Local women celebrate Big Lottery windfall

A Chester le Street community project for women is celebrating after being awarded almost half a million pounds from the Big Lottery Fund.

Aspire Learning, Support and Wellbeing, located on Rear of Front Street, will receive £499,030 to set up and run their ‘Supporting Sisters’ project for the next five years.

The cash will help Aspire offer a range of specialist support, health and wellness services for women, as well as funding additional jobs and volunteering opportunities to support the project. It will also fund extended availability of Aspire’s on-site crèche.

The grant comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s new Women and Girls Initiative, which aims to support women and girls in need, or at risk of experiencing a wide variety of complex issues.

Aspire director, Janice Rokni, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of a new and exciting initiative that supports women and girls taking control of their lives. This funding will allow us to reach many more local women and help them to determine, access and shape the services they need and want.”

Aspire has been supporting local women through courses and wellbeing services at their Chester le Street base, and in community venues in surrounding areas, since 2012.