Power to Change and January’s Big Moment
Yesterday we kicked off our look at 2015’s Big Moments – highlighting the remarkable work throughout the year by projects to support their communities and improve lives.
First up, we revisit Power to Change, an independent grant-making foundation that champions community business. They received a £150m endowment from us to provide funding and support to new and existing community businesses back in January.
From people looking to save their local library or leisure centre, run their own community shop or start a scheme to regenerate their neighbourhood, the Power to Change is there to support Community Business Champions.
One such community group to receive support through January’s announcements is New Wortley
Community Centre. The Leeds-based centre provides services and support to the local residents in the form of job clubs, youth groups, housing surgeries and confidence groups.
Bill Graham, Project Leader at New Wortley Community looks back on his year and the centre’s Big Moment:
“New Wortley is only a mile from Leeds city centre, yet it has some of the worst statistics for the city in terms of crime, health and life expectancy.
A big moment in 2015 for New Wortley Community Centre was receiving the Power to Change grant. It will be used to refurbish the existing centre and turn it into a health and wellbeing hub. This will address the health inequality of New Wortley residents – who have a life expectancy which is 12 years lower than neighbouring suburbs – by providing more mental health services which are in high demand.
It will also help us to provide and become a more sustainable community business by being able to accept NHS contracts. The centre is incredibly well used, but the community is put off by the way it looks. We need a welcoming building that puts a bit of pride back into the community and refurbishing the centre will do that. We’re more than a community centre – we’re a community business, run by local people, for local people.”