The latest Connected Communities centre opening had a Halloween theme and was attended by about 100 people who enjoyed a range of spooky games and fun-filled activities.
Ruby’s Fund, in Congleton, was packed with children and families at the end of October – all of whom came to join in the celebrations to recognise the popular venue as the latest Connected Communities centre.
There was much Halloween fun with dressing up, face painting, dancing on the new sensory mat, games, food and fun.
Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for health, was joined by managing director of the Ruby’s Fund, Councillor Paul Bates, charity and the Mayor of Congleton, Suzie Akers-Smith, as operational lead and founder of Ruby’s Fund (and Ruby’s mother), Alison Parr, cut the ribbon.
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.
Cllr Wardlaw said: “There are so many aspects to health and wellbeing and it’s fantastic to see so many children and their families and carers coming into the centre, having fun and enjoying the range of facilities and services on offer. We all need support at some time in our lives and it’s great that centres like Ruby’s Fund are there to help the local community.
“I would like to give special thanks to Alison Parr, founder of Ruby’s Fund who is an inspiration and the driving force of the charity. Alison and her team of staff and volunteers are real heroes in the Congleton community.”
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.
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 the area.
By spring 2019, there should be 35 Connected Communities Centres open across Cheshire East.
People can also telephone the council’s communities team on 01270 685880.