Onward help 15 projects spring into action this March

In its latest round of funding grants, Onward is set to help 15 projects across the North West spring into action this March with an investment of over £26.9k.  

Aligned with their mission of enabling customers to be their best, in a home they love and place they are proud of, the Onward Community Fund supports projects that address food, digital, green and work challenges that local people face.  

Over £15k was granted to nine projects in Greater Manchester, including Family Action’s FOOD Club.

Family Action transforms lives by providing practical, emotional and financial support through community-based services. 

Through a grant from the Onward Community Fund, the award-winning national charity will be delivering their Food On Our Doorstep Club at St Chad’s Centre in Oldham. To support those at risk of food insecurity, the initiative will supply surplus food to hundreds of local people to help reduce household costs and increase disposable income during a challenging economic climate.  

Marianne Boutourline-Young, Trusts and Grants Fundraiser at Family Action, said:  

“We are delighted to receive a donation from the Onward Community Fund to support our Hollinwood FOOD Club project. This funding will enable us to purchase additional food items for use at the club and enable FOOD Club members and their families to try new food, learn new recipes, and save money.”  

The eight other groups that received funding in Greater Manchester were Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Community Matters, DC Engage CIC, Horeb Baptist Church, Knit and Natter Craft Club, Mahdlo Youth Zone, One Step Bury CIC and Ribble Drive Primary School. 

In Lancashire, £3.4k was granted to two projects, including Accrington Wildcats Rugby Club’s project to improve equality in the sport.

Accrington Wildcats Rugby Club, a volunteer led not-for-profit, provide an accessible, nurturing environment for the local community to learn and play rugby, regardless of their background or abilities. 

Through a grant from the Fund, their equality project aims to embed inclusivity in the sport and will see a focus on the recruitment of female, minority ethnic and disabled volunteers and players. The funding will also enable the club to increase its training schedule through an investment in mobile floodlights and capacity for community gatherings to enhance social cohesion, inclusivity and belonging across the borough.  

Claire Hodges, Fundraising and Social Events Coordinator at Accrington Wildcats Rugby Club, said: 

“We would like to thank Onward for the community funding for our project. This support will significantly improve our infrastructure and allow our teams to conduct training sessions twice a week all year round on our pitches, improving the team’s techniques, team building and enhancing the player’s development, while saving costs on alternative facility rental.” 

VOICE Boulevard Centre in Blackburn also received funding to expand their Breakfast Club initiative through the Fund. 

Four projects were granted a total of over £8.4k funding in Merseyside, including Plus One Community Learning CIC’s Your Time to Thrive initiative.

Plus One Community Learning CIC support hundreds of families across the Liverpool City Region through training programmes designed to help participants fulfil their aspirations. 

Last year, the not-for-profit’s Help Your Child Thrive initiative saw parents gain an insight into what their children were learning at school and skills to facilitate and extend their learning at home. Following the initiative’s success, the parents will now have an opportunity to take part in a six-week Your Time to Thrive training programme. Thanks to a grant from the Onward Community Fund, participants will gain new skills, enabling them with a pathway to further education or employment. 

Kerry Burns, Programme Lead and Director at Plus One Community Learning CIC said: 

“We are so excited to be delivering our project to adults in the Everton and County areas in the Summer term. The project will make such a difference to those adults wanting to re-enter education or the workforce by rediscovering skills that will give them the confidence to make that step to the next stage in their career and provide them with a pathway to succeed and thrive! Communication skills, confidence building, literacy, CV writing, and maths are some of the areas we’ll be looking at in a relaxed, warm, relaxed, fun and friendly environment.” 

The three other groups that received funding in Merseyside were Conquer Life CIC, Liverpool Advocates for Windrush and Newsham Park Cricket Club. 

Andrew Brown, Director of Housing and Specialist Living at Onward, said:

“Getting the basics right and listening to our customers, their priorities, aspirations and what we can do to help is the foundation for everything we do at Onward. We are delighted to be supporting these local groups through the Onward Community Fund and look forward to seeing the positive difference their projects have across our communities.” 

Got a great idea for a community project, but need a little help to get it off the ground?

Onward is re-launching the Community Fund on Monday 1st April 2024, with the first round of applications closing on Wednesday 15th May 2024. 

For further details, including the full eligibility criteria and how to apply please visit onward.co.uk/community-fund or email socialinvestment@onward.co.uk.