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Community groups receive share of £80,000 to deliver events during St Helens' year as Borough of Culture

A local not for profit community group, set up to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse, will host a free family wellbeing funday for the whole community at the end of the month [July] - one of 40 projects to benefit from more than £80,000 worth of funding through St Helens Borough Council.

Arts BOC funding presentation

Article date: 25 July 2023

Earlier this year as part of its status as the Liverpool City Region's Borough of Culture for 2023, the council launched four special grants - funded by Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Shared Prosperity Fund and the Harry and Mavis Pilkington Foundation Fund - open to residents as well as local artistic, heritage, sports, creative, voluntary and community groups to hold their own events to help support Borough of Culture. 

After a high response in applications, 40 projects have been funded totalling £80,161 - from a disability cricket tournament to heritage-focused events forming part of Heritage Open Days in September. 

Among the groups to secure funding was Domestic Abuse WA12, a community interest company set up in Newton-le-Willows, which has been awarded £1,664 to host a family funday, an afternoon of holistic therapies including yoga and meditation - as well as crafts such as candle making, crystals and making dreamcatchers while enjoying a walk around a local heritage site, complete with locally sourced afternoon tea for lunch.  

Emma Haselton from Domestic Abuse WA12 said: "We founded the company because as survivors of abuse ourselves, we found that support was St Helens based with nothing available in Newton-le-Willows. Not everyone has transport or the finances to help them travel to another town for support.  

"Over a period of time, given our own experiences of domestic abuse, we were contacted by others asking for help. Eventually it became apparent that we needed to put something together, to help others through their journey.  

"Following feedback from service users, it was clear that further engagement in the form of a family day was needed and so we came up with this event to encourage a whole family approach to healing. 

"We were contacted by St Helens Borough Council who made us aware of this funding opportunity and were delighted to hear that we had been successful with our application which will enable us to achieve this desired and requested event for the benefit of the local community." 

St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, Councillor Anthony Burns, was down at St Helens Town Hall recently to meet representatives from a number of organisations, including Domestic Abuse WA12, Rotary St Helens, UC Crew and St Helens Town AFC  - and hear how the funding will make a difference to their organisations during a cheque presentation.  

Councillor Burns said: "Our Borough of Culture year is very much focussed on celebrating and promoting the very best that St Helens Borough has to offer in terms of not only the artistic and cultural talent we have here, but also the many inspiring groups that make a huge difference to so many lives on a daily basis.  

"We want to leave a legacy - something residents can look back on in many years to come and remember fondly the time they spent with family, friends and their local community at an event put together to celebrate what makes our borough the great place it is, so I'm delighted to see this funding put to good use and so many groups benefit from it.  

"We're loving our year as Borough of Culture so far with a number of truly amazing events having taken place which have drawn in huge crowds and it's not over yet. There's still plenty happening between now and the end of the year for everyone to enjoy, so check out the events programme and don't miss out on the chance to commemorate the borough's proud identity, history and culture."  

Domestic Abuse WA12's family wellbeing day will take place at on Monday 31 July from 11:00am at Lyme and Wood carpark, with everyone welcome to attend. Although this is free event, places will need to be booked in advance for catering purposes which can be done by contacting Domestic Abuse WA12 Via their Facebook Page. 

For more information on Borough of Culture, including upcoming events, visit: