Cllr Peter Coan presents a cheque to Neil Forbes of Knutsford GROW

Cllr Coan raises £7,500 for mayoral charities 

As his term of office came to an end at last week’s Mayor Making ceremony, outgoing Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan announced the success of his fundraising efforts, raising £7,500 to be split between two good causes.

Cllr Coan had been raising funds for Knutsford GROW and the establishment of a Knutsford Men in Shed’s initiative and hosted series of fundraising events including a Summer BBQ, a beer tasting at Dexter & Jones, Dine with the Mayor at Linden Stores and guests discovered a Winter Wonderland at Tatton Park in November.

In December the Town Mayor ran a charity raffle stall at Knutsford Christmas Market with two lucky winners walking away with hampers that were kindly donated by the market traders at the Christmas market.

The mayor’s annual quiz night at The Angel was a roaring success, with many laughs and lots of money raised! Katy Collins and team walked away with the winner’s trophy.

The highlight of every Town Mayor’s year is the Mayor’s Charity Ball which, this year, was a glittering affair at Cottons Hotel and Spa.  With entertainment kindly sponsored by Mesoestetic, and drinks sponsored by Georgina Chase from Slater and Gordon. Local band “The Avenue” got everyone up on the dancefloor, whilst DJ Pete Deane entertained us with his DJ set and ice breaker games.

Prizes for the raffle and auction were generously donated by local businesses, the evening started with a bang as guests popped helium balloons, sponsored by Love the Dentist, inside which were vouchers for amazing nights out at restaurants, hotels, and the cinema.  The first prize winner of the raffle was treated to an overnight spa break at Cottons hotel & spa, whilst the silent auction included a signed Manchester United shirt, Bespoke shirt from King & Allen and a signed Everton FC shirt.

Cllr Peter Coan said “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the past 12 months. To each of the businesses who have sponsored or hosted my events, my fundraising efforts would not be possible without you.

I would like to personally thank everyone who has attended my events, I hope you enjoyed yourselves whilst raising much needed funds for my two charities.

I would like to congratulate Cllr Colin Banks on being elected as Knutsford’s new Town Mayor and I hope you will support him as much you have supported me throughout my term”.

Neil Forbes, trustee of Knutsford GROW “I’d like to thank Cllr. Coan and Civic Events Officer Gemma on behalf of Knutsford GROW’s Trustees, volunteers and especially our beneficiaries for the year of hard work building up to this donation.  It means a great deal to smaller charities like ‘GROW’ where every penny counts.  For example, we intend buying some extra rechargeable batteries for our equipment.  If you attended or hosted or contributed to any of the events, well done and our grateful thanks to you too”.

Rachel Meadows of UK Men’s shed association “Thank you to Peter and all those involved in supporting the progression of the Shed Movement in Knutsford for this generous donation. The UK Men’s Sheds Association believe there should be a Shed available for every person who wishes to access one and we are thrilled that Knutsford will soon have its own. The new Shed at Knutsford will be a valuable community space where people can socialise, share skills and support their mental health. We wish them every success in the future.”

Town Mayor Cllr Coan presents a cheque to the Welcome

Premises costs funded through council grant

A community café and support centre serving the most disadvantaged area of Knutsford has secured support from Knutsford Town Council for its core operating costs.

The Welcome provides support, events and access to essential services for all age groups to reduce the impact of people living in crisis, reduce social isolation, improve physical and mental wellbeing, alongside building a strong and vibrant community.  Since its founding in 1997 as a mobile coffee shop it has developed into part of the everyday life of many residents in the St John’s Wood area of Knutsford.

Chief Executive of The Welcome, Nick Sherburn, said “We are absolutely delighted to have gained the support of Knutsford Town Council by way of grant funding. Our respective organisations serve the same community, and we are proud that the Council recognises the vital support and services we provide, and our community deserves.

The Town Council is providing a grant of £20,000 to fund the charity’s central premises costs. This enables the charity to focus on securing income for its operational costs and delivering services for the local community.

Advisors at the Welcome provide support five days a week and can give guidance on matters such as employment, benefits, hardship, housing and emergency assistance. The Welcome also hosts the Citizens Advice service once a month, provides a Meals on Wheels service and hosts community activities such as a lunch club, knitting group and coffee mornings. The Welcome also coordinates The Bread and Butter Thing which enables 80 households to access more affordable food every week.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “The work The Welcome does for the residents of St John’s Wood ward is fantastic, so we’re only too pleased to be supporting them. From providing advice to those in need, hosting a monthly citizens advice drop in and running a meals on wheels scheme, it’s a busy charity and this grant helps them focus on their service delivery”

The Mayor presenting a cheque to in bloom volunteers

£1k boost to Knutsford In Bloom

A group that works in partnership with Knutsford Town Council to ensure Knutsford blooms has received a grant of £1,060 to continue its work.

Knutsford in Bloom is a small group of volunteers who maintain a number of flower beds and planters in the town centre, such as at the railway station, along Princess Street and in front of the Curzon. The group works in partnership with Knutsford Town Council to co-deliver the town’s floriculture efforts which have seen Knutsford awarded “Gold” in the North West in Bloom competition since 2017.

Chair of Knutsford in Bloom, Barry Tilby said “We are grateful for the continued support from Knutsford Town Council. This annual grant allows us to purchase plants in order to help make the town a desirable place to live, visit and work”

“We are always looking for support so if you can spare some time, you will be made to feel very welcome”.

Knutsford in Bloom volunteers have a dedicated area they each maintain or support the maintenance of – more volunteers can enable them to expand their remit. If you are interested in volunteering with Knutsford in Bloom contact Barry at barrytilby@hotmail.co.uk

Knutsford Town Council is further supporting the group’s work by replacing a number of planters outside Curzon, which are maintained by Knutsford in Bloom.

Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan said “The volunteers at Knutsford in Bloom do a cracking job making the town centre brighter and blooming. We couldn’t deliver our floriculture service without them so we’re delighted to fund the group’s work” 

The Mayor presenting a cheque to Hope Central

Debt Centre to be expanded with council grant

Knutsford residents will have increased access to debt support thanks to funding provided by Knutsford Town Council to Hope Central.

Hope Central provides a free Debt Centre service to people across the WA16 and SK9 area which aims to help get people out of debt and the council’s funding supports recruitment of a debt coach to help more people access this service.

In addition to operating a food bank, Hope Central has a strong success rate for supporting people into work and volunteering placements via its Job Club, and their Fresh Start course supports people out of life-controlling habits. All of its services are aimed at supporting people out of poverty and giving them hope.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “Supporting those in the greatest need in our community is incredibly important to Knutsford Town Council. The work that Hope Central does can change lives, and we’re proud to be funding them to help support more people in our Town”

The Hope Centre in Knutsford is based at St Cross Church and has about 20 people attending each Monday morning to receive a free lunch and meet people in the community. The charity also runs a life skills course, teaching people how to live well on a budget by considering money saving techniques and cooking skills.

Director of Hope Central, Kay Barker said she was thrilled to receive the grant and spoke of the difference it will make to Knutsford residents “We have seen first hand the darkness debt can cause in peoples’ lives and we have had the joy of working with people, and seeing the difference in people as they become debt free. This money will enable our Debt Centre to expand and help more people in Knutsford who are struggling with debt and will give them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Barney Howard, Debt Centre Manager at Hope Central added “People around the country are struggling with rising costs and being on a low income many people can’t respond to this. Knutsford is no different. It eventually leads to people being in poverty. We are so grateful for this funding so that we can bring hope to people and that there is a solution if they are in debt. If anyone is in debt then they can call the freephone number 0800 328 0006 to book an appointment with our Debt Coaches.”

If you or anyone you know is in need of an emergency food parcel, you can be referred to Hope Central’s Food Bank by a social care professional (e.g. your GP, housing officer, support worker, social prescriber, social worker and school etc).

This grant was awarded under the council’s Large Grant Scheme which provides grants over £1,500. Applications are considered annually with the next deadline at the end of August for grants paid in April 2025.

Photo L-R: Ian Albiston, Ian Robertson, Cllr Peter Coan, Kay Baker, Doreen Robertson, Barney Howard, Rev Paul Deakin and Karen Andrew. 

David Biggs and Nichola Marshall of Knutsford Together receive a laptop from the Town Mayor

Knutsford Together among this year’s recipients of Community Grant Scheme

Our community grant scheme was introduced with the intention of supporting local organisations, charities, and CICs that are actively supporting Knutsford and providing community services. The grants come in either the form of donations of up to £200, small grants of up to £1,500, or large grants over the value of £1,500.

This year, one of our beneficiaries is Knutsford Together, a new charity that understands that it isn’t always easy accessing the help you need or knowing where to look.  Knutsford Together are committed to ensuring that people in Knutsford are directed to the right services relevant to their situation and are encouraging people to sign up and become Local Connectors to help make this happen. Becoming a Local Connector only takes one hour of training!

Knutsford Together received a grant in kind of two laptops, which have already helped the day-to-day running of the organisation. Nicola Marshall, chief officer at Knutsford Together said: ‘’We are so grateful for the laptops that we kindly received from Knutsford Town Council. They’ve already proven invaluable since I joined Knutsford Together in July. It has enabled me to put together a directory of services that will be listed on our website as well as carry out day-to-day admin tasks. Going forward, they are going to prove even more vital in being used to signpost and connect members of the community to local groups and services as well as securely enabling us to case manage clients when we work with them on a one-to-one basis.’’

The Town Council aims to fund organisations and projects that provide improved services or opportunities for those aged under 18 or over 65; create or improve services and facilities benefiting a significant percentage of residents or which enhance the profile or reputation of the town. If you would like to learn more about our community grant scheme and see if your organisation could be a good fit, visit: https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/community-grants.

If you would like to learn more about the work of Knutsford Together or become a Local Connector, visit: https://www.knutsfordtogether.org.uk/.

The mayor holding a big cheque with just drop in charity

Youth Counselling Service ‘Just Drop-In’ receive grant from Knutsford Town Council

‘Just Drop-In’, the Macclesfield-based youth counselling service, is one of the three organisations this year that have received support through Knutsford Town Council’s community grant scheme.

Our Community Grant Scheme is one of our initiatives that aims to support local charities, organisations or CICs that are making a positive impact on the community. We offer donations of up to £200, small grants of up to £1,500, and large grants of anything over £1,500. You can read our grants policy and more information on how to apply here.

Just Drop-In has been significantly impacting the lives of children and young people struggling with their mental health and well-being. The service is available for people aged 12-24 who live in the north of Cheshire East (Macclesfield, Poynton, Wilmslow, Handforth, Knutsford, and the villages in between), and is completely free and accessible!

They have been working diligently to achieve excellent satisfaction rates, stating that around 80% of young people who use their service have an improved well-being score at the end of their sessions, and 98% would rate their services as good.

Knutsford Town Council has awarded the service £1,460, which will go towards the costs of two volunteer Counsellors to deliver their services in Knutsford. This will include clinical supervision, travel, and training expenses for six months.

Ann Wright, the Chief Officer, said: ‘’Our charity is committed to providing emotional health support to children in Knutsford and this wonderful grant from the Town Council will help us to achieve this commitment. We greatly appreciate the support.’’

We are excited to be supporting their work and admire the impact the charity has on the lives of young people in the area. If you’d like to learn more, visit their website: https://www.justdropin.co.uk/

the mayor holding a big cheque

Together for Theatre receive £200 from Community Grant Scheme

Knutsford Town Council has donated £200 to Knutsford Together for Theatre Productions as part of our Community Grant Scheme.

The donation will be put towards the production costs of their upcoming performance ‘’Rent’’, which is set to take place in August 2023 and tells the story of a group of young bohemians and their battle against AIDS.

Ben Evans-Clarke, the vice-chairman and treasurer of Knutsford Together for Theatre, said ‘’ Together for Theatre Productions is a newly formed musical theatre society, aiming to bring together local performers from all walks of life. The grant we have been kindly provided by Knutsford Town Council will go towards allowing us to bring our forthcoming production of Rent to the Knutsford Little Theatre stage, supporting our members to display their skills to a wide audience.’’

The Community Grant Scheme was introduced to support projects such as this one, or any groups and ventures that serve the community of Knutsford. Organisations, charities, and CICs can receive either a donation of up to £200, a small grant of up to £1,500, or a large grant of anything over £1,500.

It’s easy to apply, your charity or organisation just needs to hit at least one of our funding objectives! Have a look and find out more here:  https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/community-grants

If you’re interested in joining Together for Theatre or would like to book tickets for Rent, check out their website here: https://www.togetherfortheatre.co.uk/

Town Mayor presents cheque to the Crosstown Community Orchard

Support for new Community Orchard

Knutsford’s first community orchard has received a funding boost from Knutsford Town Council.

The Crosstown Community Orchard, on Mobberley Road, was created in February after a new charity was set up to convert an underused open space into a thriving community asset. The charity has secured a range of grant funds to support its work and Knutsford Town Council is providing funding worth £1,500 through the provision of a bench and a sign which are due to be installed later this month.

The charity saw the planting of almost 40 fruit trees, over 100 wild harvest saplings and many wildflowers. Last month the group installed bird and hedgehog boxes to accompany the log piles and bug hotel created to promote wildlife on the site. The group is now arranging the installation of benches, bins and picnic tables to create a true community space and later this year will be creating a nature trail around the site.

Crosstown Community Orchard trustee Lyndsey Keppel-Green said “We are really grateful for the support from the Town Council and look forward to welcoming the Town Mayor back to the orchard for our official opening on August 22nd

The Town Council Community Grant Scheme is open to community organisations delivering services or running assets which benefit Knutsford’s residents. It looks for projects which provide improved services/opportunities for those under 18 or over 65, which provide a new or improved asset or service or projects which enhance the profile or reputation of the Town.

The council operates two schemes; a small grants scheme makes awards of up to £1,500 three times per year and a large grant scheme which considers applications for over £1,500 annually. The next deadline for the small grants scheme is 29th October and the 2021 large grants deadline is 31st August.

Mayor presents cheque to Netball Club

Community Grants Deadline Approaches

The deadline is approaching for groups in Knutsford to apply for funding from the Town Council’s community grants scheme.

Grants of up to £1,500 are available from the Town Council for projects which meet one of its grant outcomes: providing improved opportunities/services for under 18s or over 65s, providing new or improved assets or services which benefits a significant percentage of residents and projects which enhance the profile or reputation of the town.

Previous grant awards from the council have included £1,500 to 2nd Knutsford Scouts towards resurfacing the driveway at their scout hut and £650 to the Knutsford Talking Newspaper to purchase new equipment.

“We’ve been able to fund some excellent community projects through our grant scheme in the past and invite community groups, sports clubs and charities to submit applications to us at any time throughout the year” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green.

The council will not fund salaries, hospitalities, religious organisations (except for non-religious activities), core school expenditure or projects with party political links.

The deadline for the final round of applications in the current financial year is 11th December, with decision being made by the council in January 2021. More information on the grant scheme and the application forms are available at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/community-grants