Queens Award winning Community Group celebrate Lottery Funding
Tucked away down a quiet side street in Atherstone is Cohort 4. Based at the St Benedict’s Community Hall in Owen Street, Cohort 4 organise a range of weekly groups run by women, for women who have multiple and complex disadvantage. There are social groups, lunch groups and creativity sessions, all without charge for women from the surrounding areas. The growing team at Cohort 4 include a specialist Mental Health Practitioner, an Activity Coordinator and Women Support Project Workers.
Cohort 4 celebrates receiving a huge £216,493 from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. This vital funding, raised by National Lottery players ensures that the organisation will continue to run for a further 3 years at its North Warwickshire base.
Beverley Gilbert, Founder of Cohort 4 says,
“This grant enables Cohort 4 to pay salary costs for our whole team of 6 for the next three years. For a small grassroots organisation such as ours, this funding has a huge impact as we know that we are secure and can continue operating into the future. Most of our women have long term issues and we are now confidently able to continue doing what we do best – offering long term, gentle, peer support and peer mentoring to women.
It has been an especially difficult period as we have all had to adapt to COVID-19, and we scaled up our capacity significantly to support women and their families from March 2020. Our 1:1 support sessions, counselling, Walk & Talk and other activities have proved essential in maintaining wellbeing and inclusion over the past year. What is wonderful is seeing group members grow in self-confidence and start supporting each other. We are very much a community of women coming together to share kindness, skills, and time.
As a woman centred organisation, we don’t often mention it, but we do also have a very popular Men’s Breakfast Group each Monday morning, and this is growing as more men come to us experiencing loneliness and isolation. Our Cohort 4 groups are an essential in helping our group members connect with their community. We’d like to thank TNL Community Fund for its continual support of Cohort 4, together we are making a difference.”
One man from the Men’s group said how much he valued his connection with Cohort 4, “It’s nice to just talk to somebody, or else I’m just stuck in the flat. If it wasn’t for Breakfast Group I wouldn’t get out to see anyone this week.”
Almost £200 million in vital National Lottery funding has gone to communities in the first 6 months of 2021, supporting them as they seek to overcome social and economic challenges caused by the pandemic and build back stronger. National Lottery players raise an incredible £36 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund awarded over half a billion pounds of life-changing funding to communities across the UK last year. To find out more visit TNLCommunityFund.org.uk
Cohort 4 are a peer led, women’s support service for women facing multiple and complex disadvantage following survival of abuse. They are based in Atherstone and have group members from all around Atherstone, North Warwickshire villages, Tamworth, Nuneaton and further afield. They have several awards for their work in our area including the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2020.