£10,000 awarded by Co-op Foundation to help keep Boarshaw Clough connected

Co-op’s charity, Co-op Foundation, has awarded a £9,760 grant to Groundwork Greater Manchester to continue their work delivering community engagement activities at the Boarshaw Clough nature site in Middleton.

Boarshaw Clough is a five-acre site consisting of native trees and shrubs with a footpath network, small river system and lodge. Groundwork’s ambition is to increase the recreational use of the Clough by engaging the local community and to providing information on the health & wellbeing benefits of the green-space.

This latest round of funding builds on a £7,280 Space to Connect grant awarded to Groundwork in 2019 and allows the team to run a number of events and activities over the next 12 months which will respond to a 2019/20 community consultation which captured the ideas of local residents.

The funding comes from the £1.6m Space to Connect partnership between the Co-op Foundation and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to unlock the potential of community spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

Funding awarded today will help Groundwork Greater Manchester to explore a forest school based outdoor learning in the Clough with the local primary schools, building on insight which stated many families passed through the site on their way to school. The funding will also allow Groundwork’s Community Coordinators to work with existing volunteers to establish a constituted ‘Friends Of Boarshaw Group’ who will become guardians of the site and will help to enhance the area for current and future generations.

Michaela Howell, Head of Communities at Groundwork Greater Manchester added,

Thriving community green-spaces are more important than ever before due to the impacts of Covid-19. Our team will encourage more families to take advantage of the green space on their doorstep which provides opportunities for play and physical activity whilst also benefiting from the restorative effects of green space.

Nick Crofts, CEO of Co-op Foundation said: “This funding comes at a crucial time for our Space to Connect partners and the communities they serve, to support them through what is a very challenging time.

Additional funding will allow organisations to continue their work to strengthen connections, tackle isolation, and address inequality in communities. It will also give organisations an opportunity to develop spaces for people to re-connect following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baroness Diana Barran, Minister of State for Civil Society and Loneliness, DCMS said:

One thing the last year has taught us is the importance of social connections so I am thrilled that the Co-op Foundation will be awarding funding to organisations which bring people and communities together, creating long-lasting shared experiences. With the start of this year continuing to be as challenging as the last, this will play a crucial role in helping tackle loneliness and social isolation.

Co-op Foundation is the Co-op’s charity. It helps people challenge inequality and co-operate for change so they can share a fairer future.

In total, 44 community organisations will receive £400,000 of funding. The grants build on £880,000 of Space to Connect funding awarded to the organisations in 2019.

Funding awarded today will contribute to Co-op’s overall commitment to helping communities build resilience during Covid and beyond.

Subscribe to the Co-op Foundation blog to be the first to find out when funding applications open: www.coopfoundation.org.uk/blog

Local residents to Boarshaw Clough interested in engaging in this project should contact greatermanchester@groundwork.org.uk

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