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Christmas cheer and craft sessions are in full swing in Walker thanks to one of our community funding projects.

The Happy Mondays social group for people aged over 55, which is supported by KeyRing – Chain Reaction, secured £500 in funding from YHN’s Positive People Positive Places fund to run a series of sessions, including Christmas crafts.

Anne Heraghty, who lives in Walker and is a regular at the craft sessions, said: “The Happy Mondays group is a fantastic start to the week. I really look forward to it and go home feeling better afterwards. Without it I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

“I think we often forget that older people who live on their own need to laugh and have the opportunity to enjoy themselves. The group isn’t just about crafts and getting messy, it’s lots of fun and people of our age need that in their lives.”

Jacqui Marlow, who is originally from the West End, attends the group and helps run a number of the sessions. She added: “Older people can forget to play. They can forget to live and forget to laugh. Since joining this group I’ve never heard so much laughter.

“As well as taking on craft projects we support and encourage each other. We encourage everyone to make new friends and learn new skills in a social environment, but beyond that, for a lot of the people it’s a vital lifeline.”

YHN’s Positive People Positive Places fund invites community groups to apply for a share of £10,000 funding to help deliver short-term projects that benefit local communities across the city.

Shortlisted applications are put to a public vote, with the most popular projects receiving a share of the funding. This year saw 61 community groups bid for a share of the funding pot, with 19 projects receiving a grant following the public vote.

Anne Heraghty

Initiatives to benefit from the fund include Beach Tuesdays, a YMCA project to bring together young people from different communities giving them a chance to experience a day at the beach, and Streetwise Summer Street Fests which saw 200 young people in Benwell and Blakelaw take part in urban street art workshops over the summer.

Matthew Foreman, Director of Customer Services at YHN, said: “Our Positive People Positive Places fund offers an opportunity for community groups to get a little support from us to develop and deliver some really creative projects that can actually make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“It’s fantastic to hear that the Happy Mondays group has had such success with its craft projects and that the benefits of the group are so wide ranging.”

The Positive People Positive Places fund will open again to applications in spring 2019. Contact Amina Razak at YHN for more information via 

You can read more about the 4Ps projects from this year here.