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Community power key in St Helens Together strategy

Article date - 25 February 2021

Harnessing the community power in responding to a pandemic is the key to making St Helens Borough better.
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St Helens Together – Our Borough Strategy lays the foundations for the recovery and transformation of the borough to 2030. The borough strategy is the document that brings together how St Helens Borough Council will work side by side with organisations and communities to make a difference to the borough.

Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Our borough can be proud of the way we’ve responded to the huge challenges of COVID-19. Local residents, businesses, charities and organisations have come together to offer support to each other with strength and kindness. 

“Before Covid we were already working on plans to modernise the council and to make our approach more collaborative. It was in that spirit that at the start of the pandemic we worked with partners to develop the St Helens Together brand which has now come to encompass the entire approach we want to take from now on: not only coordinating the large-scale community response to the pandemic delivering help and support where it is most needed, but also looking ahead to lay the foundations for our reset and recovery and transforming the council and wider borough.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic St Helens Together has brought together 1,744 community volunteers who supported more than 32,000 people in need.

Nicola Karunaratne Diver from Thatto Heath registered to volunteer with Halton & St Helens Voluntary Community. She carried out errands such dog walking and picking up shopping and prescriptions as well as working on the symptom free testing centre at St Mary’s Market over Christmas.

Nicola said: “I thought volunteering would be a nice way to give something back. I know resources in our community are struggling at the moment because of the pressures on the NHS and council – but we, the residents, are part of the resources of our community, and the more effort we put in gets us back to where we want to be.”

Councillor Baines added: “Everyone can make a difference just like Nicola has, and it is on us all to work together to make St Helens Borough the place we want it to be. We want strong communities who look out for each other and as a council we will provide the support you need to make where you live the best it can be. But we need your help. Take an active role in supporting your community; it can be as simple as not littering, buying from local businesses or checking in on your neighbours. All these small acts add up to better connected, happier, and more prosperous communities.”

Councillors approved the new strategy at Cabinet on Wednesday, 24th February.

The strategy will form the basis for future plans for the council and the actions from it will be reviewed regularly to mark progress.

To find out more and read the full strategy click here.