If we have learnt anything at all from the past 18 months, it is that concentrating on our personal wellbeing pays real dividends to our quality of life.
As community reporters in the region, we connect with individuals from all corners of our region. Stories can come from all shades of good and bad, and at times, it can feel as though the bad news outweighs the good.
Of course, this is certainly not the case in Merseyside, where heroes don their capes every day without want of reward. Still, these organisations form a crucial layer of the Merseyside spirit, and they always be commended for their efforts to make our community a better place to live.
This time, our spotlight is drawn to Halton, a community in our Liverpool City Region which, despite times of trouble, has taken great strides to enact social change.
Now, their innovation, creativity, and dedication to bringing out the best in Halton has been rewarded, following an application to the Wellbeing Enterprises ‘ Summer Wellbeing Grant.
A total of eight community projects have been awarded funding through the initiative.
With £500 each under their belt, these are a couple of the recipients recognised for their hard work:
The Wonky Garden
Earlier this year, The Wonky Garden surprised more than a florist’s dozen of care homes, cancer patients and the local hospices with enticing bouquets and blooms.
This was no doubt a most welcome pick-me-up for community members struggling in desperate times.
Since then, volunteers across the organisation have been getting their best green thumbs stuck into a number of projects, from pruning roses, weeding and tidying planters, showing nature at its very best to the Halton community.
This has also included tidying wildlife areas, refilling bird feeders and cleaning bird boxes ready for nesting.
Thanks to the Summer Wellbeing Grant, volunteers will now be able to host art and flower crafting sessions to members of the community, as well as Japanese flower arranging and resin workshops.
To check out what they have been up to over the past couple of days, check out their Twitter page.
When it comes to artistic talent in Halton, it’s hard not to think of the wonderful work taken on by Mako Create.
Fanatical about all things digital, media, technology and art, this group’s objectives are crystal clear: to inspire creativity through fun and engaging events.
Mako Create has, beyond any shadow of a doubt, achieved this over the year; and during the coronavirus crisis especially so.
Bubbling with creativity, the organisation has supported members with a variety of schemes, from free graphic design classes for members of the public, to helping young people with additional needs code their very own digital pets.
Funding from the Summer Wellbeing Grant will support a dazzling piece of community pixel art wall, which will celebrate and champion the residents of Halton in Shopping City.
You can learn more about Mako Create on their website.
Training Attention CIC
With the struggles rising in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, numerous youngsters have cast an anxious eye on their future careers.
However, the work taken on by Training Attention CIC over the past couple of months has put community wellbeing under the spotlight.
Thanks to their outreach work, thousands of youngsters aged between 14 – 19 have been supported into further education, employment and training.
With a £500 injection of funding under their belt, the organisation wish to continue with their hard work empowering the community.
You can learn more about their future projects here.
Palacefields Ukelele Group
Halton firm favourites, Palacefields Ukelele Groups (affectionately called P.U.G. for short) have provided music to the ears of residents for many years.
The team of plucky ukelelists have hosted sunshine and song in a number of public fundraisers and performances, placing their best foot forward in aid of many of our best-loved communities.
Now, the team have been introducing the joy of music through ukulele sessions, giving members of the community an opportunity to pluck at the strings, and discover a new hobby.
Funds will now be used to facilitate further music and ukulele sessions, giving the people of Halton a chance to truly find their jam.
You can check out their Facebook group here.
Thrive Cheshire came to light in March 2020, with a simple mission: to give support and information to people suffering with chronic pain.
However, just as the organisation prepared to open its doors, the nation was placed under the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown.
Not ones for giving up, Thrive Cheshire took steps to supporting individuals online through Facebook, providing weekly online chat groups and relaxation sessions; a welcome relief for an already isolated community.
As restrictions slowly lift, Thrive Cheshire hope to use the £500 funding grant to support and establish a chronic pain support group in Halton.
Thanks to the Summer Wellbeing grant, local organisation Builder Book will be providing boxes filled to the brim with books and activities.
Their motivation and mission is simple: to promote literacy and spark creativity in Halton’s children.
Butterfly House, Victoria Park
A little treasure has been blooming in the butterfly house in Victoria Park over the past couple of months, thanks to the careful help of dedicated members of the community.
Sporting a beautiful flurry of speckled and tropical butterflies, the volunteers have been working hard to keep their environment in the best possible shape.
Funds will be used to support flora and fauna in the settings of Halton’s oldest butterfly house, allowing pupae to flourish under their care.
You can learn more about the work Victoria Park’s volunteers do here.
Halton SEND Carer’s Forum
Halton SEND Carer’s Forum have been providing a strong voice for many years.
Stalwart advocates for parents and carers of disabled or SEND children living in Halton, this organisation has provided a treasure trove of support for a number of years.
The forum have committed to spending the £500 funds on a series of well-needed family fun afternoons for parents and carers of children and young adults with disabilities.
You can read more about their work here.
These are just a small selection of Halton’s community and well being leaders. As the months go on, the community will be reaching out to these organisations more than ever.
Wellbeing Enterprises, an innovating social enterprise championing community-centred health approaches, told Mersey Community News they were “delighted” to announce the winners.
Mark Swift, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to support local organisations and individuals who have ideas for social change in Halton borough.
The quality of applicants was excellent, and we are very excited to see these funded projects launch over the coming weeks and months – and importantly, having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people living and working locally.”
Heroes of wellbeing need to be celebrated in every instance.
At Mersey Community News, we will be observing their projects with keen interest, and we look forward to seeing them grow.