Motherwell Project lottery funding

A specialist South Cheshire service supporting mums with children at risk of being removed from their care has won backing from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The Believe Project, run by Crewe charity Motherwell Cheshire, has been awarded £282,401 to continue its vital work in the community after funding dried up during the pandemic.

The project supports vulnerable mothers, often struggling with their mental health, whose children are subject to a Child Protection Plan and are at risk of being taken away.

Trained support advocates help them rebuild their lives and grow emotionally stronger with personalised plans including counselling and peer group networking where they share their experiences and develop coping strategies.

Motherwell Cheshire founder Kate Blakemore, a trained counsellor, said: “Since being established in 2017 the Believe Project has supported 195 mums and their 475 children.

“These women have lost, or are at risk of losing, all they hold dear, their children and we work with them to overcome the devastation.

“Sadly numbers of women needing support have increased since the pandemic and there is a growing demand for services as the cost of living crisis bears down on local families.

“We currently have a waiting list of referrals in Crewe and Winsford. Never has there been a more critical time to support vulnerable women and children.”

A study by the School of Psychology at the University of Chester found the Believe Project had “demonstrated overwhelmingly positive feedback” from participants whose mental health had improved.

Lottery funding, gained following a detailed application by Kate and charity trustees, will allow the Believe Project to continue in Crewe and Winsford and there are plans to expand into Ellesmere Port.

Officials are exploring ways of generating income to secure its future including Believe Ambassador courses offering an introduction to a programme enabling them to work with women whose children are on a Child Protection Plan.

Mother-of-three Kate, from Crewe, added: “The Believe Project initially received funding for three years from the Steve Morgan Foundation but that ended in 2020 so the Lottery money is a fantastic boost and keeps us going
for now.

“Long term, we are reaching out to the business community for sponsorship and running training courses to generate income to cover costs and expand into other pockets of Cheshire where there is growing need.”

Believe Project Patrons include well-known businessman Sir John Timpson and actress Sally Carman who plays Abi Franklin in Coronation Street.

Sally, who also appeared in Shameless, said: “My character represents the amazing women supported by the project.

“These mums are very often misunderstood and living with mental health conditions after experiencing traumatic events. I am proud to offer my support as Patron.”

Motherwell Cheshire runs a variety of services for women and girls including crisis support, counselling and befriending.

Its Community Share Hub providing pre-loved school uniforms and baby necessities remains a lifeline to families facing hardship.

Meanwhile, Motherwell Menopause cafes have taken off in 11 locations across Cheshire including Everybody Lifestyle Centres in Crewe and Nantwich.

For more on how to support the work of Motherwell Cheshire or to register for Believe Ambassador training call 01606 557666 or go to

Motherwell Community Hub lottery project

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