Funding supports community fridge and fitness project

Community Fridge user Elizabeth McKeown with Nichola Whittle, Director of the Billy Project

Active Lancashire have provided £5,000 of funding to The Billy Project CIC to help them continue to provide a community fridge and run fitness sessions for women in in Mill Hill, Blackburn.

The funding was sourced through Sport England’s Together Fund, which Active Lancashire are distributing to activity related groups across Lancashire on their behalf.

At the community fridge, anyone from the local area can access 2 full bags of shopping per week for the cost of £10 a month. The bags contain quality surplus food from shops and supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste, with suppliers including Iceland, Greggs, M&S, Spar and Farmfoods. Vulnerable people can also be referred to the service to access free bags of food each week.

Up to 120 people from the area access the community fridge each month.

In addition, The Billy Project also run healthy eating and cooking training sessions, alongside free fitness sessions for women. It also provided voluntary opportunities, some of which have led to people gaining the experience they need to enter employment.

Nichola Whittle, one of the Directors of The Billy Project, said, “The service has been set up to support people with the cost of living and help them cook on a budget, while helping all women aged 11 and above to be more active to improve their wellbeing.”

“The funding from Active Lancashire has provided the opportunity for people to attend facilities and use the onsite gym too. We’ve created a community with no judgement and a safe space as a result of their funding, running activities like circuit training and looking at nutritional habits, to open the eyes of attendees to the benefits of healthier eating.”

“The benefits of getting to know people in our community means we can identify and support the most vulnerable too, working with others to get them the help they need.”

If you run a community group or service in Lancashire that provides activity sessions, you may be eligible for the Together Fund. Find out more.

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up