Our social action county-wide network of community groups reaches a fantastic milestone on Lancashire Day, 27 November 2020 – Our Lancashire is one year old! From a successful launch in 2019 to an eventful 2020, Our Lancashire’s website features over 1600 community groups and has almost 450,000 members, spreading joy and happiness and connecting communities across Lancashire.
Who could have predicted just how quickly Our Lancashire would be called upon to support groups during our national public health crisis? The Our Lancashire team quickly rearranged its structure to form a bridge between public services and those groups who were able to help the response effort. Many groups changed their activities overnight to focus on protecting those that needed support in our community, and had to adapt to doing things virtually with online meetings and activities.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“I am delighted by the progress that Our Lancashire has made in its first twelve months. A lot has changed in the year since this journey began in Blackpool Tower’s ballroom last November and I’ve been impressed by how the team has met the unique challenges head on.
“The growth in the service and the increasing numbers of grassroots groups getting involved is clear to see and it’s strengthening our communities whilst helping vulnerable people who may be isolated, to engage with the people around them and things that interest them.
“Our Lancashire will continue to play a really important role, during and after the pandemic, helping community organisations develop and grow, and connecting them with people who often need that support and are able to thrive.”
During the pandemic, the Our Lancashire team has had to adapt to supporting groups online or with social distancing in place, and have continued to help groups to engage safely with their members and secure funding to carry on making a difference isolated people in their communities.
“Menhear were proud to be part of Our Lancashire’s launch in November 2019, with a video produced by the team showcasing our offer of support to men’s mental health and wellbeing in Lancashire. This video, along with our presence on Our Lancashire’s website, has helped us grow our membership and reach new people in need of our help. Local networking opportunities helped me to connect with other organisations, such as Community Gateway, who have generously donated free office space for a year! A grant from the PCC’s Community Action Fund has funded a local gardening project. Joining Our Lancashire has helped our group grow and strengthen in multiple ways.”
Will Killeen, Founder and Director of Menhear CIC, Preston
“Since registering with Our Lancashire a year ago, and having the opportunity to promote our service through their website, we have become more connected to other voluntary sector services, enabling us to reach and support isolated survivors of childhood sexual abuse. We receive regular updates from the Our Lancashire team about events and funding opportunities and feel part of a committed voluntary sector within our local community. We are proud to be involved in Our Lancashire.”
Gina Gonzales, Founder and Director of RELEASE into Victory CIC, South Ribble
“Our Lancashire have helped CSI (Challenge Through Sport Initiative) develop our amazing volunteers through lockdown, supporting them with DBS checks so they can safely help the most isolated and vulnerable people in the community. Our Lancashire’s website has helped with advertising and growing our sessions, connecting with new people who could be out of the immediate area or hard to reach”.
Tamasin Lamb, CSI Project Support Officer, Wyre