -amount requested £20,000

To refurbish the premises at Bourne Street to facilitate a central social space to better connect communities with the integration of a community cafe, art space and social hub. Offering healthy, locally sourced food the refurbishment will include the fitting of a new kitchen and counter storage space with fitted cupboards. In addition to architectural fees, building work, furniture and purchasing equipment the initial pilot will include management cost for 1 member of staff to lead and manage the Community Cafe, which will be supported by additional volunteers and work placement opportunities in which they will be working alongside Time Out Group (improving lives of adults with learning disabilities).

Mobility & Access Group - amount requested £11,997.81

The group plans to extend the Mobility and Access bus project to the wider Handforth community. This will include community transport to local shops such as supermarkets, trips to local healthy services and social activities for the most social isolated and vulnerable people of the community (disabled and alderley).

This will fund ongoing and improvement costs for the existing bus, volunteer expenses and a number of social trips to take people out.

The full years allocation for the Wilmslow area is £86,731 so the eight Cheshire East Councillors who represent Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Handforth (councillors Gary Barton, Ellie Brooks, Craig Browne, Barry Burkhill, Toni Fox, Dennis Mahon, Rod Menlove and Don Stockton) agreedto go over budget by £2,339.53 which will be deducted from the next round.

Councillor Rod Menlove said "As co-chair of the all party group I am pleased that the portfolio holder has endorsed our recommendations. The successful applications address the serious issues of mental health and social isolation that were identified by the group and other local organisations such as the Bollin Partnership. We look forward to understanding the actions the applicants will now take to achieve positive outcomes."

The projects which they decide not to recommend to fund:

Edge Inclusion Partnership CIC - amount requested £19,220

The Mind Mechanics project has two aims, the first to address the gap in services for those with a diagnosed mental health condition who do not meet CAMHs thresholds, and the second to deliver a preventative programme for children, young people and families who may have more than one risk factor in their lives. The money would have funded staff, volunteer expenses, running costs and materials.

Friends of Dean Drive Park -amount requested £34,850

To fund benches, 4 pieces of children's play equipment, sports equipment, planting beds and pathways to foster an enhanced community spirit and sense of ownership, encourage activities and facilitate greater free access, use of facilities and enjoyment of Dean Drive Park.

St Philip & St James Church -amount requested £25,262

To employ a full time community development worker on a temp contract to develop new and existing volunteer led activities comprising of singing group, environment group, toddler group and maintain the Hampers of Hope provision for the area. This would have funded staff, volunteer expenses, running costs and materials.

Wilmslow Hockey Club - amount requested £52,518

To replace the drainage system which has collapsed before replacing the AstroTurf which has come to the end of its life.

Cheshire Young Carers - amount requested £10,116

To work directly with schools in Wilmslow to help identify young carers, build confidence in young carers so they self declare their caring role and then support schools to provide targeted support to improve the life chances of young carers. This would have funded staff and volunteer expenses.

The Wilmslow Academy - amount requested £25,165

To replace an earthen path with an all weather track to enable the pupils and the local community to access a year round facility as part of the school's strategy to combat obesity levels within the school and local area. This would have funded the new track to support the 'Daily Mile' initiative to combat obesity.

The Open Arms Youth Project - amount requested £47,317

To provide services and programmes to young people and other members of the community including a counselling service, art therapy and music therapy. This would have funded staff and running costs.

Alderley Edge RVS Luncheon Club - amount requested £12,324

To increase the number of members by providing subsidised transport removing barriers to new and existing members. This would have funded rent and taxis for people to attend.

Time Out Group North West - amount requested £20,000

The Get Connected Project, which supports adults with learning disabilities - by increasing engagement with healthy community activities and improving interactions between the target group and community venues, facilities, services, groups and individuals, will run on a Friday and provide individual support for adults with learning disabilities. This would have funded staff, volunteer expenses, running costs and materials.

Changing Lives in Cheshire - amount requested £23,370

Provide volunteering and work placement opportunities for those who are unemployed including a bike project and a furniture reuse scheme. This would have funded staff, facilities and volunteer expenses.

A total of 223 applications, totalling £7.5m, were received from faith groups, voluntary groups, and town and parish councils. Each application was evaluated and scored by a multi-agency panel, meeting the criteria set out in the New Homes Bonus Community Fund policy.

Recommendations were then put forward to an award group panel made up of community representatives. A total of 43 awards were made to the value of £1m.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance, said: "We have had a tremendous response to this initiative and I would like to thank all those organisations that have taken the time to carefully map out their bids and bring forward their imaginative and meaningful proposals as part of the bid process.

"We recognise that some applicant groups may feel disappointed at not being successful but we would always encourage fresh bids to be made when the 2020/21 scheme is announced later this year."

A further £1m will be available in the financial year 2020/21.

New Homes Bonus, New Homes Bonus Community Awards


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Terry Bowes
Thursday 14th March 2019 at 3:32 pm
Pity they couldn’t have seen their way to funding the RVS Meals for the older members of our community. They were quick enough to stop funding it!!