Our History.

The Wargrave Big Local Partnership began its work in February 2015 – before this, a steering group of local residents worked together for more than 18 months talking to local people and organisations. They brought together evidence, views and opinion on what Wargrave needed to become an even better place to live.

About Wargrave Big Local.

Wargrave Big Local is a Partnership of local volunteers that has been charged with spending £1m of funding from the National Lottery to make Wargrave a better place to live and work. It is a ten-year project that started in 2015.

The Partnership has a Chair, Louise Forshaw, and a Vice-Chair, Jeanne Dentith. Meetings are held monthly. The Partnership have written a plan that has been approved by our funder, Local Trust, and we are supported by Torus Foundation as our Local Trusted Organisation. We operate from Wargrave Community Hub, a purpose-built facility in Alder Street, Newton-le-Willows.

To help us meet our objectives we have developed three Theme Groups. These are Stronger Wargrave, Healthier Wargrave and Greener Wargrave. These groups meet bi-monthly and are made up of Partnership members and professionals from organisations such as St Helens Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and the NHS. Each theme group has a set budget to spend on projects that will benefit Wargrave and its residents.

We also have a separate fund – our Community Chest – that offers grants of up to £500 for community projects that enhance our themes.

Our LTO (Local Trusted Organisation).

Our LTO (Local Trusted Organisation).

When we are considering ideas for projects, we get to make the decisions, but we need to be mindful of the Big Local rules. Our Local Trusted Organisation, The Torus Foundation, is there to help us with this and other matters.

The Torus Foundation is an excellent match for us in Wargrave, with their key themes of digital/financial support, employment, and health and wellbeing reflecting our own aims and objectives.

Torus Foundation’s Managing Director, Kate Shone, said:

‘This is a great opportunity for us to strengthen the existing partnership by working with Wargrave Big Local to enhance their programme, benefitting more of the community we serve.

Focusing on our key pillars of employment, health and wellbeing, digital inclusion and money matters, our team will be looking at ways we can support their vision to provide a Stronger, Healthier and Greener Wargrave.’

Torus Foundation’s key areas will work alongside our own aims and goals, enabling residents to make good choices in terms of their health and wellbeing, and provide employment opportunities by removing barriers for work and welfare.

Big Local – Ethos and values.

In terms of scale, time horizon and ethos, nothing like Big Local has ever existed. Designed from the outset to be radically different from other funding programmes, at the heart of Big Local is a vision of empowered, resilient, dynamic, asset-rich communities making their own decisions on what is best for their area. localtrust.org.uk

Residents who are on the Partnership make decisions based on our own experience and the needs we have identified in Wargrave. We have worked with many of our residents through the organisations we support.


Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them.


The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.


People will have increased skills and confidence so that they continue to identify and respond to needs in the future.


People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.