A NEWARTHILL shopkeeper has come to the rescue of a local voluntary group to safeguard its immediate future after it suffered a funding crisis.
Manny Hussain, owner of the village’s Nisa Store, has provided a donation of £300 to enable the Carfin-based Healthy Happy Humans group to keep going.
The group, which provides a range of free of charge services for children and adults alike, was founded by local woman Clare Cairney who developed the services following a successful application to The Big Lottery, Awards for All in August 2010.
Previous to this Clare had carried out a feasibility study on the support available to help families accessing healthy lifestyle choices.
She said: “Issues arising from the study were affordability and accessibility of services. We also discovered that in terms of exercise opportunities there was a good provision of sport and dance, but nothing in between where children can just play.
“Also the cost of activities prevented families most in need of services from attending, this affecting children and adults alike.
“The cost to families taking up physical activities can involve buying gear required along with a weekly cost with some providers asking families to set up monthly direct debits.
“When you consider lower income households who are struggling to meet their families basic needs, paying for activities is just not an option.
“We have families with three and four children attending. If you consider an average cost of around £300 per service, you’re looking at around £150 monthly for three children to attend once weekly.”
Along with twice weekly children’s groups, the group also provides a weekly family weight management support group, community weigh-ins, Bollywood dance group and a signposting service for families who may be experiencing health or social difficulties.
But the group faced a cash crisis when its lottery funding was due to run out - until Manny Hussain stepped in to help.
Clare said: “We have a good attendance and support around 80 families locally with our biggest challenge being funding.
“At the time I approached Manny we had only enough funding left to run until the end of March and thankfully for us he offered immediate support.
“We also ran a table top sale which brought in £270 and are planning more fundraising events over the next month or two but my concern now is to secure funding to allow us to run on a long-term basis.
“We have proved we have a successful range of services and I’d be delighted if we could secure a sponsorship deal with a local company.”
The organisation’s children’s groups start at 4pm and end at 6pm - on Tuesdays in New Stevenston Community Centre and Thursdays in the John McCormack Centre, Carfin - and are for children aged five to 12.
The weight management group starts at 6pm on Thursdays in the John McCormack Centre, Carfin, with the Bollywood Group at 6.30pm in the same location.
To view the range of services and find out more about the group, visit their website www.healthyhappyhumans.org,
Anyone willing to help with sponsorship can contact Clare on 07905 902672 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.