Innovative community projects blossoming as Stockport Local nurtures new ideas

Our Stockport Local programme continues to back great ideas and grow resilient community networks

Innovative community projects blossoming as Stockport Local nurtures new ideas

Image caption: Successful applicants to Stockport Local Fund (Left to right, Front row: Councillor Elise Wilson, Bridget Picton, Rebecca Picton, Linda Smith; Back: Margaret Burns, Anthony Williams, Sue Catling, Margaret Phillis, Liz Luddington.

Stockport Local, our programme of support for communities, is helping to catalyse social action and connect individuals, groups and businesses in communities across Stockport.

Councillor Elise Wilson, Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance at Stockport Council says: “Making our communities more sustainable is essential if we are to meet the challenges of growing customer demand and tighter budgets. Our Stockport Local strategy is helping to realise the potential of the wonderful individuals and groups in Stockport and to support them to care for each other and strengthen communities.

“Stockport Local Fund continues to back innovative people-centred ideas and grow the community groups network. Our Stockport Local online directory shows people where to find the groups and services in their local community. We are creating digital access to community spaces where groups can meet, organise and hold events. And we are brokering new partnerships between businesses and the voluntary, community and charitable sector. “

In the latest round of Stockport Local Fund, six awards of under £500 were made last month and a decision on the applications for over £500 will be made later this month. Groups receiving awards this time include a weekly drop in for older people to meet and socialise, projects to combat loneliness and mental health issues in older men, personal safety workshops for women and an arts activity group that supports residents with long-term physical or mental health conditions.

Receiving her cheque from Cllr Wilson this week Liz Luddington from Cale Green WI says: “This award is a fantastic opportunity as it means we can offer personal safety workshops for women and young people, helping them to identify potential threats, from street sense to cyber bullying, and giving them the confidence to respond appropriately.”

Anthony Williams from Stockport Music in Sheds says: “We’ve found that music is a great way to help men who are lonely or who have mental health issues, but there are many technical and logistical challenges to set up something like this. The funding will buy us a PA system, and pay for a facilitator who can pull together people who have never played in a band before and help to develop the full potential of this group.”

In the first of a series of ‘Sector Connector’ events last month, Stockport Council brought together 60 businesses and organisations from across the voluntary, community and charitable sectors (VCSEs) to discover how new partnerships could benefit both, help to improve lives and tackle disadvantage.

Simone Callaghan from the Good Business Brokerage explained: “Greater collaboration is necessary between the Stockport business community and the VCSEs to ensure they have the appropriate skills to continue to carry out the good work and services they provide. This event proved a great success with 40% of attendees suggesting they had made a match they would re-connect with outside of the event.”

Councillor Wilson concludes: “This is a really exciting time for Stockport communities. There are so many ways to get involved, as an individual, a group or a business. Please do visit our website to find out more.”