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    Two Greater Manchester charities receive funding from Equilibrium Foundation

    Equilibrium Financial Planning has announced that it has awarded grants to two vital Greater Manchester-based charities, as the third sector continues to struggle as a result of COVID-19.

    N-Gage, which was founded by Christie Spurling MBE in 2006, is a charity which provides young people at risk of educational or social exclusion with opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential.

    The charity works in partnership with local schools, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and a variety of other stakeholders. Its aim is to mitigate anti-social behaviour and educational exclusion, allowing young people to thrive.

    N-Gage has recently opened a community café, which it operates in addition to its weekly youth sessions across the city region. Prior to the pandemic, it had been coordinating IT workshops with older people in the community, allowing the young people that it works with to spend time teaching IT and digital skills.

    Nick Coleman, Head of Community and Engagement at N-Gage, said: “This grant will support us to launch our intergenerational IT project.

    “Earlier this year, some older members of our community asked us if we could provide some basic IT support that will allow them shop online, book appointments, communicate with family members digitally and other basic functions such as Google searches.

    “All of this was requested before COVID-19, and now this work is more important than ever. When we are able to work safely again from our centre, we will be able to quickly set up a group of young people who currently attend our sessions that, with youth workers’ supervision, will be able to help the older generation fulfil their needs.

    In Tameside, not-for-profit Cabasa CIC uses arts and creativity to allow people to develop new skills, bringing communities together and exploring diverse community traditions.

    As a result of the pandemic, the organisation has been keen to roll out its initiatives in local care homes, as the impact of COVID-19 has been felt disproportionately by their staff and residents.

    Emily Wood, artistic director at Cabasa CIC, said: “People in care homes are having almost all aspects of their lives affected by the pandemic – through increased deaths, worry and stress caused by fear of the virus, a surge in loneliness because of vastly reduced social contact, reduced staffing levels because of the need for staff to self-isolate, and the negative psychological impact of a lack of PPE.

    “Equilibrium’s generous donation will enable us to positively impact the lives of 30 residents of Tameside care homes and undertake a project with them which will see us create six large-scale, hand-painted Indian silk flags.

    “The flags will be toured to the grounds of three care homes, creating a beautiful, powerful installation which will highlight the strength and resilience of our communities.

    “We’re so grateful to receive support from the Equilibrium Foundation. Together with local participants and volunteers we’ll create beautiful art works which help residents to reconnect and feel more positive about the future.”

    If you’re in the Greater Manchester, East Cheshire or Chester area and would like to apply for a grant, please click here.

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