Starting Over 2022

So here is our end of year recap post to reflect on what has been a tough year for many. As an organisation we do not put everything we do on social media as we do what we do to support our community and don’t always have time. Also we do not do what we do for likes or clicks but do it to help people who need it and not to publicise it. Having said that it is nice to be able to reflect and look back at what our volunteers and members have achieved this year and thank the amazing people involved.

So what have we done this year?!

At the start of the year we provided some free holistic therapy sessions to some of our group members and volunteers courtesy of our friend and member Janine Brogan. We try and provide these each year as a small token of our gratitude to the people who support our group and donate their time each year.

We have Held 44 Walk and Talk sessions across the north west that have been attended by over 50 different members!
Special thanks to our volunteers Nicola Fitzpatrick and Katie Jones for their year round help organising the walks and providing support and lifts for the group and our members. Also thanks to our original members Carol Lester, Stephen Lester and Kerry Murphy who support all of our events hail, rain or snow!

Our Starting Over Soccer football therapy sessions have continued to grow throughout the year despite our venue at Thatto Heath Crusaders being damaged by fire, we quickly relocated for a couple of weeks to keep the group open for those that need it. We delivered 46 sessions in 2022 that were attended by over 40 different members at different times. We would like to thank Kevin Thompson and the staff at Thatto Heath Crusaders Rugby Club for their support and facilitation of the group.

We have organised 3 x 6 week safari park ‘Well-being Through Wildlife’ courses for our families and friends that where attended by 36 people. Again the feedback from these courses was extremely positive and we would like to thank Safari park staff Laura Howarth, Ellie Sowerby and Nikki Mallott for their excellent course, delivery and support of our members.

We completed our Community Champions project sponsored by the amazing One Knowsley where we delivered an educational session on the History of vaccines to children and families who then created some amazing artwork and a timeline. From the children’s artwork we designed and delivered over 5,000 leaflets! Thanks for this project go to Molly Green for her design work and photography and Rebecca Feeley for delivering an amazing History/Art session.

With the help of our amazing friend @jimmyshirleycomedy held 2 Stand up for Starting Over comedy fundraising nights. Both nights were an overwhelming success that not only provided some laughs for the 70+ people that attended them, but also a platform for some local up and coming talent. Don’t forget us when you are famous James! 😊

We held our annual 800,000 Steps for Suicide challenge to remember those we have lost while raising awareness and funding to keep our groups going. Yet again we smashed our 800,000 steps target for the event in which over 50 people. Individuals from as far as Australia actually took part and contributed steps towards our target and we eventually hit around 1.5 million steps achieved.

During the year and coming up to Christmas 2022 we have supported over 30 poverty stricken families with Aldi food vouchers, food hampers or toys to help alleviate the increasing pressure of the cost of living crisis. This was all made possible by funding raised through our volunteers and match funded by Barclays Bank and again thanks to the amazing Nicola Fitzpatrick.

Currently we are assembling 50 ‘Winter Warmer’ packs for community members as part of Knowsley Councils Winter Warmer project. The packs will include thermal underwear, socks, hats, gloves, hot water bottles, candles and food vouchers in the hope they will help people through the remaining winter months to stay warm and use less fuel. We are hoping to start disseminating these packs towards the end of this week so if you are aware of anyone in particular who may benefit from one please get in touch ASAP.

In the new year we aim to continue to build by restarting our weekly Badminton group and also building new partnerships with local groups delivering weekly drop in sessions whilst continuing to introduce new members.
Last but by no means least a big congratulations to our new member and the main man John Hawkins on your boxing win and thank you for brightening up everyone’s Sunday mornings.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2023 May it be filled with happiness and love from The Starting Over Family.
We are a small organisation that relies on the support of its volunteers to function and be able to help others. For them we are eternally grateful. None of this would be possible if we worked alone, however what it goes to show is the power of community and people when we come together to support each other.
Alone we are a drop, Together an Ocean.

Samantha Sillitoe

Starting Over Enterprises Director

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