Sharks Community Trust receives £15K from the National Lottery to deliver ‘Stronger Together’ project

Sharks Community Trust is celebrating after being awarded almost £15,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work within the Sale and Wythenshawe community to respond to Covid-19. The Trust will deliver the project as three strands; Connect, Educate and Progress, to tackle community issues caused by Covid-19 such as isolation, unemployment and wellbeing.

The new funding comes from The National Lottery Community Fund which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.

‘Connect’ will provide an immediate resource to older people and others in self-isolation, recognising the challenges that loneliness and isolation has on wellbeing. The Trust will run an online programme of weekly ‘Connect’ events promoting social connections including reminiscence sessions themed around Manchester and Sale Sharks. As restrictions are removed, ‘Connect’ sessions will work with Community Champions to deliver sessions within community settings (also streamed online for those still in self-isolation) as a means to promote togetherness, friendship, and positive wellbeing.

The ‘Educate’ element of the programme recognises the economic impact of coronavirus and the fact that unemployment can have a negative impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of the individual and their family. The Trust is offering short, ten week ‘back to work’ provision blocks and short online ‘bitesize’ activities delivered by a Sharks tutor before progressing to delivery from community settings.  The sessions will fuse employability and functional skill qualifications with physical activity and mental health activities that improve emotional resilience, confidence and self-esteem.

The final part of the programme, ‘Progress’, centres on personalised mentoring support to those most in need who seek positive activity to support their mental wellbeing. Activities will include providing volunteering opportunities within Sharks Community Trust provision or support in completing their own social action initiative that enables local people to recover from coronavirus.

Vicky Irwin, Community Development Manager at Sharks Community Trust says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to tackle community issues in our local area that have been caused by Covid-19. This is important because we recognise the challenges our local community is facing in these unprecedented times and have created this project with a huge community involvement to address these challenges.”

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