Ten good causes throughout Lancashire have received donations in the latest round of awards in our Chorley High Five initiative.

It’s all in the name

Our initiative is so-called after our board pledged to give a minimum of five per cent of our operating profits each year to support local charities, community groups, not-for-profit organisations and grassroots clubs.

As a mutual building society – which means we are owned by our members – we have undertaken to support good causes with the following aims:

  • Supporting member and community wellbeing
  • Tackling poverty and homelessness
  • Supporting grassroots sporting activities

Our Charity Committee, made up of Chorley Building Society colleagues, meets every quarter to review applications and award donations.

Two good causes each given £500

We are delighted to make £500 donations to two charities working with families, each one for different reasons.

In what is a happy coincidence, the first charity to receive £500 is Chorley-based High Five. This well-deserving good cause supports families with children with severe disabilities. Having started out seven years ago helping six families, High Five now support more than 80 families all over Lancashire.

Our donation will go towards High Five’s monthly activities that the whole family can join in, these range from sensory sessions to arts and crafts and community activities. They are designed to support parents, siblings and young carers’ mental well-being, while providing inclusion in the community and reducing social isolation.

The other recipient of a £500 donation is Blackburn-based Child Action North West (CANW), which works with more than 6,000 children, young people and families in the passionate belief that every person has the right to achieve their full potential regardless of background and circumstances.

CANW works in the heart of communities – often in partnership with other organisations – to end family cycles of deprivation, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of self-esteem, youth crime, teenage pregnancies and broken families.

Our donation will benefit children and teenagers aged between four and 18. It will go towards one-to-one counselling sessions and therapeutic support in the Chorley area.

£250 for MS Society

Our donation is specifically for the  Chorley and Leyland MS group, which helps approximately 100 people locally combat isolation and remain active thanks to regular get-togethers, seated exercise and Pilates classes and seated hydrotherapy sessions.

This award will go towards the cost of therapists who provide the sessions, as well as those who provide home-based physiotherapy and podiatry for members whose disability precludes them from getting out for therapies.

Boosting health and wellbeing

Four other organisations offering health and wellbeing support have been given awards ranging between £275 and £100.

We are Hummingbird is a non-profit mental health and suicide awareness organisation. It’s a community of music lovers who have united to spread awareness of mental health by using music as a platform to encourage people to open up and engage in conversation.

Our donation of £275 will go towards musical instruments for schools and other organisations that may not be able to afford them.

And we have awarded £250 to the Chorley FC Foundation, which will help to fund weekly sporting memories group sessions offering ‘wellbeing through reminiscence’ and gentle exercise for people living with dementia, loneliness and/or depression. The sessions are open to over-55s, their families and carers.

A New Dawn was formed during lockdown to build resilience in the community, and to help people stay connected and healthy.

Members began by growing their own food and the group has since expanded into foraging classes, family bushcraft, gardening days, wellbeing days and much more.

Our £100 donation will be going towards funds to expand further, including an outdoor tipi, a café and several green initiatives such as community growing projects, compost making and home-made toiletries.

Supporting grass roots sports

Two good causes providing grass roots sports have each been awarded £150.

The money will help Rossendale United Junior Football Club cover its substantial overheads that include pitch hire, while Freestyle Urban Soccer will use the donation to subsidise street soccer and skate board sessions in and around Chorley.

Having no ‘home’ ground of their own, Rossendale United JFC hires pitches from local schools and other venues to play games. Other costs include providing child safeguarding and first aid training for volunteer managers and coaches, as well as subsiding FA coaching qualifications.

Freestyle Urban Soccer is a community interest company (CIC), first formed to fight boredom and anti-social behaviour among young people 11 years ago. It provides free activities in the evenings, weekends and school holidays and utilises its trained coaches to teach other life lessons such as personal responsibility, communication, respect and time keeping.

Helping swimmers make a splash

We are pleased to help two local swimming clubs with £100 donations to each.

Leyland Barracudas Amateur Swimming Club has been providing individual and team competitive swimming opportunities to swimmers ranging from aged six to 60-plus for 47 years. It operates at four pools – Leyland, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham and Tarleton – providing 40 hours of swimming each week for 48 weeks a year.

The donation will go towards essential training costs for its 40 poolside volunteers.

Preston Swimming Club Masters team will be putting the money towards its fund raising for members to compete at the World Masters Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in May and June next year. The club is looking to take its biggest ever team to Japan, with the aim of competing in both men’s and women’s events as well as entering relay teams.

Congratulations to all of our recipients and a huge well done and thank you for all the good work being carried out in our local community. You can discover how to apply for a Chorley High Five donation here.