South Cheshire CLASP gets helping hand from Co-op Funding



South Cheshire CLASP is one of 4,500 Co-op Local Community Fund causes receiving a share of £15m raised by Co-op Members this month.

The organisation is delighted to be reconnecting with single parent families in the Crewe area after having to shut down its services during the first lockdown.

The charity’s Chief Executive Julia Wood says many single parents have struggled with being isolated during the pandemic and the opportunity to reach out to them again has been important.

South Cheshire CLASP has been supporting families for 20 years after it started out as an informal meeting group of single mothers by Angie Bartlett, herself a lone parent.

It has gone from strength to strength and offers a range of help for its service users, including supportive groups and counselling for children and parents.

It runs emotional wellbeing groups for both children and parents, parenting courses and one-to-one support to not only help with practicalities, but also to lend an ear to one-parent families under pressure. Although at the moment the latter service is being delivered via phone and online because of Covid-19.

The financial support that the charity has received from Co-op Members has been put to good use helping South Cheshire CLASP staff deliver their services to families.

The money has also bought emotional wellbeing goody bags, which are packed with nice treats to lift the mood of all those who receive them.

Among the goodies are bubble bath, reusable cups, chocolate and camomile teabags which give the charity’s clients a real boost. Inside the bag is a wellbeing book which is full of tips to help build self-esteem and resilience.

Julia says: “More people are finding the lockdown difficult and they are really struggling.

“We do a lot of face-to-face meetings as part of our work. But we didn’t see anyone in the summer months, although we have kept things going with lots of phone calls.

“Some of our parents have really been struggling and getting no support. They have found all of this very difficult.

“We’re starting things up again, but we are very much in catch-up mode.”

Julia adds: “We are thrilled to know that Co-op Members have chosen to support us. It helps to spread the word about what we do and who we are, and about the families that need our support on a regular basis.

“The goody bags have been really well received so far and we are looking forward to providing more families with them, particularly as we are not seeing them face-to-face in the same way as we used to.”

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and now a second lockdown, the charity, based at Jubilee House, is motivated by its ethos to reach out and support those in the local community who are affected by the difficulties associated with lone parenting.

Its Chief Executive says its aim is to support lone parent families in the area of Crewe and South Cheshire, who are struggling with the impacts of parenting alone. As these challenges have increased, they have become more isolated than ever.

Volunteers are important to the work of all charities and none more so than South Cheshire CLASP. Although it has had to decrease the number of volunteers in the present climate, its Chief Executive says it is fortunate to have wonderful people who are willing to offer their help for free.

“We couldn’t do without them and are grateful for every moment they give to help us help those in need,” says Julia.

If you want to find out about the work of South Cheshire CLASP you can see its website at www.southcheshireclasp.org.uk . The charity is also on Facebook and Twitter.

When Co-op Members buy own-brand products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes to support local causes and community organisations. Download the Co-op app to get personalised offers every week and select your local cause. To download the Co-op app, search ‘Co-op’ in the App Store.


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