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Support in the Community

One of our aims as an organisation is to have a wider impact in the communities we serve. These groups offer different types of support, which you or somebody you know may find helpful.

Throughout the year, a total of £40,000 is distributed among local groups and organisations (through four separate rounds of funding) which can make a real impact in their communities. More information about the Community Fund and how to apply is available here.

The following groups have received grants from the Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) May Community Initiative Fund.

Abacus Kindergarten

Who are they?

They manage two local pre-schools in the North Colchester area, offering families excellent childcare with a neighbourhood feel and sense of community. During the holiday periods, families can struggle to find local and inexpensive places to go where the parents can relax and the children can play. They are planning to open the Abacus Cabin which will offer a child friendly space during the school holidays.

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Who can access the organisation

All families and friends will be welcome to join them for a drink and a snack, run by Early Years practitioners who will be on hand to offer support for parents that may be experiencing challenges during the school holidays.

How can people access the service

The ‘Abacus Cabin’ will be open mornings from 10am to 12pm, days/times will be posted on the Abacus website.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The Community Initiative Fund will be used to support their community café, Abacus Cabin, for local families offering a child-friendly space during the school holidays. The café will offer opportunities for new friendships to grow, reduce isolation for parents and will give children a chance to play in a safe environment.

Visit their website…

Abberton and District Cricket Club

Who are they

Abberton and District Cricket Club offer opportunities for an active lifestyle, improved well-being and a chance to meet new people and socialise throughout the year. They offer dedicated cricket coaching to young people aged 5-18 and adult coaching with accredited and DBS checked coaches. They also have a strong social scene that is open to all – whether you play cricket or not.

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Who can access the organisation

Everyone, from those who watch cricket, meet new people and socialise as well as play the sport. The club is at the heart of the local community and runs social events throughout the year, including quiz nights, parties, fetes, cricket tournaments and socials, often with food and a bar.

How can you get involved

Details of all fixtures and social event are on our website and people are welcome at the club whenever they are open. You can call them on 01206 735244 to find out more.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

They plan to invest the funding into their outdoor, non-turf facility which is in urgent need of refurbishment so players can enjoy cricket most of the year. The CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution has taken them one step closer to achieving this goal.

Visit their website…

Action For Family Carers

Who are they

AFFC work with schools to support young carers. For example, they help train staff to spot the signs that a student may be experiencing difficulties relating to their caring responsibilities. They work with young carers individually and in groups to address issues such as anxiety and anger management, as well as ensuring appropriate family support is in place.

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Who are they available to

Aside from supporting young carers in schools, they also provide club nights for young carers in five Essex boroughs, including Colchester, and provide a range of services for adult carers and their families. This includes; information and advice, counselling, telephone befriending, support to access work, training and support for carer health and wellbeing through their Feeling Good Caring Well programme. They also provide day care for older people and activity groups for people with dementia.

How can people access the service

Due to the current Covid-19 outbreak, their primary form of contact is via phone and online. This support schemes such as befriending, some counselling and remote Feeling Food Caring Well sessions.

Anyone in Essex can access their services – all services are free of charge, except for day care for older people and activity groups for people with dementia. Services may be accessed via a direct phone call to 0300 770 80 90 or email care@affc.org.uk. The Young Carers page includes a link to a film they’ve made which reflects the situation of many Young Carers in Essex and their families.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The funding will help them to continue providing events for young carers, however due to Covid-19 these are currently on hold.

Visit their Facebook page…

Colchester Korban Project

Who are they

They help young, homeless people aged 16-25 realise their potential and thrive, by providing accommodation, support and guidance enabling them to develop the character, skills and confidence to live independently.

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Who can access the organisation

Korban is for young people in Colchester aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

How can people access the service

They can take referrals directly but prefer people to apply through the Colchester Joint Referral Panel for supported accommodation, which usually meets fortnightly at the Youth Enquiry Service.

During the Covid-19 outbreak please call Claire Hughes (YES) on 07760 792968

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

It will enable them to better support residents when they move on from Korban to independent living, helping them settle in well to their new accommodation and to provide the best start possible.

Visit their website…

Greenstead Community Centre

Who are they

They’re a popular facility who welcomes, includes and benefits the whole community and one which responds flexibly, compassionately and creatively to community need. They believe strongly in the importance of community and always consider how their centre can play a key role in the Greenstead community.

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Who are they available to

They’re available to everyone in the local community.

How can people access the service

They run the Filling Station Café, which is open throughout the week and offer visitors a selection of meals and snacks. Centre staff are also available throughout the day, providing details on the different activities and support on offer.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

With this funding they plan to replace the old, tired chairs located around the centre with brand new ones. This will create a more professional, comfortable environment for when it’s hired.

Visit their website…

Lexden Springs

Who are they

The Lexden Springs appeal fund supports Lexden Springs school, which has pupils aged 3-19 with severe physical and neurological disabilities. Their aim as the schools PTFA is to provide support, opportunities and equipment which would not be accessible within current school budgets but would benefit their pupils.

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Who can access the organisation

Staff pupils and parents can suggest ideas that would benefit their pupils and put suggestions in a formal way via their bid forms

How can people access the service

Lexden Springs School caters for pupils designated as Severe, Profound & Multiple and Autistic, according to the Local Authority Learning Disabilities Scale. All pupils must have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) or must be in the process of having an Education Health Care Plan prepared.

Parent/Carer’s considering Lexden Springs School should, in the first instance, contact the local authority. Once local authority approval is given the school’s admissions process can commence.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The fund will help with the replacement of a wheelchair accessible minibus as their 16-year-old existing one is no longer working. It is a vital piece of equipment to their pupils who use it to access the local community, giving them vital educational and independent living opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge.

Visit their Facebook page…

Colchester anit-loo roll brigade logo

Colchester Anti-Loo Roll Brigade

Who are they

They are a community interest company who provide many services to the local community. They provide free furniture and goods to low income families and through referrals from the Women’s Refuge, Peabody, Sanctuary, YMCA, Probation Service, Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Borough Council.
They also organise community projects and will be providing work experience and teaching skills to people from the mentioned agencies. They are currently rebuilding a house that burnt down and are landscaping a garden to allow wheelchair access.

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Who can access the organisation

Anyone who is in need of help, or needs help, can access them for support.

How can people access the service

Lots of the work they do comes from referrals from the agencies they work with (mentioned above), however, anyone can access or ask for help through their Facebook, and will be able to through their website which is planned to launch end of August.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The award will be spent on start-up/running costs, rent for storage and some projects planned for our local area.

Visit their Facebook page…

Community 360 logo

Community 360 Transport Scheme

Who are they

They are a registered charity operating Community Transport in Colchester and Maldon. They serve older people, people with disabilities and people who are shielding. Last year they provided 50,000 trips for their members and delivered 1,000 places on their group excursions.

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Who can access the organisation

Anyone in Colchester or Maldon. They particularly attract members who are older or have disabilities.

How can people access the service

Residents can contact them by calling 01206 505250.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

They will be able to provide free membership to Community Transport and two free trips, as well as access to their virtual excursions to help older people, people with disabilities and people who are shielding, to get out and about safely.

Visit their website…

Community Halls in Partnership - Hythe logo

Community Halls in Partnership – Hythe

Who are they

The organisation is Community Halls in Partnership which are based at the Hythe Community Centre. They oversee the running of eight community halls in Colchester, although the Hythe Community Centre is their base for all Colchester customers and hirers to contact for help when looking for available space to hire.

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Who can access the organisation

All Colchester residents.

How can people access the service

Through social media or calling the centre for help and advice.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

They’re looking to purchase a new reception area window with shutters connected to the fire system. This will allow their customers to adhere to social distancing guidelines and not enter to staff office area.

Visit their website…

Visit their Facebook page

Blossoms/St Stephens Preschool logo

Blossoms/St Stephens Preschool

Who are they

They are Blossoms Preschool, formally known as St Stephen’s Preschool. They were established in 1978 and pride themselves on being a family friendly setting. They are a non-profit, community preschool. They currently care for children aged 2-5, but with their new premises, they are extending their services to the wider community including before and after school club, family support, baby and toddler groups.

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Who can access the organisation

Their services are open to everyone, not just families of those attending preschool. They will be offering baby and toddler groups, SEN groups, after school clubs, coffee mornings and much more.

How can people access the service

They will publish a timetable on their Facebook page and people can get in touch via Facebook, text, email, calls or even by popping in to see them.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

They have recently secured their own premises but the building has been derelict for three years and has required a lot of redecorating to make it a usable condition. The funding will be used towards the costs of replacing the flooring throughout the premises. The original flooring was damaged, and they have begun to replace it with child friendly, durable flooring.

Help St Stephen’s Preschool raise money to renovate the new building

Visit them on Instagram…

CSEF logo

Children’s Safety Education Foundation

Who are they

The Children’s Safety Education Foundation are committed to making young peoples’ lives better and safer by delivering their programmes to emotionally engaged individuals and inspire them to choose their path wisely.

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Who can access the organisation

Their programmes are aimed at young people in both primary and secondary school settings, dependent on the programme we are running. The ‘Respect’ programme is aimed at Secondary school pupils aged 11-16.

How can people access the service

Their programme is available in both textbook and digital format. They find that the digital works well when a whole class is working together. This is because the teaching staff are able to use it on their whiteboard to help form discussion points. The textbook format works well in small groups or individually.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The award will be spent in providing Colchester Academy with the ‘Respect Your Life’ programme, which will be covered throughout the academic year as part of the schools PSHE/ Citizenship lessons.

Visit their website…

colchester gateway clubs logo

Colchester Gateway Clubs

Who are they

Colchester Gateway Clubs provides support to people with learning disabilities and their families.

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Who can access the organisation

People with a learning disability and their families.

How can people access the service

They can either visit their Facebook page, Colchester Gateway, or call them on either 07917 853030 or 07999 278472.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

It will go towards the salary of an Information Officer who will provide easy-to-read information and advice about Covid-19 to residents with learning disabilities, their families and their carers. They will also provide a mix of regular activities to ease the boredom of lockdown which can so easily lead to mental ill-health.

Visit their website…

Or their Facebook page…

open road logo

Open Road

Who are they

Open Road is a registered charity with 30 years’ experience of providing both community and a secure-setting drug and alcohol recovery service across Essex. Their mission is to empower a diverse range of individuals, families and communities to lead healthy and more meaningful lives, free from addiction, offending behaviour and disadvantage to ensure healthier, happier lifestyles.

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Who can access the organisation

Anyone who is a tenant of Colchester Borough Homes who is supporting, or struggling themselves with drug and or alcohol addiction.

How can people access the service

Those tenants of Colchester Borough Homes can access our services by either going to them directly, or through Colchester Borough Homes. They have a no ‘wrong door’ policy.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The funding will be spent facilitating an online family support group. The sessions will be available specifically for those tenants within Colchester Borough Homes accommodation during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, for those dealing with drug and alcohol issues, while also focusing on the issues which isolation has brought to the family home.
The sessions will be semi structured, allowing the facilitator to direct the session, focusing on the subject for that day, while also allowing the end of the session to merge into a ‘peer support’ session. The aim of these sessions is to support those who are struggling and to prevent further disruption to society, such as keeping up with their rent, reducing antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse.

Find them at these locations:

Website : https://www.openroad.org.uk/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/OpenRoadUK/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/openroadvisions/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/open_road/
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/open-road-visions/

Colchester Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre (CCDC) logo

Colchester Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre (CCDC)

Who are they

They provide free advice to people who are facing issues with debt and who need help to get their finances ‘back on track’. They start by getting to grips with the extent of the problem and then work with clients to set a budget and to deal with the debt itself. Their aim is for clients, with their support, to become debt free as soon as is feasibly possible. Then they seek to help people stay debt free and in control of their finances.

They also provide a Life Skill service – available to all – which provides free eight week courses to help people live well. Each course offers support to manage finances and cut bills, to cook fresh and healthy food on a budget, to look after mental health and practical things like simple repairs to clothes.

They also work closely with local churches to provide Christian Against Poverty money education courses
.

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Who can access the organisation

Their service is available to all who are either employed or in receipt of benefits, irrespective of race, ethnicity, sexuality and religious preferences (or lack of preferences).

How can people access the service

If a person in Colchester needs help with debt, they should call 0800 328 0006 so that an appointment with one of their debt coaches can be scheduled.

For their Life Skills courses, please contact their course leader, Sian Simpkins through their contact page or email siansimpkins@caplifeskills.org. You can also call 01206 575565 to register for a Life Skills course (but please note that during the Covid-19 period of working restrictions this office is unmanned, so you may be routed to a mobile number to register).

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

They have around 40 volunteers who give their time free but their core staff-members are employed and they also have costs to meet in providing debt advice in accordance with Financial Conduct Authority regulations.

It costs approximately £30-35,000 per annum to run their centre which they try to cover via generous donors (local churches, individuals, agencies and businesses), fund raising initiatives and grant applications. Funding from the CBH Community Initiative Fund will help them to meet their costs for another year.

Visit their website…

All in the Making CIC logo

All in the Making CIC

Who are they

They offer outdoor therapy for individuals to help reduce stress and anxiety and are offering this in a safe and secure environment. This enables people to meet others and have a chat with a hot drink whilst learning how to grow their own produce and share conservation ideas, such as making natural habitats and bird boxes and cleaning areas with litter picks.

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Who can access the organisation

The organisation is open to everyone.

How can people access the service

They are on the Irvine Road Allotment site, off Norman Way or Irvine Road. They can be contact via Facebook and phone. Details listed below.

What impact has the CBH Community Initiative Fund contribution had on their project

The funding will be put towards a shed to securely store the tools and provide more space for the community meeting shed to make tea and coffee, and food from the produce they grow.

Visit their Facebook page…

Or call : 07969 661271