Since our inception, Unitas has been committed to supporting Stoke-on-Trent and is dedicated to helping local projects. These projects are often developed and managed by volunteers giving their own time, money and resources to make their part of the world better.
In 2020, The Sentinel reported that there were 371 registered charities and a further estimated 3,000 non-for-profit or community projects in Stoke-on-Trent. With many people spurred on by the after effects of Covid-19, it’s not surprising that the number of charitable enterprises has grown significantly. These range from huge projects like Middleport Matters to small, community groups aimed at providing food and company to the elderly or low-income households.
Helping Hands is our way of giving these projects and the incredible people who pour their heart and souls into them a – with no pun intended – helping hand.
Helping Hands is now in its’ fourth year and within that time we’ve given funds to 23 projects. We run Helping Hands as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility remit. Rachel Forster, Unitas’ CSR Co-ordinator discussed the importance of Helping Hands.
“Our Helping Hands Fund is made up from money received from weighing in scrap metal and holding fundraising events. Local people, community groups and charities can apply for funding, materials, volunteers or sponsorship to help make a change in their local area. The fund ensures that we make a positive difference to the lives of our residents and the community within Stoke-on-Trent”.
We operate Helping Hands with two main objectives:
- To enhance and engage the local communities within which we work.
- To invest and empower our residents, service users and the local community to create a positive impact.
To ensure we distribute funding appropriately and fairly, we have a firm eligibility policy and anyone applying must meet the following criteria:
- Must be based in Stoke-on-Trent
- Must address community or social issues
- Must offer provision for the residents of Stoke-on-Trent
When considering any project, we’re looking for evidence that the project or event will make a real difference in our city.
With funding and support from Helping Hands and our network of partners, we’ve been able to help fund many groups. Some examples include; Eastwood Hanley U9 Blue with all-weather bench coats, the SPACE Scheme to help fund holiday activities for young people in Stoke-on-Trent, Birches Head Get Growing to fund gardening equipment, semi-permeable membrane, vegetable trugs, raised beds, covers and compost, Christmas Presents for Care Leavers, The Hub Foundation school lunches for their holiday club and materials for 16th Park Hall City Scouts Group so that they could kit out a kitchen in the Scouts trailer.