The Edge Award 2018 Finalists

Four community groups and projects which support vulnerable people in desperate need of support have been unveiled as finalists in The Edge category at this year’s Northamptonshire Community Foundation awards.

Victoria Miles, Chief Executive at the Foundation, explained: “All The Edge finalists have demonstrated excellent work, made an outstanding impact, tackled challenges, drawn on the support of volunteers and were funded by the Foundation last year. Congratulations to all.”

Here are the finalists in The Edge category, sponsored by Novacroft …

Brookside Hall 

This group has provided much needed educational support for particularly vulnerable residents living in the east of Northampton, helping people back into education and/or employment.

One of its recent courses, funded by the Foundation, supported nearly 30 students, all experiencing mental and emotional health issues including bipolar, the loss of a close family member, anxiety and depression and learning difficulties - including students where English is a second language. All students reported improved health and wellbeing.

Re:store Northampton 

This Northampton town centre-based group provides support, a food bank and other crisis services for vulnerable people and families on the bread line. This year 89 families have benefited form support services, with a network of 50 volunteers helping with a range of activities.

This year the Foundation funded ‘Nest’, a new project from Re:store Northampton, for vulnerable families with children 0-5 years old.

Nest provides community drop-ins for pre-school families, with a focus on positive play, specialist health provision (pregnancy, postnatal and through to pre-school), advocacy and advice and access to free healthy meals and other basic necessities for families with young children. It acts as a one-stop shop for vulnerable families.

Live at Home Northampton 

This Northampton group provides an outreach service for single, older people at risk of isolation and loneliness.

This includes telephone calls to ensure older people get weekly contact and support, a 1:1 befriending service and a twice weekly lunch club, providing fresh home-cooked meals, quizzes and a fitness classes to encourage mobility.

There is a fortnightly craft group and transport is provided to all events.

Citizens Advice Services, Corby and Kettering 

This centre has been busy supporting people in crisis who have been affected by changes to disability funding and may be at risk of losing much needed benefits.

With the withdrawal of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the introduction of its replacement, Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the centre has seen an ever-growing increase in the number of disabled people asking for help.

The situation became unmanageable and the Foundation provided a grant to enable specialist benefits staff to work additional hours – to meet the growing need.