Big lottery boost for St Leonards church project

£403,000 will enable them to employ workers to provide a range of wrap around care projects

A project to offer wrap around care for clients at South Sefton Foodbank across Bootle has been given a £403,000 grant from the National Lottery. The grant will enable them to offer a range of support and anti-poverty services to those in desperate need.

Like many Foodbanks they have been looking to do more than simply feed people in need. Their desire has been to be able to work with the clients to offer them practical ways in which they can be lifted out of poverty. Across 9 centres they serve people and families who are in crisis, struggling to support themselves and their families. Low incomes, unemployment, crime, poor educational attainment and poor health characterise the area. So the multiple challenges faced need greater solutions than simply food parcels.

The three year funding will enable St Leonards and South Sefton Foodbank to employ staff and  create the following services

1 Self help groups; coaching mentoring, skills development, courses, e- learning and start your own business guidance.
2. Money Management; budgeting, debt counselling, loan consolidating, finance understanding, energy and food information days, savings schemes support.
3. Well being; volunteering opportunities, luncheon clubs, training,self help groups.
4. Health; smoking cessation, alcohol awareness, shopping on a budget, cooking skills, healthy eating, Move It, Weight Management Course in partnership with Active Sefton.
5. Welfare reform; digital inclusion, job clubs, welfare rights support, drop in cafe with internet availability and support, CV writing,presentation skills.

They will continue to work with a wide range of partners including Sefton Council, local housing associations, partner churches and a wealth of voluntary agencies to make this project a success.

“this is vital money for a vital project” explained Debbie Shelley, Centre Manager  “we need to go beyond being an organisation providing an excellent services that address the initial problems people face, and work to try and enable people to not get into a crisis situation. We have not had the resources to do this up to now. This money will make all the difference”.

Bishop Paul welcomed this grant saying “To me St Leonards is a shining example of a church that is truly working to make a bigger difference for its community. The service it offers to those in crisis, the vulnerable and the poor follows exactly the teachings of Jesus and show what the church at its best can do. In a difficult world where the marginalised feel ever more squeezed it is even more important the churches like St Leonards work for the service of all. I give thanks to God for the lottery grant and pray that it may help St Leonards in their vital mission and ministry.”

And Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Environment, said: “This is excellent news for St Leonards and the wider community. The grant will go a long way in supporting many local residents and the projects highlighted will assist many of the Council’s key priorities.
“I would like to thank St Leonards for all their hard work that they put into the community and hope the money will secure many important projects for years to come.”

“this is vital money for a vital project”