In this issue you'll find...
Year Reflections | New grants | Food Stories | New team member | Volunteering days | Updates on Cre8 Jobs and Facilities | Macc Run Fest | Upcoming events
We are excited to announce we have received a Magic Little Grant through the partnership between Localgiving and the Postcode Community Trust.
The Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Localgiving is the UK’s leading membership and support network for local charities and community groups. Cre8 received £500 towards funding for sports equipment such as Tennis and Badminton racquets. Thank you!
My First Year as Cre8 Director
I came to Cre8 through attending St Barnabas, which is where I got married in 2015, I think it was being married to Gordon that enabled me to envisage a different future, where I could focus on what I wanted to do, and not just be a mum struggling to make ends meet as a single parent. I am one of 4 children, my father a Major in the British Army retired early, and we all settled at Sandbach when I was 9. My Dad took up work as a civilian in Warrington, and my Mum was a teacher at our local primary school. I had never lived in a town until I was 9, as we had we travelled around from army base to army base, I have always wanted to fit in and be part of the local community. I have spent several years trying to find somewhere to settle, after spending 9 years in Sandbach and 18 years in London I finally moved to Macclesfield in 2007. Whilst proud of my Sandbach family, and my Brixton roots, where I made long lasting friendships I can now affectionately call Macclesfield my home. I found St Barnabas Church in 2010 after having my first and only child and I connected with the wonderful people there, and through Church I was introduced by Dave Mock to Pip, and Rob and I became a Trustee in 2011.
In February 2018, I decided that I wanted to do some volunteering, face to face work at one of the Clubs, and as my husband an avid running is committed to running Club on a Wednesday, Tuesday night fitted in well with our family life. Volunteering at Club, made me realise how incredible the young people are and also the workers and volunteers who turn up every week, I freely admit on a cold dark Tuesday night when I’d done an 8/10 hour day at Salford University, I did not want to turn up to a loud, frenetic and chaotic Tuesday night, however, at the end of every club night I felt OK, even when things go wrong – I felt the appreciation and goodness around the things Club provides young people, always food, fun activities, and the place of refuge from sometimes chaotic home lives. The support I get as a volunteer is incredible the team are doing a great job.
Last year Rob announced he wanted to change his role at Cre8 and reduce down to a part time role. By the time the Operations Director role came up in June 2018, I had decided to apply, I did know that my life at Salford was empty. I was working for long hours, travelling to and from Macclesfield, and having a young child I was feeling unfulfilled with my daily work. I knew I wanted to do something that I was more passionate about, and at 48 I needed to take a risk.
The interview day was actually enjoyable, so much work had gone in by the workers and the team to give a good experience, I walked round the Moss talking to Rob and I was grilled by a panel of young people – they are a tough crowd and I found that harder than my interview with both Jen and Pip – which surprised me!
Starting part time in Sept 2019, was odd, this place where I had been a Trustee for so long was now my place of work, but I found it a welcoming and friendly place. In March, Rob decided he would focus on his ministry work, and I felt ready to step up to this new and unexpected challenge of Directing Cre8 solo, If somewhat daunted at the prospect of taking up sole responsibility, I also understood and felt the support from the immediate staff team, the trustees, and wider friends, family and supporters of Cre8. I am always so grateful for the encouraging words, and the offer of prayer for me, which helps me so much.
I promised myself that I was just going to do my best, I would remember why I was doing this - to live and work in our community and discover Gods gifts and work with them. Every day I focus on the little things I need to achieve and I pray that the Charity will be well supported and we can continue to do good. I try to spend my time listening and reflecting rather than rushing into what I need to do, and trying to listen to what God is trying to tell us and show us.
What absolutely keeps me going are the small miracles, the phone calls or conversations that suddenly erupt into amazing happenings. I accepted a meeting from a lovely lady from the South West Peak, who let me know that they have grant funding which we can apply for to help us do our residentials and trips, and I’ve put that in this week, hopefully we will successfully in securing nearly £10k in funding over the coming weeks.
I have learnt to worry less and just focus more, to keep doing the little things and the big things will happen.
I have the incredible support of a varied group of Trustees, led by Jen our Chair, and a staff team that are dedicated and determined, they show grace and humility, friendship and hope on a daily basis and I am proud to work with them.
Thank you for taking the time to read, our aim is to produce a newsletter every few months to keep you updated.
Update on Cre8 Facilities and Jobs
Martin Skirvin continues to complete our gardening jobs, at the Almshouses, and here is a picture of Fence Court/Buxton Road, where we will be completing some work to further improve the hedging before the winter sets in. We are very grateful to the Almshouses Trust for continuing to work with us, and for Martin and the work he completes with such care and attention.
You might see our newest addition to the Cre8 fleet around Macclesfield newly branded EWAR (short for Edward) - named by Adam Swindells, is now used to complete our Creamline Dairies work, whilst we like to keep things as long as possible poor Colin (we like our names for vans), gave up in June and we were able to purchase a replacement in July to complete our vehicle washing contract.
Over the last few months we have been well supported through corporate volunteer days, this is a great way for more people to become involved with our work.
VM Ware came along and completed some much needed work from clearing the outside area next door to painting our fence. Thanks to Cheshire Demolition who helped provide us with a skip at short notice to get the work done. Anthesis also came along to assist with much needed work at our Community building.
We are looking forward to Equilibrium coming back on the 15th November to complete further maintenance and potentially help sort out sheds out at The House!
Thank you to all our volunteers, you are incredibly valued.
Year reflections from Tom Wardle, our Youth Work Supervisor
This year at Cre8 I feel like we've seen young people facing new challenges. Throughout the year, we've had a backdrop of stories of vulnerable young people being wrapped up in County Lines drug-dealing. It has been difficult to deal with, both from a practical and emotional perspective. How do we intervene to support and mentor young people who feel they have few options and have experiences that make them vulnerable to exploitation, especially when resources are finite and there seem to be so many in need?
As an organisation, Cre8 has tried to offer as much as possible for these young people: one-to-one and small group interventions have been successful at engaging these young people. We have supported them through court cases and supplemented police and social care interventions to help give them a chance to avoid damaging their futures further.
Through all this, it has been positive to see that the relationships we have built with young people and families over the years has put us in the unique position of being able to be that place of support, where they feel safe and have people they can trust to talk to about their experiences and how it is affecting them. It's also become clear how much what we offer helps to keep the majority of our young people away from potentially negative influences. Simply by being there and offering young people and environment of care and support, we are helping them build the confidence and resilience they need to make positive choices in their lives and build themselves a better future.
New member of our Team
Project Grow - a story about food
I drove up in the minibus and parked outside the flats where he lived. He was waiting for me at the window and I waved and smiled and pointed at the van. He disappeared from the window and a few minutes later came out of the door. I get so nervous in these moments when I have to meet new people. I worry about being kind and welcoming without being over the top. How can I ensure people know that I’m genuine? I don’t want to give Cre8 a bad reputation? Etc etc.
He came over, not giving much away, and looked in the boot of the minibus. “Wow, this is fantastic” he said “we can make so many things with this” his face lit up.
“Do you know anyone else who might want something” I asked “Ideally all this needs to go today otherwise it’ll have to be chucked and I really don’t wanna do that”.
“Hang on, let me go knock on some doors and see. I’m sure Iris could do with some bits…” He disappeared off.
I watched as he went round the little bungalows surrounding the flats, knocking on, chatting with his neighbours and bringing them out. They were a little sceptical, but they came. They trusted him and it was obvious he looked after them. Off into the flats he went and came back with more. I think he rounded up about 10 people. As they all started coming towards me and the minibus I realised I needed to get ready for this! I set out the crates, tried to get a bit of order in place with everything we were giving away. I was like a little market stallholder!
And they came and they filled their bags with food and they chatted about what they could make for each other and their families. They took flowers to give to their children, and to put on graves of loved ones. And they wandered back to their homes shouting thankyous and being so smiley and grateful towards me and each other.
I absolutely loved this. This is when I see and experience God. This guy didn’t have to go around spending his morning helping me give out food! He doesn’t know me or owe me anything. But he gathered his neighbours and those he knew might need this. Doing this kind of thing makes me love people and not be afraid of them. Sharing, giving and coming together around food, for me, is where Gods at. Jesus seemed to love food; he ate it, shared it and told stories about it. He brought people together around food.
Project Grow is about redistributing surplus, spare food that would otherwise go to waste. We’re going to do this through a mobile shop that will drive around the Estates in Macclesfield and people can come and get food. This was one of the first ‘prototypes’! Everyone needs food and we will share what we have with whoever turns up or whoever we find. I am very blessed to be involved.
We ask for prayers for everyone who is experiencing the pain of hunger. There is enough food here, and we pray that it makes its way to those who are hungry, and that we are able to help this happen.
Katy Wardle, Project Grow Coordinator
Run Macc Fest
We were really proud to enter teams in all 3 races for Macc Run Fest.Congratulations to all our runners! We also managed to come second in the Community Team Challenge with our half marathon team pictured here.
This annual event is a great way to engage with people of all ages, and we are already looking forward to next years event.
Friday 25th Cre8 Building
Come and join us between 4 and 5pm at the Building during the music drop in session for young people. There will be food, a chance to look around at the refurbishment and see what goes on here as well as an opportunity to see some of the young people perform.
Here's a quote from Peaks and Plains about the Building.
'I’m delighted that Peaks & Plains Housing Trust has been able to help Cre8 to make their Community Building a safe place from which to run their extraordinary projects.
Happening again this year!!
We receive the surplus fresh food donated by Aldi once the store closes on Christmas Eve... we then gather as a team and mobilise 'THE BIG GIVE' to distribute fresh food to families and individuals on the Moss Estate and wider across Macclesfield.
We're looking for people willing to volunteer some of their time on Christmas Eve to help with sorting and distributing food and gifts.
If you're able to donate your time on Christmas Eve from 4pm onwards to 'Cre8's BIG GIVE' we would be very grateful, as will the families and individuals receiving gifts on Christmas Eve. It's a wonderful way to spend the night before Christmas and share what we have.
Please do get in touch with Katy if you'd like to help or more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our upcoming events calendar shows all the forthcoming events at Cre8 and our partners. Click here to view the full list of upcoming events.