A Stoke-on-Trent charity which supports residents-in-need has opened a brand new community hub.
Birgit Allport launched the Better Together Community Support Group in 2018 to help people who are unable to work for various reasons.
Over the last four years, the group has successfully supported the local community with food parcels, parent and toddler groups, infant feeding groups, playgroups, a community garden, a community cafe and other activities such as workshops and sing-a-longs. Now the charity has secured a new premises in Woodberry Close, Trent Vale, which will serve as the organisation’s new headquarters.
With £17,500 from Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Investment Fund (CIF) the former shop has been transformed into a warm, safe space for residents from across the city. The new Better Together Community Support Group headquarters was officially opened by Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Faisal Hussain on Saturday, October 8.
CEO and founder Birgit Allport said: “At the Better Together Community Support Group we help people. We bring people together, we bring generations together. We don’t care about your background, your skin colour, your religion or your abilities, everybody is welcome to just pop over for a brew.
“If you have a question, need help with form filling, need support with food or you just want to socialise and meet new people, then our new headquarters in Trent Vale is the perfect place to do that.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council launched its Community Investment Fund in 2017 to help communities improve the area where they live.
In the last five years, more than £3.6 million has been handed out to 181 projects across the city, with priority given to those which benefit children and young people, improve education and skills, protect and improve physical and mental wellbeing, improve communities and promote Stoke-on-Trent.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health, said: “The Better Together Community HQ is one of a number of groups which has benefitted from the Community Investment Fund since it started in 2017. The community organisation has received £17,500 to transform a once vacant space into a fantastic community hub for all to enjoy – and it really is a fantastic venue where they offer not only a multitude of services, but also, just a warm welcome and a brew for those who need it.
“It is welcoming community spaces like this that will be really useful to communities over the winter as we mobilise our Stronger Together Through Winter programme where we will come together with voluntary organisations like this to provide a warm and safe space for people and try to manage through this cost of living crisis together.”
(Main image L-R Better Together Community Support Group founder and CEO Birgit Allport and Councillor Lorraine Beardmore.)