Community benefits from revamped Bidston church kitchen

St Oswald’s Church in Bidston has been transformed thanks to a partnership between property maintenance firm Liberty and housing association Onward. 

The church is in the heart of the community and is relied upon by many, including local people who use it for support groups, companionship, and as a place to keep warm.  

Liberty’s service delivery team volunteered their time and skills to modernize the kitchen in the church which was in a dire need of an update. They replaced the worn-out units and worktops, levelled the flooring and also renovated the toilet facilities by laying down new flooring.

The collaboration between Liberty and the church has resulted in the transformation of the space, providing immense benefits to various groups such as the local Ladies Fellowship, Men’s Group and a new toddler group called Little Caterpillars. The renovations took three days to complete.  

Reverend Joe Smith, of St Oswald’s Church, said, “The kitchen was originally installed in the late 1980s and had since fallen into a state of disrepair. It was not fit for purpose and wouldn’t pass new environmental health checks. Due to financial difficulties following the Covid-19 pandemic, we could not fund a new kitchen ourselves, we reached out to a number of charities and Liberty and Onward agreed to donate their time and resources to get our kitchen fit for purpose again.  

“Now we have a wonderful new kitchen thanks to their efforts and the church can hold community clubs. We’ve just started the Wednesday Warm Club, an opportunity to meet new friends and have a drink. We recently purchased a new oven so we can turn it into a lunchtime group where the community can get a warm meal and make new friends.” 

Liberty, a team of property services experts, have been in a close partnership with their client, Onward, for a period of 18 months. Throughout this time, they have provided responsive repairs and heating services, as well as renovations to customers located across the North West.

Contract Manager at Liberty Mark Wilson said, “At Liberty, we’re passionate about giving back to the neighbourhoods we work in, and that’s why we reinvest two-thirds of our profit into communities.  

“We were delighted to help out with this project when Onward asked. The church is a real community hub but was in a bad way, so this transformation was very much needed. 

“It’s great to see the positive impact the support they offer vulnerable people within the local community is making, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Onward and St Oswald’s Church in the future.” 

In addition to the three days of labour, the Liberty team provided, £2,000 worth of materials to complete the job were donated.  

Joanne Danaher, Director for Housing and Homeownership for Onward, said, “St Oswald’s Church provides vital services to support our Beechwood customers, and we are thankful that Liberty agreed to this social value project to improve the facilities and modernise the space for the community to enjoy for years to come. 

“We can do more together to make a positive difference in our communities, and we look to our contractors to reflect and support us with this key aim. When it comes to making The Onward Difference, we know we can’t do this alone, but by working in partnership.” 

Image: Liberty’s Repair and Maintenance North West & Wales team replace the kitchen at St Oswald Church

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