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Bright Future Sewn up Thanks to Communities Fund

Press Release: 12/06/2024

Cllr Betty AffleckA WORLD of new skills is set to open up for members of Hattersley-based Ark of Hope thanks to a £2,000 grant from Tameside Council.

The money – which was awarded at the South Neighbourhood Resilient Communities event held at St Mary’s Church, Newton – will be used to organise sewing classes.

Ark of Hope CEO Tosin Lanlehin explained: “The classes are something people have been asking for as sewing is such a useful skill.

“It enables you to make your own clothes, while learning how to do alterations and hemming means clothes can be reused. That helps to save money and is good for the environment as it reduces waste.

“Sewing can also help people find jobs as a tailor or seamstress. Or it can just be a hobby to share and enjoy, building confidence and improving wellbeing.

“Bringing people together is our main aim at Ark of Hope. We want to reduce isolation and build bridges. Sewing classes will really help us with that.”

Ark, which is open to everyone and based at St Barnabas’s Church, describes itself as a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering those who are disadvantaged and underprivileged.

Among its many activities are family fun days and cookery classes, and it provides meals for people who are housebound or ill.Resilient Communities events give the public the decision on who should receive money. At the south neighbourhood gathering more than 80 residents listened to 13 presentations and chose nine to share the £15,000 available.

The successful groups in addition to Ark of Hope were Community Bike Kitchen – Mcr Shredders (a young girls’ programme), Friends of St Vincent’s – environmental and old-fashioned picnic in the park, Garside Kidd – Hattersley Youth’s Gloves-up project, Hattersley Big Community Garden – Community Working Together, Leap Hyde – Bloom Allotment improvements, Newton Cricket Club – Safeguarding Community Resources, Press Red – Fearless Families and Fear-less Feelings, Tameside Little Gems- SEND sensory and gaming project.

To qualify for funding, projects had to be based on one of four themes: preventing crime and reducing fear of crime, improving environmental resilience and challenges, reducing anti-social behaviour and empowering communities.

The Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Betty Affleck, presented the cheques accompanied by her consort, Mr Declan Fitzpatrick. Also present were councillors from the wards comprising south neighbourhood: Godley, Longdendale, Newton and Werneth. Tameside Community Safety staffed the evening.

Cllr Vimal Choksi, Tameside Council’s executive member for towns and communities, said: “Once again we had a really good evening. As always the atmosphere was very positive and all the groups that received money were most appreciative.

“One of the great benefits of these events is that they allow people to get to know each other and swap ideas. Long may it continue, and many thanks to Community Safety for organising another successful session.”

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