Local residents and volunteers came together to celebrate the unveiling of four more Connected Communities centres in Cheshire East.
Oakmere Extra Care Housing in Handforth, Goostrey Village Hall, Holmes Chapel Library and Holmes Chapel Community Centre became the latest venues to join the Connected Communities scheme and offer a wide range of services to local residents.
Connected Communities centres are where local community venues, including churches, village halls and community cafes, are given a grant by Cheshire East Council of up to £5,000 to help develop services which are needed and requested locally. The council’s communities team gives ongoing support and guidance to the centres to ensure their continued success.
Working with communities enables more residents to be offered improved access to services, as well as a place to meet, get support or learn something new. The council is on target to establish more than 35 centres across the borough by next spring (2019).
Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult care and integration, who performed the ribbon-cutting honours at three of the unveiling events, said: “We now have Connected Communities centres right across the borough, from Handforth in the north to Audlem in the south and everywhere in between.
“There really is something for everyone, whether you fancy learning something new for fun or to find work, get health information and advice or simply just to get together with local friends and neighbours in a convenient location – please do check our ‘Live Well’ website (www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell) for all the information about a centre near you.”
Cheshire East Council has invested £150,000 in developing Connected Communities centres and each one is supported by a neighbourhood partnership, representing local people as well as a range of agencies, including the police, health services and the voluntary sector.
Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, who unveiled the Oakmere Extra Care Housing Connected Communities Centre in Handforth, said: “We know that there are lots of people who are isolated for a range of reasons. It would be great if friends, family or neighbours could encourage anyone they know who might benefit from a group or support service to come along to one of our Connected Communities Centres, which could help improve their health and wellbeing.
“These new centres offer so much to our local communities – from coffee mornings, computer classes and line dancing to learning a language, sharing a problem and support for stroke sufferers – there’s something for everyone. Every centre will also have a computer tablet connected to the Live Well community information website, helping residents to easily find out what is available in their area.”
People can also ring the council’s communities team on 01270 685880.