VOLUNTEERS are celebrating after securing almost £500,000 of funding for work to help improve people’s chances in life and combat the cost of living crisis.
Holy Trinity Community Centre in Ashton has been awarded £308,000 from the Big Lotteries Reaching Communities Fund.
The Dean Street centre will receive the funding over the next three years and this will be topped up by a contribution of £119,000 by the community centre, giving a total of £427,000 for the People, Place and Presence project.
That will ensure the Information Advice and Guidance service that runs from the centre will continue, benefitting around 400 people every year.
In addition, the money will help to support around 150 women per year to engage with other activities focused on building confidence, skills, learning and self-esteem so that they can successfully transition into employment.
The centre is a much-valued community hub with around 10,000 visitors per year and supports some amazing activities and organisations, including the Neonatal Knitters, Ashton Martial Arts and Lindley Educational Trust, who deliver leadership programs for young people and much needed youth services.
The People Place and Presence project’s main goals are to improve health and wellbeing, learning opportunities and levels of confidence in women to pre-Covid levels,
It also seeks to improve services thanks to local people having more influence over design and delivery, access for young people to youth services and connectivity with and between the local community and services.
Other aims include supporting local volunteer groups with affordable rent, space, and support, promoting a strong active and cohesive community and mitigating the impact of poverty and the cost of living crisis.
Holy Trinity is located in one of the most challenging areas of Tameside. Its statistics on deprivation speak for themselves and describe a community living with significant challenges and a range of long-term needs.
For more than 40 years, the Holy Trinity family has been working in partnership with others to address some of the issues facing the local community.
This has been done through the creation of the community centre which is now a very well established and successful local resource whose work is well documented, recognised and praised by the council, neighbourhood police and a range of local and national funding bodies.
Ashton MP Angela Rayner joined the staff, volunteers and guests as they celebrated the funding award.
She said: “I am delighted Holy Trinity Community Centre has been funded for a further three years. It truly is a wonderful place and a real jewel in the crown of the local community.
“I am always so proud of what they achieve and their partnership working is bringing some excellent opportunities to so many of my constituents, young and old, and I know they are making a real difference to so many families.”
Jackie Moores, Principal at Tameside College, is a keen supporter of the centre
She said: “Tameside College has worked in partnership with Holy Trinity for a number of years under a subcontract arrangement.
“Through this partnership, more women who would not otherwise access education have enabled to develop their second language English skills, develop their confidence and are better able to access life in modern Britain.
“The co-design of high quality community-based programmes ensures learners are successful and as a result increase their contribution to their families and their wider communities.
“It meets the needs of a group who are furthest from the labour market and every year we see the benefit of learners progressing to formal study at the college or elsewhere and improved outcomes for individuals, families and the community of Tameside.”
St Peter’s ward councillor Joyce Bowerman, who sits on the centre’s management committee, added: “It is wonderful news that Holy Trinity Community Centre has been awarded this much-needed and very welcome funding for the next three years.
“The centre is at the heart of our community and as ward Councillor for St Peter’s, I see first-hand the excellent work that takes place each day.
“It is a valuable and much-loved resource for our community, helping and empowering our residents to achieve their potential. The centre is a friendly and welcoming hub and I feel proud to be a part of this amazing and brilliant facility.”
Church warden Judith Hilton, who sits on the management committee, said: “This funding is great news for our community centre and its people.
“As church warden and a member of the management committee, I feel the work done in the community centre is a very important part of mission in the parish.”
For more information about the project and centre, please visit https://htccc.org/