Chorley Women's Centre bids for Aviva Community Fund

Lynn Mcindoe, Chorley Women's Centre volunteer and Lydia Keighley, service coordinator for Circle Counselling  at the centreLynn Mcindoe, Chorley Women's Centre volunteer and Lydia Keighley, service coordinator for Circle Counselling  at the centre
Lynn Mcindoe, Chorley Women's Centre volunteer and Lydia Keighley, service coordinator for Circle Counselling at the centre
A centre which supports women is asking for your votes to help secure extra funding.

Chorley Women’s Centre is bidding for a small grant from the Aviva Community Fund for maintenance and redecoration of its building in Clifford Street.The independent charitable organisation has a long history of supporting women in Chorley and surrounding areas for more than 30 years. The centre, which is run by a team of dedicated staff who are mostly volunteers, provides practical and emotional support for women, as well as a safe space to access support at times of need.

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It has three variations of counselling, which is all free.The group Circle is for those who are in an abusive relationship or who have previously experienced domestic abuse. Meanwhile, Release offers specialist counselling, for those who have been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually abused either recently or in the past.

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Chorley Women's CentreChorley Women's Centre
Chorley Women's Centre

There is also a general counselling service that works with other issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and addiction.The centre also offers benefit and employment advice and a number of initiatives aimed at improving the health and well being of women in the community, such as access to relaxation sessions, walk and talk and alternative therapies.

Women can also gain access to free legal advice and get help with using IT, as well as join workshops such as confidence building, assertiveness and happiness.The organisation also runs a number of courses for free or minimal cost.

Lydia Keighley, who helps to run the centre, says: “The centre is unique because of the ease of access to help. The service is freely available to anyone from all walks of life, who can literally drop in to access support, no appointment is required. “The centre is currently running the Intuition Programme aimed at helping clients to gain confidence in trusting their intuition and making their own choices.“The centre is constantly reviewing what’s on offer and looking for new resources to meet the needs of the local community.”

Lydia adds women who access the centre’s facilities feel more self assured and has helped improve their lives.One service user, who did not wish to be named says: “The service is a massive help to me and women who need someone to talk to, fantastic atmosphere, safe and quiet. The centre has made me feel so welcome and comfortable. I feel like a confident, new woman.”Another adds: “I used the centre at one of the lowest points in my life, I’m still here on the road to recovery. I thank everyone involved.”

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As the centre continues to develop its services, it is looking to maintain and redecorate the premises and is asking for people to support them via the Aviva community fund.Lydia adds: “Our existing funds contribute to the day to day running of the centre and ensuring we can continue to offer much needed support to the women of Chorley. “However, maintaining our building is also necessary but costly and a bit extra help with doing this would be greatly beneficial. Our building is currently in need of several repairs and some redecoration to ensure we can continue to offer a warm, pleasant and safe environment for local women in need.“Registering to vote by following the link is a simple process but every vote means so much to those who access the service and those passionate and dedicated staff who give their time freely to support the running of the centre.”

To vote, visit can allocate up to 10 votes to the project. Voting closes November 20.

The Aviva Community Fund will finance more than 500 projects across four different fund levels and three categories, giving money to communities across the UK.Grants from up to £1,000 to £25,000 are available.There are hundreds of organisations in Lancashire which have been shortlisted for the Aviva Community Fund. To view them all visit and type Lancashire in the search bar.

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