A COMMUNITY fund launched by a Warrington property company has distributed more than £1m to social wellbeing projects.
National healthcare premises specialist Assura, based at the Wildespool Business Park, launched its community fund with Cheshire Community Foundation in May last year to support health-improving projects in the communities around the 600 medical centre buildings it cares for.
As its latest national grant round concludes, the fund has now given more than £1.3m in grants to social wellbeing projects helping to reduce isolation, improve mental and physical health, create stronger community cohesion, improve access to community services, education and employability skills – making a difference for almost 180,000 people.
Assura chief executive officer Jonathan Murphy said: “Our community fund is one of our proudest achievements. It had been in the plan to launch in 2020 for some time, but when the pandemic hit, it became quickly apparent that the fund now had a very specific role to play – supporting the work of projects helping vulnerable people from all backgrounds with health and wellbeing needs that would last far beyond COVID in England, Scotland and Wales.
“Isolation and struggles with mental health in particular have been big themes as they have affected so many people over the last 18 months. As our fund goes from strength to strength, we’re looking forward to continuing to help the voluntary and community sector’s incredible work to support primary care and social prescribing.”
The latest round of grants approved in October will see 86 charities deploying a share of just over £400,000 for projects including support for young carers, people experiencing homelessness and gardening and growing projects helping people improve health and wellbeing.
Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire Lady Redmond: “Assura is making an incredible contribution to the communities they operate in, across Cheshire and nationally. The team’s outstanding commitment provides an inspirational example of how organisations can support those in need.”
Zoe Sheppard, chief executive officer of Cheshire Community Foundation, said: “It is an honour to partner Assura to manage their Community Fund, and the 1 million milestone is such an exciting achievement in our longstanding collaboration. Through their generosity and commitment to their communities, Assura really are changing lives for the better. We look forward to an exciting future working in partnership with the Assura team.”
The fund’s work was recently highlighted as part of a visit by HRH The Earl of Wessex to Cheshire-based charities and funders who had played a key role in the response to the pandemic.