Over the festive period, Knowsley based housing association, Livv Housing Group, will be supporting 20 local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) groups with its Christmas Small Grants Scheme. The funding will support Christmas projects and activities happening across the borough.
Livv has awarded a total of £34,100 to 20 local VCFSE’s. Grants vary from £200 to £3000, dependent on the size of the project, and will cover the costs associated with food such as hampers, lunch clubs and Christmas meals.
Priority was given to projects and activities that are operating in neighbourhoods where Livv has most homes.
L14 Community Centre and Prescot Mission Christmas hosted Christmas parties last week for local residents in Page Moss and Prescot, which brought 150 people together collectively to reduce social isolation. Christmas dinners were supplied as well as festive entertainment.
Over the next couple of weeks, Centre 63, Alchemic Kitchen, Volair, Swanside Community Centre and Plan B will also be hosting their own Christmas dinner parties.
Warm hubs have been organised by Innovate Volunteering in Huyton and ME 2U in Kirkby to allow communities to come together each week in December for a warm meal and a place to socialise.
Huyton Initiative 4 Youth Activities distributed 2000 selection boxes at its Christmas parade on 14 December. Meanwhile Friends of Molyneux Drive Woodland & Forestry Space will be creating a ‘Winter Wonderland’ in Prescot and Whiston on 23 December where 500 selection boxes, hot drinks and treats will be handed out.
The Lee Cooper Foundation and Evolving Mindset will be involving the young people they work with, creating and distributing hampers for those in need. The hampers from Evolving Mindset will go to 50 families identified as requiring mental health support.
Active Foundation will be running camps from three primary schools across the borough over the school holidays. This will include a food workshop and the provision of 160 hampers to support children and their families. Activate Body & Mind Community Activities will also be inviting in parents and carers of children on free school meals to offer advice and support, and hampers will be provided.
In addition, Southdene Community Association will provide a three-course Christmas meal on Christmas Day for 47 Livv customers who are either isolated or financially struggling to hold their own Christmas.
Other organisations that Livv is supporting with the scheme are Northwood Together, Explore Partnership, Halewood Youth in Community Centre and Home Start Knowsley to enable the provision of food hampers to young people or disadvantaged families.
Amanda Newton, Executive Director of Customer Insight at Livv Housing Group, said: “Christmas can be a really challenging time of year as people try to juggle time and money to do their best for their families. For some, the cost-of-living crisis will likely make it even more difficult, and we want to offer our support where we can.
“We’ve introduced our Christmas Small Grants Scheme this year to lend a helping hand to local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations. These organisations are best placed to understand local need at its most granular level and deliver programmes, projects and activities for those who need it.
“We want to support the people of Knowsley, including families who may be finding this time of year particularly challenging, as well as people living on their own, young people and school children. Our customers and communities are our priority, and we hope that we can help to make things a little easier over the festive period.”