Whilst West End Million is currently changing how it works our funding is on hold, but here are some of the projects and activities we have supported and funded previously. One of the challenges we faced in the first year was that some projects forgot to credit the support West End Million gave, so many local people didn’t even know some of the things they saw or took part in were being funded by us. A few of the things we funded show the range from big to small…
- West End Festival 2017
- West End Weekend 2016
- Mini Illuminations 2016
- Red Rose Community Centre
- West End Impact advice and guidance
- Shooting Stars nursery group
- Bipolaroid photographer
- Yorkshire Street Mural
- Seven grants toward improving house fronts
- Out in the Bay LGBT
- Crazy Cat charity shop
- More Together Magazine
- Balmoral Community Allotment
- Gardening tools for volunteer
- Here are some other things we supported in a bit more detail…
Enable is a peer support group for people with chronic illness and health conditions along with carers. Previously known as ‘Xeed’ the group has 30-40 members and meets informally once a week and formally once a month for more engaged sessions. Approximately 60% living in West End with a further 20% having lived there prior to health necessitating a move to housing elsewhere. West End Million funding supported £1000 toward a ‘Managing Life Changes’ course. To quote one of those involved the support has…
‘literally helped to transform people’s lives’.
The activity has provided an impetus for the group to sustain itself, develop social media networking, and provide significant capacity building of all those taking part.
The Morecambe Fringe Festival was a new initiative set up by two professionals in 2017 with multiple shows programmed into the West End and with local, national and international performers, along with workshops and a symposium. The Fringe was granted £10,000 which was matched by £15,000 Arts Council and £8,000 from venues. The project created some significant profile, locally and nationally with press and high results on social media. The activities also helped enabled the Fringe to be appointed as the UK centre for the International Theatre Institute. Morecambe Town Council has now agreed to support for the 2nd year of Fringe events with £16,500.
Make My Day was a free, one-day family-oriented festival initiated by a local self-employed artist to deliver creative activities that would draw in visitors to the area. Even with bad weather the event drew in roughly 2500 people. Of these around 70% were local and 30% from further away, which matched the original aim. The West End Million funding of £2000 helped leverage a further £20,000 from other sources. The event went very well and was featured on the top ten attractions of the Creative Tourist website for North West UK. The project idea has now been handed over to The Exchange Creative Community on West Street to develop in the future.
Northern Angelz is a well-being venture ‘club’ who encourage vulnerable isolated people to become more active. £1000 was granted to deliver well-being walks and fitness activator classes in the area which supported adult learning and physical health training delivered a two hour a week, ten-week course working with an estimated 50 people. The work had some notable individual success stories; helping one young man toward full-time employment. Organisers also benefitted from gaining new management skills. The £1000 West End Million grant was paralleled with around £5000 of other support.
Regent Park Studios is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which was given a grant of £3479 to enable them to work with young people which included a weekly two-hour activity session over twelve months which helped them to gain team-building skills, discipline, communication skills and build the confidence of young people aged 11 to 18 years. The activities went very well with triple the expected capacity. The Studios doubled staff on the project from their own resources and worked with fifty young people from the area. The organisation has confidence that the work they do makes a significant impact on both increased capacity of young people and in reducing local anti-social behaviour.
Stanley’s Youth & Community Centre and groups
Stanley’s Youth & Community Centre is a community centre with several different partners working together or based at the centre. They were variously granted funding for computer lessons (£960), youth club (£2000) and the ‘Melting Pot’ who are based there also received support (£3050). This funding helped to support these activities as well as creating some sustainable activities. It also helped some of those running the services in developing their skills.
Wise up workshops are a locally based well-being CIC that offers workshops using art forms for confidence building for all ages & all abilities. West End Million funded confidence building with young people, a Good Old Days Christmas event and conversations workshops. Projects funded went really well working with over 150 children and creating two sustained groups of young people continuing to meet. Good Old Days produced a performance involving 30 young people which was so popular they had to open the dress rehearsal to the public. Over 45 families are now engaged in a voluntary run West End Theatre Group which Wise Up supports.