The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to cause disruption in the past year for the Partnership, as for all organisations. However, we are moving forward with hope and renewed vigour into 2022.

A significant development has been our decision to change the name of the group from the Poynton Area Community Partnership (PACP) to the North-East Cheshire Community Partnership (NECCP). Whilst the change is in name only, the group felt that it was an important one. The Partnership represents the interests of nine areas, and it was felt that having the name ‘Poynton’ in the name of the Partnership brought undue focus to just one of our nine areas. We continue to meet in Poynton, but wanted to ensure that everyone, and particularly those living in the other eight areas in which we work, were aware of, and felt represented, in the name of the group.

The Partnership name change has coincided with significant efforts to promote our work more widely in our communities. In July 2021, a new volunteer role was created in the Partnership, of ‘Grant Coordinator’. The new Grant Coordinator has started a Facebook page for the partnership – the aim is to further promote our work and encourage more grant applications. We have also launched a new website to further extend our reach and profile, and to provide a one-stop point of access for up-to-date information about our aims, and what help and support we can provide to our communities. The website has ‘gone live’ in the last month – We will also be updating the site with news of our work and how our grants are being spent. This will hopefully encourage more applications and spark more good ideas.

Moving out of the pandemic, many community groups are once again meeting up in person. This feels like a time of new beginnings, and we are keen for our communities to recover quickly from the upset and isolation of the last 2 years. Many people are understandably nervous about venturing out again, and everyone’s mental health has suffered, but the Partnership will be doing everything it can to support our communities moving forward.

Update on projects supported by the Partnership in previous financial year

It is the nature of the work of the partnership that the projects we support take time to come to fruition. With this in mind, we include a section with updates from projects we have supported in previous years.

Pott Shrigley Parish Church Ramp (Grant awarded May 2019)

The ramp we helped to fund is now in place, after delays in the pandemic. The easy-access path was officially opened in a ceremony in February 2022, by Margaret Ryley. Margaret sustained a significant injury in a fall at the lychgate, an event which precipitated the idea to fundraise for a ramp. Parishioners who use wheelchairs, or who struggle with steps, are now able to access the Church with ease.

Margaret Ryley at the official opening of the new wheelchair ramp – Photo used courtesy of the Pott Shrigley Parish Church Parochial



Dean Valley School PTA (Grant awarded November 2020)

The Partnership awarded a grant to Dean Valley School PTA to repair and renovate an existing pond in the ‘Forest School’ area of the school’s grounds – repairing the lining of the pond and refilling it, building a permanent pond-dipping platform and planting/landscaping the surrounding area.

The Forest School area is used every week by the children at Dean Valley School. During the pandemic, it was used even more frequently as schools were encouraged to spend as much time learning outdoors as possible.  Because of this outdoor learning space, parents and other volunteers were able to attend to support the children at a time when they would not have been allowed into the school building. Thus, the Forest School helped to bring the community together. Volunteers attend on a weekly basis to support the children in their learning.

The school will be participating in, and encouraging the community to participate in, Cheshire Wildlife projects, RSPB surveys and additional forest school initiatives to support the wildlife and to develop our children’s understanding of their local ecology.




Poynton Pedals 4 All (Grant awarded December 2020)

We reported last year on our grant to the ‘Poynton Pedals 4 All’ project. The project’s aim was to fund adaptive bikes for community use, so that wheelchair users, and the less able-bodied, could enjoy our beautiful countryside and benefit from social interaction and exercise alongside their able-bodied counterparts.

Since our injection of funds, the project has gone from strength to strength. Sue Reason spoke to the NECCP meeting in January 2022 and said that the grant has helped enormously. Since our funding was announced, British Cycling and Cycling Projects UK have offered their support and the Poynton Round Table, Poynton Rotary Club, Councillor Sarah Jayne Gilmore, local businesses and local individuals have also assisted with fund raising. A grant was also received from the National Lottery and the first bike was purchased in December 2021. The Cheshire East Ranger has assisted with access adaptations and The Boar’s Head pub has been established as a storage centre and will provide disabled toilet access and refreshments.

Additional funding has been raised for a second bike via the Cheshire East Spacehive Platform and a Cheshire East Council grant. This ‘side by side’ bike allows a limited mobility user to cycle alongside an able-bodied cyclist.

The project’s efforts are now focussed on getting the project up and running and recruiting more volunteers. Some access work has already taken place, such as widening the access gate and work on the incline to the Middlewood Way. In future, a recumbent bike will be considered which is a more stable bike that will provide further access for more of the local population.

The wheelchair bike

The ‘side-by-side’ bike






Laptops for schools (Grants awarded February and April 2021)

We reported last year that the Partnership had funded 14 refurbished laptops in the 2020-2021 financial year, to support children who were being home schooled in the pandemic. The laptops were distributed by Poynton High School to children who were, up to then, having to access educational resources using only mobile phones or sharing with siblings or parents working from home, or who had no access to devices at all.

Between March and April 2021, the Partnership distributed 18 further laptops to primary schools in our areas. We reported on feedback received from St Pauls Primary School in Poynton in our last report.

In April 2021, we received the following  feedback from Disley Primary school –

“I wanted to pass on our thanks to you and the PACP for the very generous donation of laptops we received on Monday.  We were thrilled to receive them and want to pass on our thanks to everyone who was involved in the decision to distribute them to local schools, and in the time spent preparing them for our use.  I can assure you that they will be put to very good use at Disley School, as our laptops are in high demand, and many are old and need replacing now.  There will be families who will continue to need to use technology to access learning from home for some time to come, I’m sure.  So, thank you again from all of us here. Please can you pass on our thanks to anyone you feel has been involved in this process and let them know that it is very much appreciated”.

The Partnership sought (and received) £1250 in funding from Poynton Town Council in June 2021 towards the laptops that they had provided to schools.

St Paul’s Primary School



Poynton Stones (Grant awarded January 2021)

During the pandemic in 2020, over 1000 stones, decorated by local children, were placed in a line at Poynton Park, forming a snake known as the ‘Poynton Python’. Local children enjoyed painting stones at home, and visiting the snake to lay them, as part of their ‘daily exercise’.

All of the community could enjoy the display, which became a focal point in the town.

When the python was dismantled, the Partnership helped to fund a permanent display of some of the stones outside the Civic Hall. The display provides a “lasting and sincere tribute to NHS staff and other key workers, and also to Poynton’s community, united during a challenging time”. When local people visit or see the display, they feel a sense of connection, remembering when the community came together at a time of isolation and loneliness.

The Poynton Python



North East Cheshire Cricket Club (Grant awarded January 2021)
The Partnership awarded a grant to the North East Cheshire Cricket Club’s women’s section, for protective kit and new bats to enable them to progress to ‘hard’ or ‘red ball’ cricket. The Club has a ‘soft ball’ women’s cricket team, which is growing in popularity, but lacked the funds to buy the equipment required to allow them to progress on to ‘hard-ball’ cricket. Women’s cricket uses slightly smaller hard balls than the men’s game, and they did not have any balls of the required size for women.

The lack of appropriate kit and equipment for the women’s section of the club was a barrier to more women in the community being able to try cricket and getting involved on a long-term basis. If keen to progress to ‘hard-ball’ cricket, the women would have had to fund their own equipment and kit to play safely. The applicant explained that many of the women at the club have children and partners who play cricket and would probably put their children/partner’s needs ahead of their own if they had limited resources with which to buy equipment. This was a financial barrier to them gaining physical and emotional benefits of playing the sport.

The Women’s Club has close links with local schools, and their members include several young women who attend Poynton High School. They are working hard to encourage young girls and teenagers to take up the sport. The club provides a great sense of camaraderie and support for the women and girls who are involved, who can learn new skills, gain in confidence, and remain fit, healthy and active. Many young women give up team sports in their teenage years due to body confidence issues and thus miss out on the mental and physical benefits that team sport can bring. The new kit and equipment secures the development of the women’s game at the Club; it will last for many years and be used by numerous women and girls in Poynton into the future.

Grant awarded by the Partnership this financial year

Mental Health Steering Group – (Grant awarded August 2021)

In August 2021, four Partnership members, all residents of Poynton, formed a sub-group to work on a project to inform the Poynton community about mental health services available to them. This was felt to be particularly important at this time, as so many peoples’ mental health had suffered in the pandemic. The group (and others from the wider Partnership) undertook mental health first aid training online with the ‘12th Man Campaign’ and gained certification, in order to better understand how to help people suffering with poor mental health. They also linked up with the charity Mentell, who work to prevent male suicide, gaining advice and expertise about how to help.

The sub-group designed and produced a double-sided A4 leaflet/poster of Mental Health Services available to the Poynton community. This is attached at the back of this report. The Partnership funded the printing of almost 1500 leaflets/posters for distribution in shops, cafes, bars and community buildings, and in local newspaper deliveries. The poster also has a QR code which can be scanned, the user downloading the poster, with clickable links, on to their device to refer to in future.

The Mental Health Steering Group

In October 2021, ‘3 Dads Walking’, 3 Dads who tragically lost their young daughters to suicide, walked 300 miles in 6 days. They were raising money for Papyrus, a charity which works to reduce the number of young people taking their own lives. On 14th October, they walked through Poynton and members of the Mental Health Steering sub-group walked with them for a time, and told them about our project.

‘3 Dads Walking’ visit Poynton in October 2021

After the success of the project in Poynton, the poster was altered slightly so that the information given was about services accessible to the communities of all 9 of the Partnership areas. This poster is entitled ‘North-East Cheshire’ instead of Poynton. We also produced Disley and Bollington specific posters with information on services and groups in those areas.





The Bridgend Centre, Bollington (Grant awarded October 2021)

The grant has helped to set up and fund weekly art and craft sessions, led by qualified teacher and local artist, Anna Barker. 6-8 local people have been attending every week, bringing their own art projects, or using the materials provided in more structured sessions. Projects have included watercolour painting, use of charcoals, still life drawings and portrait painting. The sessions provide attendees with an opportunity to talk to someone if they have issues on their mind, and to socialise in a friendly environment.

The sessions have had a really positive impact on the mental health of the attendees. Anna Barker states – “Gentle conversation and banter is often to be heard as each person works away; our members often feed back to me that they enjoy the opportunity to get out of the house and socialise in a safe and non-threatening environment”. The workers at the centre can also refer the attendees on to other sources of support within the community.



Canalside Radio, Bollington (Grant awarded November 2021)

The Partnership provided funding to the ‘Phase One Charity’ at Canalside Radio for the installation of new equipment in their ‘training’ studio. The charity is dedicated to training young people (age 10-18), providing social interaction, support, camaraderie, teaching skills and providing invaluable experience in media and broadcasting.

The equipment in the training studio was constantly breaking down, and this, in combination with the pandemic, had meant that they had not been able to provide training to new volunteers (or continue in training their existing volunteers) for almost 2 years. Having fundraised the £7500 for the equipment itself, funding was withdrawn from another source, and they were not able to install it. The Partnership grant enabled them to install this much needed equipment.

Since the grant was awarded, 24 volunteers have reaped its benefits at the station. The station anticipates that another 48 volunteers will be trained in the use of the equipment in 2022. All roles at the station are voluntary.

The grant has meant that the station will be able to continue to flourish into the future, with a new cohort of volunteers, and can continue to provide free promotion for local groups, charities and organisations. Canalside Radio has a listenership of around 9000–10,000 people, with around 2200 listening at any one time. It is a key source of information and entertainment for Bollington residents, increasing and maintaining their sense of community and civic pride.






The Food Community at Poynton Baptist Church (Grant awarded December 2021)

The Partnership provided a grant to the ‘Food Community’ project at Poynton Baptist Church, to develop a volunteer-run community dry food store. The Community aims to reduce food poverty in Poynton, “supporting individuals who are struggling on a budget, by providing access to nutritious food, in a safe and dignified way”.

The Food Community is a team of 20 volunteers at present, the majority living in Poynton. They are working closely with The Message Trust, in Wythenshawe, a similar project which is already up and running. They will work in partnership with local supermarkets, including the Poynton Cooperative and Fair Share UK.

10% of the local population in Poynton are claiming benefits. The nearest foodbank schemes are in Stockport and Macclesfield, a considerable journey on public transport from Poynton. The Food Foundation survey `The impact of Covid 19 on household food security 2021’ found that more people are food insecure now than before the pandemic and that Covid-19 has dramatically widened inequalities in food security and nutrition.

The Partnership received feedback from the project in May 2022. The grant has funded essential equipment for the project including mobile shelving for food display, containers to safely store and display food, shopping baskets and a tablet till system.

Around 20- 25 local families have benefitted from each opening of the food store to date. Each opening requires about 30 volunteer hours – including manning the larder during the day, setting up, clearing away, collecting and sorting food donations and delivering food parcels to families that cannot access the store.

Behind the scenes there are between 5 and 10 volunteer hours worked each week in administration, applications, email enquiries and publicity.

The project is bringing people together from across the churches in Poynton as well as those in the community who are seeking to help others. As the project develops it should reduce demand on food banks. The project is also hoping to explore the

need for and provision of courses covering cooking on a budget, debt management to support the reduction of loan dependence and spiralling debt and, as relationships with larder attendees develop, counselling to enhance mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.






1st Poynton Rangers – Camping Equipment (Grant awarded December 2021)

We awarded a grant to 1st Poynton Rangers for camping equipment. 1st Poynton is a new Ranger Unit, for young women aged 14-18.

The Rangers can now benefit from the experience of having nights away from home. They learn new skills and gain in confidence and independence. Connecting to the outdoors has significant benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing at a formative time in their lives. The camping equipment purchased will be used for many years to come, by many young women and volunteer leaders, and will attract new members to the group.

New equipment




1st Disley Scouts – (Grant awarded February 2021)

We awarded a grant for external improvements to the scout hut. The hut holds activities six times a week that bring the community together.  Children and young people from the age of 6 upwards use the hut. Leaders and young volunteers organise and run the activities that promote physical exercise, health and wellbeing, teamwork and understanding of others; This improves connections within the local community. The refurbishments will mean that events can be held which will benefit the whole Disley community.



Silk Cat Rescue Centre

The Partnership donated a small amount to the Silk Cat Rescue Centre for equipment. Apart from being an animal rescue centre, the centre provides social contact and wellbeing support for around 10 volunteers, many of whom are isolated and/or have mental health issues, and some of whom are unemployed. Volunteering activities include administration, fundraising, IT, and looking after the cats. Coming out of the pandemic, the centre hope to recruit more volunteers.



Poynton District Girl Guiding

The NECCP recently gave a goodwill gesture of £300 to Poynton District Girl Guiding for marketing materials, in the form of banners and feather flags. These materials will be used at events, so that the Guides are visible and recognised and can attract new volunteers to ensure their survival. Girl Guiding “provides girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities” – Catherine Johnson, District Commissioner.

Without visibility they will not be able to attract more volunteers, hence the decision to grant £300 towards new promotional materials to raise their profile and recruit more volunteers.




Return of unused grants

Dane Valley Park – (Grant awarded September 2020)

The Partnership awarded a grant to Dane Hill Park in Disley for path improvements which would have allowed more people to access the park safely. Unfortunately, this work has not progressed as the project is awaiting funds from another source. It has been some time since this grant was awarded and with the money remaining unspent, the Partnership have asked for the monies to be returned to us. We have advised the project that we may be able to support them in the future if they find a way to move forward.

Partnership Working and Information Sharing

The members of the North East Cheshire Community Partnership recognise, and hugely value, the benefits that the Partnership bring to us as members, and to our communities. These benefits reach far beyond the financial gains of the grants that we distribute.

Between 15 and 20 of our members meet every two months to share updates on our areas, and share our knowledge, ideas and experiences. The members leave the meetings having gained new perspectives, having found out about local groups, services and events, and about volunteering opportunities in our areas. We share information about training opportunities and courses, other sources of funding for our communities and sources of information and advice, for example useful websites. We benefit from a feeling that our towns and villages are connected and are there to support each other; We are all working for the same goals – to enhance connections, increase civic pride and engagement and for the health and wellbeing of our communities.

We are supported at our meetings (and beyond) by Mark Gleave, from Health Box CIC, who is hugely knowledgeable about services, groups and sources of funding in our areas. We have liaised with Mark on a number of occasions when we have not been able to award a grant because an application does not meet our criteria, and Mark has been able to signpost our unsuccessful applicants to other sources of funding that they may be eligible for. He has also arranged for them to be supported in new applications. Recent examples have included the Parkinsons’ Society ALEX project, and Poynton Sports Club’s Visually Impaired Bowling group. In this way, an applicant’s initial contact with the Partnership does not end with a closed door, but other doors can open for them. These connections, and our efforts to support unsuccessful applicants, can only benefit our communities in the long run.

We have recently made the decision to have a speaker at every meeting from a local public service, or from a group that we have supported with funds. The members are finding these talks and presentations very informative. They help us to focus our minds on our aims and objectives and to understand the needs of our communities in greater detail.

Here are a small number of specific examples of information sharing within the group in the last year –

  • Bollington shared their Flood Resilience Plan with the members.
  • Poynton showed the members new flood prevention equipment they have recently purchased, and explained about their ‘Flood Warden’ scheme.
  • Members shared their experiences of the 12th Man Campaign training, and others then undertook the training.
  • Mottram St Andrew Village Hall was able to access £9000 of funding because of a suggestion of a funding source by Kettleshulme.
  • Poynton shared information about the recent distribution of wallet-sized information cards to all pupils at Poynton High School about mental health services available to them, and how these were funded.
  • The members shared information about befriending services in their areas with Mark Gleave for a central database.
  • Information has been shared about Health Walks in our areas, and how they have been set up.
  • Members have shared how we are helping Ukrainians displaced by the war in our areas.
  • Disley, Mottram St Andrew and Bollington have shared how they have set up Mini-Orchard sites and Poynton have acted upon this.
  • The members have shared their ideas for celebrating the Platinum Jubilee.

Volunteer Hours

The group estimates that the group members themselves have undertaken 1138 volunteer hours, and that the projects we have funded have supported and generated 3076 volunteer hours. This is a total of 4214 volunteer hours.