Investing in our community is at the heart of everything we do at Avenue Services. We want to ensure that we are always investing time, money, skills and expertise into the Blacon community. One of the main ways we do this is through our Community Support Fund, which provides opportunities for individuals, groups and organisations to apply for funding for local projects. Since 2015, we have distributed more than £600,000 of funding to community causes, supporting 136 unique projects that have benefitted the community, environment, health and wellbeing, employment, education and financial inclusion in Blacon. It has been fantastic to see the impact that this funding has made for the people of Blacon, and we continue to work hard to ensure it remains a great place to live. One of the projects we have supported is Here & Now Chester, a voluntary group whose work focuses on supporting older people in the community. Karen Smith, founder and director of the volunteer group said: “Here and Now provides various services to support older people who may be isolated in the Blacon and Chester area. Support from Avenue Services was a lifeline to Here and Now and further funding has helped us to provide weekly services over the last eight years.” Another of the projects we have supported is Better Together Chester, a support group set up in 2019 to provide a wellbeing service to anyone over the age of 18 who feels they may benefit from a support service that is run in a friendly and safe environment. Simon Hughes, who manages the Better Together Chester project, said: “Thanks to the Community Support Fund I ran a project last year teaching young people in Blacon theatre skills including acting, singing and dancing. “The project was a great success as we attracted 10 to 16 youngsters per session who really benefited from them, growing their confidence and forming new and hopefully long-lasting friendships. They also learned new skills that can be used not only in theatrical situations but in their everyday lives. “I could not have achieved this without the help of Avenue Services. The Community Support Fund is an incredibly vital resource for not just myself but for all the other groups and people they help within Blacon.” Chris Leicester, Neighbourhood Partnerships Manager at Avenue Services, commented: “We’re really proud of what has been achieved through the Community Support Fund. It’s amazing to see the positive impact it has had on the Blacon community as we continue to support projects that are making a difference.” We open our Community Support Fund for applications for a limited period of time each year, so that people can apply for the following financial year. If you are interested in applying to our Community Support Fund, make sure to follow us on social media or check out our website for updates on when applications next open.