David Barron (left) and Enda Rylands (right) art the 10th anniversary celebration of The Community Link Foundation at The Offcer restaurant and bar in Southport.

By Sophie Swain Stand Up For Southport 

A community charity in Southport has raised over a quarter of a million pounds since it was set up 10 years ago.

The Community Link Foundation was founded in 2014 by David Barron, with a vision to create an independent local charity that could make a difference to families at times when they needed it most.

He stepped down from the Board in 2016, with Enda Rylands taking over as Chair. 

David said: “I decided to set up the charity after raising money for Claire House Children’s Hospice.

“I felt we needed to do extra for the local community and for people close to us.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I started it, I didn’t have any funds so I asked 20 local companies to donate £500 each. 

“Their generosity was astounding and they continue to support the charity.

“Although I was the brains behind setting it up, the Community Link Foundation wouldn’t be what it is now without everyone who has supported the charity, who helped to set it up and who continues to support it.”

Based on Hoghton Street, the Community Link Foundation assists people in Southport and surrounding areas who need financial support, aiming to build a stronger community and enrich lives.

The team raises money by holding fundraising events such as Comedy Bingo nights, an interactive show hosted by comedian Brendan Riley.

The Community Link Foundation raises money by holding fundraising events such as Comedy Bingo nights, an interactive show hosted by comedian Brendan Riley. He is pictured at an event at Anthony James Estate Agents in Southport

The Community Link Foundation raises money by holding fundraising events such as Comedy Bingo nights, an interactive show hosted by comedian Brendan Riley. He is pictured at an event at Anthony James Estate Agents in Southport

As well as this, they run the Southport Community Lottery, a monthly prize draw which ensures they can continue to help the most vulnerable in the community.

You can become part of the lottery for a small donation of only £5 per month. By supporting the lottery you are helping the Community link Foundation to make grants to people and organisations in our local community who are experiencing poverty, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantages.

The charity helps people from sports teams in need of new equipment to other community groups which need financial support for supplies or materials.

They have raised money for people affected by Covid-19, and supported the Southport Saviours and local traders in their campaign to place a defibrillator on Wesley Street in Southport town centre.

They also provided funding to support visually impaired Southport Trinity Players.

The Community Link Foundaiton helped the Southport Saviours and local traders  to place a defibrillator in Wesley Street in Southport town centre

The Community Link Foundaiton helped the Southport Saviours and local traders to place a defibrillator in Wesley Street in Southport town centre

They have helped the Rainbow Hub children’s charity to purchase specialist equipment which has allowed them to help children with physical disabilities to develop their standing and walking skills during their therapy sessions at Rainbow Hub.

The Foundation supported an application from Hope Street Cafe in Ormskirk to enable them to provide Christmas Dinner for 80 people.

Another beneficiary was the Practice Makes Perfect charity, which teaches sign language skills to people who have experienced hearing loss, and to their families. 

Maureen Doyle the founder of Practice Makes Perfect at the Community Link Foundation lunch.

Maureen Doyle the founder of Practice Makes Perfect at the Community Link Foundation lunch.
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Enda Rylands, who has been involved since 2014, took over as Chair of the Board in 2016.

He is also Chair at Southport Rugby Club which is based on Waterloo Road.

The team and himself are planning celebrations for the charity’s tenth anniversary.

David said: “I am chuffed to bits about the achievement. Certainly, for me, it has achieved what I wanted it to but everyone who has helped and continues to achieve more for the charity must take credit. They work so hard.”

 

 

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