It is that time of the year when everybody gets ready for the upcoming holiday season. The time to plan your family celebrations, arrange festivities with friends or relatives, attend the office holiday functions, take some time out from work, school or studies.
As the year draws to a close, Cornerstone House Centre would like to thank all its service users, partners, supporters and funders for their trust and successful collaboration during the past year. Indeed, it is thanks to your support that the organisation has taken a giant leap forward in establishing itself as a recognisable, highly respected and influential organisation in the Cumbernauld and North area during 2023.
To this end, Cornerstone House Centre wishes all the people of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth, Northern Corridor and surrounding villages a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year when it comes!
After Friday 22 December 2023, Cornerstone House Centre is closed for the holiday period and will reopen at 9.00am on Monday 8 January 2024. Please note that Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank will be open during this period within Cornerstone House on Thursday 28 December 2023 and Thursday 4 January 2024 from 1.00pm-2.00pm on both dates.
In reflection, some highlights and impressions of an action-packed twelve months at Cornerstone House Centre are featured below.
A Year of Reaching Out in Compassion to Cumbernauld Citizens and Communities Facing Financial, Emotional and Social Challenges
Cornerstone House Centre’s bespoke ‘Here to Help’ scheme was highly successful in assisting individuals and families in Cumbernauld and the North area who had been experiencing financial hardship or poverty as a result of the cost of the living crisis during the early part of 2023.
As part of the support package provided, local citizens in need of help were provided with vouchers to assist with gas, electricity, food, clothing and household appliances. Specifically, items made available included small appliances such as heaters, kettles and microwaves, £50 electricity vouchers, £50 gas vouchers, £100 food shopping vouchers, £10 meal vouchers for cooked food, £100 vouchers for clothing, bedding and shoes and £25 vouchers for vital travel assistance.
Meanwhile, Cornerstone House Centre’s Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) project brought some much needed cheer to 28 community and voluntary sector organisations as they collectively benefited from £20,000 of participatory budgeting (PB) funds to coordinate activities to develop and advantage the Greater Cumbernauld area.
This followed on from more than 1,500 people casting votes in a highly popular online Community Voting Survey, selecting which not-for-profit groups they would like to see receive grants of up to £1,000 to deliver specified community projects. This was known as Cumbernauld CAN’s Small Grants PB Fund Round 5 initiative.
A raft of impactful activities were implemented as a result of this investment in the local area, including supporting Cumbernauld Seniors’ Wednesday Club to host a traditional Robert Burns Supper for 110 older citizens in January 2023, the subsidising of costs to enable Cumbernauld Poverty Action to provide one-to-one energy advice to 30 Cumbernauld residents experiencing fuel poverty and New Adventures facilitating a four-day weekend break and outings to the zoo, a concert and an ice hockey match for 18 local adults with learning disabilities and their carers.
Other positive effects of the funding dispersed incorporated the construction of a new disabled toilet on the site of Balloch Eastfield Football Club, expansion of the provision and impact of Cumbernauld Resilience’s community food bank and local radio station Cumbernauld FM delivering media training to pupils in Cumbernauld primary and secondary schools with a view to teaching them about important issues affecting young people in today’s digital world. Moreover, completed proposals from Small Grants PB Fund Round 5 resulted in affirmative impacts for individuals, families and wider communities in the areas of reducing inequalities, lifelong learning, capacity building, community empowerment and resilience.
Equally, Cornerstone House Centre completed another successful year delivery of Cumbernauld Family Hub, a National Lottery Community Fund-supported project which provides a raft of free resources and development opportunities for families living in the Cumbernauld area, during 2023.
A new Evaluation Report published in July evidenced that the Family Hub initiated a range of positive impacts over the past three years, including improving quality of life for families experiencing poverty and hardship, notable health and wellbeing benefits for children and parents, and increased quality in parent-child bonding. These important outcomes were rewarded by Cornerstone House Centre being successful in applying for a new three-year funding cycle for continuation of Cumbernauld Family Hub from 2023-26.
Another positive of 2023 was Cornerstone House Centre for the first time being allocated responsibility by Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire for delivery of the strategic Locality Host role for Community Solutions in the Cumbernauld and North area. A key operation within this has been facilitating a Community Solutions Consortium and a Locality Activity Fund (LAF) for health and social care, with the organisation already making strides forward in enabling local people to live safe, healthy and independent lives in this respect. Progress targeted and already made has been outlined through publication of a new three-year Locality Improving Lives Development Plan.
Other notable highlights of the year included Cornerstone House Centre encouraraging Cumbernauld citizens to become Positive Smoke-Free Role Models, improving the confidence and mental health of citizens through delivery of the award-winning Living Life to the Full course and the organisation being a leading player in delivery of a successful Challenge Poverty Week locally.
Finally, a special mention for two of The Centre’s most loyal and longstanding partners, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and Cornerstone Café, who continued to work closely with and invaluably support the organisation’s aims and objectives during 2023.
Cornerstone House Centre has been working on a range of plans for the development of new services and projects in recent months, so keep with www.cornerstone-house.org.uk for some key news and announcements for the people of Cumbernauld in the early part of 2024.